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Precision Rapid Prototyping and Production for
Plastics, Urethanes and Metals

Precision Rapid Prototyping and Production for Plastics, Urethanes and Metals

Precision Rapid Prototyping 
and Production for Plastics, 
Urethanes and Metals

Molding Services Overview

With over 40 years of experience in the Industry, Advanced Prototype Molding has the expertise to efficiently complete your project on time and under budget. Conveniently, Advanced Prototype Molding is proficient in several molding techniques including:

Rapid prototyping has grown over the years as a quick and economical way to produce molds, example products, and material samples. At Advanced Prototype Molding, we have over 40 years of experience in rapid prototyping, with a range of capabilities to bring our customers’ prototypes to life. From our high-tech facility in Chicago, we offer a variety of prototyping services, including urethane casting, CNC machining, injection molding, metal stamping, and more. Learn more about each service here.

Custom Mold Making

In addition to making the prototypes themselves, we also make custom molds that produce those prototypes. We have the tools to make elastomer, metal, and thermoplastic components rapidly. We make custom molds for the following manufacturing techniques:

  • Injection molding
  • Rotational molding
  • Compression molding
  • RTV molding
  • Vacuum forming
  • Stamping

Our team of custom mold makers can help you choose the best material and technique depending on your specific needs. We can help you find the best balance between cost, durability, and functionality.

Injection Molding

Injection Molding is a manufacturing technique where a mold is injected with molten material, then cooled to form a solid component. You can use various materials in an injection mold, including metal, urethane, or plastic.

Advanced Prototype Molding excels in steel, aluminum, and epoxy mold production. We can help you choose a material based on its advantages and how it best suits your project.

Rapid Prototyping & 3D Printing

Rapid Prototyping is a general term that refers to different manufacturing processes used to quickly turn digital designs into physical models. 2D and 3D computer-aided design (CAD) technology enable manufacturers to streamline their product development operations.

With rapid prototyping, you can enjoy these advantages:

  • Greater flexibility with design options
  • Better visualization of the finished product
  • Designers and engineers can communicate with clients using physical prototypes rather than abstract designs

We offer a variety of rapid prototyping services, such as:

  • Urethane molding
  • FDM
  • CNC cutting
  • SLA
  • SLS
  • DMLS
  • Polyjet

Urethane Casting/RTV Molding

Urethane casting or room temperature vulcanization (RTV) molding produces high-quality polyurethane or rubber prototypes without hard tooling. These methods work as a great alternative to injection molding. Here are the main benefits of cast urethanes:

  • Cost savings: Urethane casting is a cost-effective option in projects that need high volumes of prototypes. While additive manufacturing requires multiple builds to accommodate large production runs, urethane casting can continuously mold components.
  • Design flexibility: Urethane molding uses soft tools and molds to fabricate cast urethane pieces. One silicone mold produces up to 30 pieces, so design changes can be made with minimal delays or extra costs. This flexibility allows manufacturers to quickly and effectively match customer feedback.
  • Shorter tooling lead times: Cast urethane tooling requires shorter lead times than injection mold tooling. The typical lead time for an injection mold tool is 4-12 weeks, but silicone molds only take a maximum of two weeks, regardless of their size.
  • Material variety: Like injection molding, urethane molding can produce elastomeric and rigid prototypes, using hundreds of specific material options ranging in color, durometer, and other properties.
  • Better part finish: Cast urethanes provide a comparable surface finish and strength level to injection molded pieces. Urethane prototypes can be textured, painted, or otherwise colored to achieve an appealing appearance.

CNC Machining

CNC machining is a subtractive manufacturing process that uses computer numerical control (CNC) technology to produce high-quality precision parts. CNC machined products offer excellent functionality, quality, and aesthetics. The process is popular in the manufacturing industry because it yields quick turnarounds, precision, accuracy, customizability, scalability, and versatility.

At Advanced Prototype Molding, our CNC Machining services work with a range of materials: aluminum, steel alloys, HDPE, low-carbon steel, stainless steel, and PVC.

