Urethane Casting Application in Low-volume Brand Mascots Manufacturing

Urethane Casting Application in Low-volume Brand Mascots Manufacturing

Our sales team received a call just before the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival from a mysterious Internet Company, who requested our help urgently to manufacture 120 sets of company mascots in less than 10 days. Their important exhibition would suffer from a defection if we failed. As 3D Printing technology is served to make small-batch production quickly, they believed we could help them with the urethane casting technique.

We were all surprised: how could a famous company did not make an advanced plan and resulted in such a hurry. Soon we heard that they engaged with another lamination company before, but the joint of products always had a big crack and could not be solved smoothly. One month later, our customer received all the final products but they dared not publishing them, fearing that their brand identity would be badly affected. And then the story of our cooperation began.

Our molding engineers quickly figured out the reason for former failure in assembling: the volume of the whole shell is so large that they could not control the shrinkage rate. The final solving plan given by our engineers is to use two types of small-lot producing process: 3d printing and laminating, which could perfectly control the overall shrinkage rate by selecting non-shrinking materials and proper temperature.

  • We broke the products apart and designed a new joint gate in the rear as below:

  • Remove burrs from the gate and then the silicon membrane parts can be spliced.

  • Roughing after splicing, then grinding off the splicing mark, painting gray and polishing.

  • In the end, we got the grey-board product and color it.

Our company held the Mid-Autumn BBQ, however, our colleagues in Lamination Dept. were absent. They worked day and night, handed the products timely after the three-day festival vacation. Our customer inspected all the products thoroughly, ensured that all the tolerances were applied, and there was not even one flaw on the surface. We felt very proud of helping our customer to hold the exhibition successfully and all our contribution was worthy. That’s right – our customer is the APP Kuaishou!

Knowledge of small-batch producing:

There is always a stage of small-batch before batch production, which can test the performance of the product and demand of the market, or else may lead to overstock and unnecessary loss. The best technology we recommend for small-batch production is the silicon membrane, it is suitable for a one-step forming of parts with complicated structure, and can shorten the period as well as save the cost for R&D.

The procedure of urethane casting:

  1. Prototype making:
    A prototype is what we use to produce mold, and it’s born in small-batch manufacturing. 3D printing and traditional CNC lathe job are two usual methods of producing a prototype.
  2. Rapid tooling:
    This is a key procedure that the quality of mold will directly affect the quality of products, so it needs to be done carefully.
  3. Vacuum Casting:
    Then we can go on vacuum casting with the prototype. We will cast the materials into the mold by the air pressure difference, then make it solidified in the oven, lastly, we take out the product from the prototype.

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