CNC Machining Plastics Trump Moulded Plastics

December 11th, 2014

It’s the 21st century, and there are more choices available than ever before to our industrial clients. In the case of plastic, this means being able to offer precisely customized manufacturing processes with an output material that can satisfy any list of parameters. Features present no obstacle and goals are attainable with an attached timeline that highlights expert productivity, but there are still measurable ingredients that set plastics manufacturers apart. One of those factors relates to procedural performance, the utilization of machinery associated with a task. As a case study, try comparing the injection moulding of plastic against a machined plastic environment. Machined plastic doesn’t compete with the paint-by-numbers process that is injection moulding, and it doesn’t attempt to, not when the process is built to match an alternative fabrication goal, that of creating super-precise prototypes and quickly changing the configuration of the machinery to run out a second or third generation of the prototype.

We’re perhaps being ingenuous regarding the capabilities of injection moulding. The method has many merits, not leastwise the ability to create a part with repeatability, thus designating the machinery as being ideal for bulk orders. Still, the addition of a CNC machining station within such a facility, or even a satellite department in another location, adds dimension to the work cycle. Instead of mindlessly baking and making parts, the company has the wherewithal to adapt the part, to model it as a prototype on a computer simulation program and continue this process until the part is finalized. At this point, the part moves onward to the bulk stage, that of injection moulding.

Subtractive CNC prototyping includes the following benefits
• Subtractive process uses single blocks of plastic
• Bypasses issues such as feed defects and fluid freezes
• No expensive mould to construct
• Adaptable by altering tool paths
• Faster turnaround time for greater productivity, especially in smaller projects

These two techniques are both well-defined factory options, and they’re not in competition with each other. They both have their place. As one would suspect, CNC tooling creates far more precise parts, components that meet or exceed dimensional constraints, but this model of operation isn’t geared toward mass production. On the other hand, material provision for an injection moulding operation is an all-in-one technique, a series of stages that goes from the introduction of resins and melted plastics to the pressurized introduction of the material into a mould. There are many variable to be aware of in the technique, but once all wrinkles have been worked out, the machinery can run for days-on-end. In the long run, choose CNC machining for unequalled production of limited runs and superior design versatility.

Get in touch with Industrial Plastic Solutions

Mobile: 0400967210
Phone: (03) 9798 1153
Fax No: (03) 9798 1915
Address: Factory-20, 29-39 Kirkham Road West, Keysborough VIC-3173

Business Hours:
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Friday 8.30am to 3.30pm
Saturdays by appointment only.

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