Die Casting

Die casting is a manufacturing process that involves forcing molten metal into a mold cavity at high pressures. The process is best for producing large quantities of metal parts that require minimal secondary machining. Examples of common die-cast materials are magnesium, aluminum, copper, and zinc. These are the primary benefits of die-casting:

  • High-speed production
  • High electrical conductivity
  • High thermal conductivity
  • High strength
  • Dimensional stability and accuracy
  • Allows various finishing processes
  • Enables easy assembly

Lost Wax Investment Casting

Lost wax investment casting is a manufacturing technique that uses aluminum or epoxy molds to make identical products. Designers make an original wax pattern encased in a layer of plaster, which they allow to harden before filling it with molten metal. This process gets its name from the wax in the original pattern and the dewaxing process, where the technician melts the wax and removes it from the mold.

These are the benefits of investment casting prototypes:

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Smooth finishes
  • Flexibility
  • Detailed production of molded parts

Mold Reshoring & Reuse

When companies outsource manufacturing to an overseas production facility, that facility uses and maintains all molds required for production. These molds can get lost when the overseas manufacturer goes out of business or changes ownership. In these events, the company must reproduce the proper molds, incurring added expenses that reduce the return on investment.

To avoid these unnecessary costs, companies should bring manufacturing operations back home. Advanced Prototype Molding can help you reshore your molds and reuse them in our production facility for your manufacturing needs. The benefits of mold reshoring and reuse include:

  • Shortened lead times
  • Reduced costs
  • Better communication
  • Intellectual property control
  • Enhanced traceability
  • High quality
  • Automated, advanced technology
  • Faster time to market
  • Made in America

Rotational Molding

Also known as rotocasting or rotomolding, rotational molding creates hollow, low-stress thermoplastic components. In this process, the technician adds plastic powder resin to an open mold, which is put into an oven and spun on a bi-axis machine. The powder melts, coating the mold’s interior walls. Once the resin cools and hardens, it is removed.

Rotational molding can produce nearly any hollow shape, no matter its size or complexity. Typical applications of rotomolding are:

  • Aerospace/Automotive: wheel arches, fuel tanks, instrument panels, ducting
  • Consumer goods: furniture, toys, balls
  • Material handling: bins, trash cans, shipping containers, barrels
  • Marine: pool liners, docking floats, fenders, kayaks
  • Medical/Dental: dental chairs, tubs, cases, carts, syringes

Rotocasting offers several key benefits:

  • High quality
  • Suitable for short production runs
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Versatility

Rubber & Silicone Molding

Liquid silicone rubber molding and rubber compression molding are two processes that manufacture custom rubber and silicone parts. Liquid silicone rubber (LSR) molding involves injecting silicone rubber into a mold, heat-curing the silicone, cooling the components, and removing them from the mold. This process is suitable for:

  • Functional prototyping
  • Bridge tooling
  • High-volume production
  • Pilot and low-volume productions

Rubber compression molding involves compressing strips or disks of uncured rubber between two plates of the mold. High temperatures and pressures vulcanize the rubber into the shape of the mold. Once the material cures, pins remove the parts. This process is suitable for producing:

  • Automotive components
  • HVAC and fuel system parts
  • Hydraulic and pneumatic seals
  • Sterile rubber hoses for food and beverage processing
  • Kitchenware
  • Medical devices
  • Electric connectors

Metal Stamping

Metal stamping is a process that transforms metal sheets into specific shapes. At Advanced Prototype Molding, we offer custom metal stamping for most metals, including copper, aluminum, brass, and carbon steel. We can work with material thicknesses ranging from 0.006 inches to 0.5 inches.

We also offer various secondary services, including:

  • Degreasing
  • Deburring
  • Drilling
  • Heat treating
  • Powder coating
  • Milling
  • Plating
  • Grinding
  • Tapping
  • Riveting
  • Spot and TIG welding
  • Partial or complete assembly

Rapid Prototyping Services from Advanced Prototype Molding

There are many different rapid prototyping techniques you can use to create custom prototypes. The best technique varies according to the type of material, intended end-use, production volume, and budget. At Advanced Prototype Molding, we are experts at producing prototypes and custom molds that match our customers’ needs and budgets. We are accredited by ISO 17021-1 and run an ISO 9001:2015 certified facility. Contact us to find out more about our services and capabilities, or request a quote to start your next project.

Ready To Start Your Next Project?

Certified Logo with ACG

1520 N Old Rand Road Wauconda, IL 60084
Tel: 847-202-4200
Fax: 847-202-4270

Certified Logo with ACG

1520 N Old Rand Road Wauconda, IL 60084
Tel: 847-202-4200
Fax: 847-202-4270

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