Vacuum Casting Services

We can replicate components, often used in the prototype phase of product development. Strong, durable polyurethane (PU) resin components can be produced from silicone tools.

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Prototype Vacuum Casting

Low Volume Vacuum Casting is a method to replicate components, often used in the prototype phase of product development. Strong, durable polyurethane (PU) resin components can be produced from silicone tools. In general; MNL produces silicone tools from 3D printed masters, which have been surface finished to replicate the desired production finish. There are many PU resins to choose from, they differ in their physical properties and are often chosen to closely simulate an engineering plastic or elastomer.
Mini Evoque Shaped Colour Swatches were produced for the Most Prestigious Dealerships.

Low Volume Vacuum Casting in more detail …

  • “Parts can be produced in a wide array of materials to simulate most engineering plastics”
  • Masters from any source or 3D printing technology are used to produce silicon tools from which castings can be produced in a wide array of materials to simulate most engineering plastics.
  • We can produce Polyurethane (PU) castings in the following material simulants or properties: ABS, Polypropylene, Nylon, Glass-filled Nylon, Polycarbonate, TPE, Hytrel, HDPE, etc. Temperature-specific materials, flexible materials with A Shore ratings as low as 30A up to 90A and D Shore ratings also.
  • In general MNL’s silicone tools are guaranteed to produce a minimum of 30 castings per cavity¥
  • Elastomeric resins yield many more components and up to 50 castings per cavity are possible.
  • Tools are available in multi-cavity versions in order to produce larger quantities quicker and more economically.
  • Metal inserts are used to hold tight tolerances in bores and critical areas.

Bridging the Gap between Prototyping and Low Volume Production

Medical 3D print with silicon over moulding utilising low volume manufacturing techniques

Vacuum casting fits perfectly into the low-volume production cycle due to several key advantages:

  • Cost-effective tooling: Compared to injection moulding, which requires expensive metal tools, vacuum casting uses reusable silicone molds that are cheaper to produce. This makes it ideal for smaller production runs where high upfront tooling costs wouldn’t be justified.
  • Faster turnaround times: The process of creating a silicone mold is quicker than traditional methods, allowing you to get parts manufactured faster. This is crucial for low-volume production where speed and agility are important.
  • Flexibility: Vacuum casting can handle a wider range of part geometries compared to some other low-volume techniques. This allows you to produce complex parts with intricate details without sacrificing quality.
  • High-quality parts: Despite being a rapid prototyping technique, vacuum casting delivers parts with excellent surface finish and good dimensional accuracy, making them suitable for functional applications.

Overall, vacuum casting bridges the gap between prototyping and full-scale production by offering a cost-effective and rapid way to manufacture small batches of high-quality parts.

Vac Casting & Over Moulding

Soft Touch Overmouldings
Tactile Rubber Overmouldings


Overmoulding stands as an intricate process, wherein a secondary layer of material seamlessly integrates with an existing substrate within the realm of vacuum casting. The outcome is nothing short of remarkable — an amalgamation of materials that not only augments functionality, durability, and aesthetic appeal but also proves to be a game-changer in the new product development cycle. This technique provides unparalleled design versatility.

In the realm of prototyping, over-moulding within vacuum casting emerges as a powerful tool, enabling the creation of intricately detailed parts with varying material properties. This, in turn, facilitates the development of prototypes that serve as accurate representations of the final product. The ability to merge different materials seamlessly opens avenues for innovative design solutions, enhancing the overall product development process.

Moreover, the application shines particularly bright in low-volume manufacturing scenarios. It offers a cost-effective solution tailored for the production of small batches of high-quality components. This capability is instrumental for industries and projects where limited production runs are the norm, providing an efficient and economical approach to manufacturing.

Within our state-of-the-art facilities, we have positioned ourselves to elevate your projects with precision and efficiency. The integration of over-moulding is not merely a process; it is a commitment to delivering superior results and pushing the boundaries of design possibilities.



Looking to Produce Multiple Parts?

We can produce anything from one to thousands

The Low-Volume Vacuum Casting Process

A short video of the vacuum casting machine in action.

Typical applications are endless …

  • Extensive product testing is achievable on multiple sets for parallel tests.
  • Quick turnaround, 20 sets available within approx 2 weeks.
  • Can be cheaper than 3D printing, the break-even point is approx 4-5 sets.
  • Vacuum-cast components are frequently used as market research models as they are often impossible to tell the difference between them and the production items.
  • Production bridge – vacuum castings can bridge the gap whilst sales are ramping up to full production..
  • Low-Volume Production – PU resin components from either low-volume vacuum casting or RIM processes offer excellent strength and durability suitable for the production of low volumes.

Examples of Projects involving Low Volume Vacuum Casting

Explore many different projects where vacuum casing has played a part. Various projects from single components were produced multiple times to fully finished exhibition quality assemblies.

We’re often asked…

What is Vacuum Casting?

Also known as Urethane Casting, Vac Casting is a rapid prototyping technique that uses a silicone mould and a vacuum to create high-quality plastic parts. Liquid resin is drawn into the mould under vacuum pressure, eliminating air bubbles and producing parts with excellent detail and a smooth surface finish.

What are the advantages of Vacuum Casting?
  • Faster turnaround times compared to traditional methods like injection moulding.
  • Lower tooling costs ideal for prototypes, low-volume production runs, or complex geometries.
  • Wide range of materials available with various properties for different applications.
  • Excellent dimensional accuracy and smooth surface finish.
  • Suitable for small and medium-sized parts with intricate details.
What are the limitations of Vacuum Casting?
  • Limited production volume compared to injection moulding.
  • Certain part geometries might not be suitable due to undercuts or draft angles.
  • Material properties might not be as strong as some injection moulded parts.
What materials can be Vacuum Cast?

A variety of polyurethane (PU) resins can be used, offering properties like:

  • High transparency
  • Flexibility
  • Durability
  • Heat resistance
  • Paintability
How long does the Vacuum Casting process take?

The turnaround time depends on the complexity of the part and the number of parts required. Malcolm Nicholls Ltd will work with you to provide an accurate estimate.

What kind of finishes can be achieved with Vacuum Casting?

Vacuum Cast parts typically have a smooth surface finish that can be left as-is, painted, or plated.

How much does Vacuum Casting cost?

Costs depend on the part size, complexity, material selection, and quantity. Malcolm Nicholls Ltd. will provide a competitive quote based on your specific requirements.

What file formats do you accept for Vacuum Casting?

We typically work with 3D CAD files in formats like STL, STP a full list can be found on this pop up here

Is Vacuum Casting suitable for my project?

Vacuum Casting is a versatile process ideal for prototypes, low-volume production runs, and parts requiring high detail and a smooth finish. Contact Malcolm Nicholls Ltd. to discuss your project and see if it’s a good fit.

What are some applications for Vacuum Cast parts?

Vacuum Casting is used across various industries for:

  • Prototypes and functional models
  • Automotive, Motorsport and OEM
  • Low-volume production of end-use parts
  • Medical devices and prosthetics
  • Architectural models and concept parts
  • Electronic enclosures and housings

Get In Touch With Us For A Vacuum Casting Quote

Low Volume Production, manufacturing anything from 1- 1000's of parts

manufacturing low quantities from 1 - 1000's of parts