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RIM vs. Urethane casting

RIM (Reaction Injection Molding) and urethane casting both offer freedom when it comes to design — both can be efficient production methods and both are inexpensive. So which should you go with?

Design in details

Both processes allow for a great deal of detail in a design, including the ability to encapsulate parts or other materials. RIM allows for different thicknesses from .125″ to 1.125” on the same piece, which really adds to functionality. RIM processes also produce stronger parts through their use of thermoset materials.

Encapsulation

If it’s important to protect systems in electronics or vulnerable areas in a mechanical application, encapsulation can save the day.

A beautiful finish

Retail products often need to appeal to customers. Both RIM and urethane cast products can be painted or textured to look the way you want.

What’s your volume?

Urethane casting is the better choice for a short run, but those silicon molds won’t stand up to a large run. Unless you’re staying under 25 pieces, consider a RIM process.

Lead time

We give two thumbs up for RIM and urethane casting in this case. Combined with rapid prototyping in development and the ease with which molds can be produced, both processes can shorten the lead time and push the products to the market quickly.

Tooling

Urethane casting beats RIM in this instance. Modifications are also cheap with urethane casting, but final production parts often come from RIM processes because of the more durable molds.

More design benefits

Urethane molds can be used for a long time, but eventually they will need to be replaced by expensive permanent tooling. RIM often serves as a better bridge between the prototype and final production tooling and can be less expensive.

It’s no secret that manufacturing processes can be difficult. Working with skilled and experienced professionals can make the difference, so talk to Product Development Solutions about your next project today.

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