In Anaheim, Calif., last week, Stratasys was awarded a Golden Mousetrap in the Materials and Assembly subcategory for its Urethane Foam Casting for 3D Printing. Urethane casting uses silicone molds to create low volumes of production urethane parts. Stratasys offers several casting products including QuantumCast, CompositeCast, VolumeCast, RotationCast, Engineering Grade, and CompressionCast.
The process is low-cost, has short lead times, and provides design flexibility. Parts designed for injection molding can be cast as urethanes. The process allows undercuts, and alleviates the concern of draft. Threaded inserts are micro-welded into place with precision using Stratasys Direct Manufacturing proprietary technology. The resulting torque and pull out strength are superior to conventional heat staking or bonding of threaded fasteners into plastic parts. The process also enables small features and accommodates snap fit materials. Cast-in surface textures are achievable but texture can reduce mold life.
The basics of design considerations can be found on Stratasys’s site.