When it comes to silicone tooling and cast urethane parts, IMPM is on the forefront. We have completely mastered the silicone tooling process, guaranteeing 100 cycles out of all silicone tools built by our skilled team! We continue to make advances in the Prototyping Industry.
Our latest cutting edge equipment includes a 113 cu ft pressure chamber for large parts, a simulated roto molding procedure that is a special process for hollow parts, and specialized, automated dispensing machines that allow us to do large parts with higher throughput. In addition, we have multiple vacuum pressure chambers for standard parts. IMPM’s master pattern and silicone tool cost is typically less than the cost of three SLA printed parts. Threaded inserts are molded in, not added as a secondary process, so parts look, feel and perform like production parts.
IMPM offers over 140 urethanes to mimic production materials – ranging from 10A shore to 85D shore. We can color match most of our urethanes to almost any color. Along with color matching, we can provide a variety of textures.
Cast urethane is a method of plastic casting in which a mold cavity is filled with a liquid thermoset resin, and set to cure. Typically, molds are made from silicone rubber and use a 3D printed part, generally SLA, as a master pattern for the mold. Cast urethane is the fastest, low-cost molding process for parts with very low quantities. Where 3D printing will produce feel, fit, and form for your prototype, cast urethane goes beyond to produce function as well. Urethanes come in any number of durometers and almost any secondary finish can be applied. Cast urethane is ideal to test pre-production parts, production parts, functionality, and design verification.
The possibilities of cast urethane are endless, and it proves to be a perfect low volume solution. The level of detail in IMPM’s cast urethane parts is unmatched and has earned us our reputation as leaders of the process. Regardless of whether it’s used for prototyping, production, or bridge tooling, you will find value in our capabilities.
Silicone Tooling at IMPM
IMPM has perfected the techniques to optimize the performance of silicone rubber molds. We have extended mold life, increased part accuracy, and enhanced surface finish. Often times, products are expected to have short product lives due to rapidly changing technology or design needs. Short-run production allows you to create your part for quick time-to-market with a fraction of upfront costs.
- 100 shots guaranteed from IMPM’s silicone tools
- Over 140 materials stocked
- FDA compliant materials
- Urethanes produced with any durometer
- Urethanes cast in color
- Color match service (via Pantone® number or provided sample)
- Texture added to master pattern
- No drafting concerns
- TWR-100 injection system for precise control of mix-ratios, shot sizes, and material flow rates
- Vacuum holding tanks for air-free material delivery
Bridge tooling, or rapid tooling, is the molding process used between the end of product development and the beginning of production. Why might a company utilize bridge tooling? Often a company will be in a situation where prototypes have been approved and production tooling has been sourced, however, traditional production tooling (typically steel tooling) is a very untimely process. This becomes an issue when demand is present but supply is distant. Less traditional molding methods, such as silicone tooling and aluminum tooling, are then utilized to bridge the supply gap. Immediate demand is now serviced until production tooling is ready to run.
Silicone tooling is the mold-making process for our cast urethane application. A silicone rubber tool is made around an SLA master pattern, and then molded with liquid thermoset resins that are developed to mimic production plastics. This process is most often used in product development stages as it is the best way to repeatedly produce functional prototypes. It is also used as a production molding method for specialized products with very low quantities. Typically, silicone tooling is an ideal option when quantity needs are between a few and a couple hundred parts.