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Plastic parts processing-Plastic parts milling processing-Professional CNC plastic processing factory

by:Vowin Rapid Prototyping     2023-02-09
Many plastic prototypes are milling machine parts. Common plastics such as ABS, PC, PMMA, POM and PEEK plates can be processed by CNC milling machines or CNC lathes. If you want to make a prototype and have specific requirements for materials, such as transparent PC. Then the processing technology is limited to CNC machining (CNC milling or turning). Of course, injection molding may also be able to produce this part. However, it is not realistic to spend thousands or millions of dollars on a prototype. This article will illustrate the selection of materials for the manufacture of plastic prototypes in real life, inspired by real projects. (For the sake of confidentiality, the name, company and product will be anonymous.) 1. When choosing a plastic prototype part material, you need to pay attention to whether the same color of different materials is the same. An old customer came to us to inquire about a new prototype. The material requirement for three of these parts is white PA6 (Nylon). Two of the parts need to be glued together and the two parts need to be sanded. However, as some of you may know, nylon material is“self-lubricated“Physical and therefore cannot be bonded to other components. And nylon material is not recommended to be polished, due to the characteristics of the material itself, the surface of the polished nylon part will become rougher than the machined surface. Therefore, the customer replaced the two parts that need to be bonded with a white PC that can be sanded and bonded. However, since this customer is very concerned about the appearance of the prototype, if all the parts need to be displayed to important customers after assembly, then the parts Color must be consistent. The problem is that even though the PC and Nylon materials are both white, they are slightly different in white. The photos below were taken by me to show our clients the difference. As shown in the photo above, although they are both white in color, they are a little different in reality. This is just a small detail, but if the appearance is really important to a prototype, for example, the prototype is going to be presented to an important customer or exhibited at an exhibition, then this small detail cannot be ignored. Back to the story, after seeing the photos, the customer changed all the parts to white ABS. 2. Is there any other way to make clear plastic parts? As I said at the beginning, if the material has to be PC, the only process to make this prototype is CNC milling. However, if I only need the prototype to be transparent, and the material is not required, how can I make this part at the lowest cost? A new client sent us a few design files with just one word.”This needs to be a transparent polished PC prototype. One part material requirement is transparent Teflon”(For reasons of confidentiality, some real information has been withheld). Since the information was fairly simple and there was no clear Teflon sheet (only Teflon clear pellets for injection molding), I called the mobile number the customer had left. After communication, I learned that the whole part needs to hold about 5 gallons of water, and the material of the prototype is not necessarily PC. All parts can be other transparent materials. Customers want to spend as little money as possible to make a prototype, mainly to test the function of the whole part. This part doesn't have to be very transparent. Just look inside the part. If the cost of making a transparent part is too high, it is acceptable if the part is not transparent. After I got this information, I suggested to 3D print the part and polish it by hand. Because 3D printing can make many complex shapes, the cost is usually much lower compared to CNC milling. Sometimes, if a part is too complex for a CNC mill, the part must be broken into sections, machined separately, and glued at the end. No matter how strong the bond is, the bonded part may not be able to hold that much water. For 3D printing, the disadvantage is that the printed part may have small transparent air bubbles inside, and the material is quite limited, for SLA, the only material is photosensitive resin, and for SLS, the finished part has a rather rough surface , The parts of SLS can neither be polished nor painted, and the appearance is relatively poor. After an initial review of the design by myself and the engineering team, we provided the customer with five machining options. Fumigate CNC PC, not fumigate CNC PC, polish after 3D printing, not polish after 3D printing, and only polish one part after 3D printing. In addition, several samples photos were sent to customers. In this particular case, if the material must be PC, some parts need to be disassembled and bonded due to the design structure and the limitation of CNC machining itself. We provided the customer with a very specific disassembly and bonding plan (taking into account the fact that the part needs to hold approximately 5 gallons of water). In addition, the surface of PC after CNC machining is matte and non-transparent, so in order to make the part transparent, we must at least fumigate. If clarity is critical, parts must be fumigated before hand polishing. In this case, we only recommend surface treatment by fumigation to reduce costs. If 3D printing (SLA) is used, then we don't need to disassemble and glue, all parts can be machined as a whole and then assembled. But freshly printed parts, even with transparent material, the part itself is foggy and we have to hand polish it to make it transparent. Among the five options, the highest cost is fumigated CNC PC, while the lowest is no polishing after 3D printing. After seeing all our proposals, the client decided on the option of 3D printing and polishing a part. The design of the part has been verified, and now the customer is preparing for the formal production of the part: injection molding. Summary In conclusion, while choosing the right plastic material is a small detail in the above projects, we always patiently strive to provide the best service to our customers.
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