With the use of plastic components continuing to grow, it is becoming increasingly difficult for many fabrication and machine shops to ignore it. While some will continue to specialize in metal, others will see the benefits of including CNC plastic machining in their arsenal. This can prove to be advantageous for the machine shop, although, like any form of machining, it is imperative to consider the factors that will affect choosing the right plastic.
Factors to Consider
Plastic is a generic term. It embraces all types that fall within this category of material. However, not all plastics are the same. Always remember this when looking at producing a component from this material. Other factors to note are:
Heat and chemical sensitivity
Specific techniques required to hold workpieces in place without exerting excessive pressure
Routing remains the preferred method of removing material. However, issues can occur if the process is too slow or inefficient
It is important machinists select the right equipment. Combining proper tools with the right plastic helps to ensure the outcome of the procedure.
Advantages of CNC Plastic Machining
Using plastic instead of metal does offer certain advantages. Many of them are economic; others are functional.
Chemical, weather, and dent resistant
Transportation/shipping cost reductions due to material weight
Results in a longer tool life at machine shops
Environmentally friendly with material recyclability and less waste
Overall, plastic machining, especially when it involves sophisticated CNC equipment, provides machine shops, fabricators, and manufacturers with several benefits.
CNC Plastic Machining
Plastic is an integrated and even integral part of today’s world. Whether you are a machinist, consumer or manufacturer, plastic affects how you work and live. More and more machine shops are utilizing plastic to produce components for diverse industries. They see CNC plastic machining as one further way they can increase their market share while continuing to provide quality and precision work for their customers.