Manufacturing Rubber-Like Materials

Understanding the strengths and trade-offs of manufacturing rubber-like materials. Xometry offers a variety of processes that can manufacture parts in a rubbery material.

By Scott Kaplan · October 04, 2016

Xometry offers a variety of processes that can manufacture parts in a rubbery material. Knowing which processes are available can help guide you to choose the right process for your part. A brief description of each process, material, advantages, and trade-offs of each process are outlined below.

PolyJet 3D (PJ3D)

PJ3D is an additive manufacturing process where a printer head precisely deposits a UV-curable resin to construct parts from a 3D CAD file. PJ3D has quick lead times and is relatively inexpensive. Its incredible accuracy makes it great for test fits and prototyping. However, be careful when printing small features. PJ3D parts do not stretch like rubber and removing support material may restrict design features.

Urethane Casting

Urethane Casting consists of a two-part process of first 3D printing a master pattern to serve as a template for a silicone mold, which will then be used to cast parts. Urethane casting produces durable parts that are abrasion and tear resistant. We also offer color matching as well as different surface finish options and parts can be up to 30″ long. Two considerations for to keep in mind with Urethane Casting are longer lead times than PJ3D and parts may be more expensive due to up front pattern and tooling costs.

You can find even more information on tolerances and durability here.

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