Rubber-Like Materials

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 is a additive manufacturing process where a printer head precisely deposits a UV-curable resin to construct parts from a 3D CAD file.

  • Process: PJ3D
  • Material: Rubber-like
  • Advantages: Quick lead times; great for test fits and one-off prototypes; relatively inexpensive; incredible accuracy with tolerances as low as +/- 0.0035” or +/- 0.0005” per inch (+/- 0.013mm or +/- 0.09mm)
  • Shore A Values: PolyJet can print in black Shore A 27, 40, 50, 60, 70, 85, and 95. Shore A values range from very soft on the lower numbers and more firm on the higher numbers.
  • Disadvantages: Fragile for small features; tears easily (it does not stretch like rubber); removing support material may restrict freedom of design. Shore values may soften if in a humid or heated environment.

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.

  • Process: Urethane Casting
  • Material: Urethane; Silicone (available upon request)
  • Advantages: End-use durability; abrasion and tear resistant; color matching; different surface finish options;  parts can be up to 30” (762mm) long
  • Shore A Values: Standard is Shore A 65 but other durometers can be easily met and matched for ultimate customization.
  • Disadvantages: Longer lead times than PJ3D; more expensive due to up front pattern and tooling costs
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