Processing cases of CNC plastic prototype and 3D printing transparent prototype

2023-08-31 16:31:00

If you want to make a plastic prototype and have specific requirements for materials, such as transparent PC or PMMA. Then you can only use CNC machining such as CNC milling or CNC turning. Of course, injection molding might also be able to produce this part. However, spending thousands or millions of dollars to build a prototype is unrealistic.

Many plastic prototypes are processed by CNC milling. Common plastic materials such as ABS, PC, PMMA, POM and PA plates can be processed by CNC milling or CNC turning

So what should be paid attention to in plastic transparent prototyping?

  1. Different materials of the same color may have different colors and looks different

The following pictures are white PC, PA and white ABS we took. Although they are all white, they obviously look different in color. So if you have high requirements for the appearance of the products, you need to pay attention to the differences in their colors, especially the products that need to be assembled. It is very likely that even if they are assembled with different materials of the same color, they will look different in the end. of.

At the same time, it should be noted that PA6 nylon material is "self-lubricated" and therefore cannot be bonded to other parts. 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.

  1. Is there any other way to make transparent plastic parts?

As I said at the beginning, if the material had to be PC, the only process to make this prototype would be CNC milling. However, if I only need the prototype to be transparent and there are no material requirements, how can I make this part at the lowest cost?

A new client sent us a few design files with just one sentence. "This needs to be a clear polished PC prototype. There is a part material requirement that is clear Teflon".

As for teflon clear pellets for injection molding and he required quantity only 1 pcs, i email back to confirm the details .after confirmed,i realized the client do not have high requirements for the transparent ,it is a container just need to see the water in side and look inside the part,at same time he have limits budget for it .

After I got this information, I suggested 3D printing the part and then vapor polished. Because 3D printing can create many complex shapes, the cost is usually much lower compared to CNC milling.

Sometimes, if a part is too complex for a CNC milling,the part must be broken into several parts, machined separately, and finally bonded. No matter how strong the bond is, there is a chance that the bonded parts will not be able to hold too heavy. For 3D printing, the disadvantage is that there may be small transparent bubbles in the printed parts, and the materials are quite limited. For SLA, the only material is photosensitive resin, and for SLS, the surface of the finished part is quite rough. , SLS parts can neither be polished nor painted, and the appearance is relatively poor.

If the material must be PC, some parts need to be disassembled and bonded due to the design structure and the limitations of CNC processing itself. In addition, the surface of PC after CNC processing is matte and non-transparent, so in order to make the parts transparent, we must at least vapor polishing. If the requirements for sharpness are very high, the parts must be vapor polished and then polished by hand. In this case we only recommend surface treatment with vapor polished to reduce costs.

If 3D printing (SLA) is used, then we do not need to disassemble and glue the parts, all parts can be processed as a whole and then assembled. But the newly printed parts, even if they are made of transparent material, the parts themselves are hazy and we have to manually polish them to make them transparent.

The final customer chose vapor polishing after 3D printing, which not only saved costs but also achieved a transparent effect.

All in all, choosing the right plastic material is a small detail, but we are always patiently committed to providing the best service to our customers.


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