In plastic CNC machining (Digital Computer Control), the part is manufactured by machining in the mass of a plastic block by digital milling machines. This rapid prototyping technology is suitable for unit production in the context of functional testing.
CNC machining of plastic prototype parts is a so-called “subtractive” method because there is removal of material. A wide selection of resins allows parts to be obtained in the “right material”, thus allowing mechanical properties close to the injection-moulded part (ABS, PC, PP, PVC, POM, PMMA, PA 6/66).
This is the most efficient and economical technology for the rapid manufacturing of fewer than ten prototypes or plastic models.
Technical details of CNC plastic machining
The machines used in CNC plastic machining are milling machines with 3 axes with digital control. They are automated and controlled by a computer that determines the path of the cutter according to the 3D file to be created. In plastic CNC machining, no moulds are needed, thus reducing the costs and startup times. The machines can design several identical copies and thus obtain the same quality for all copies of a lot, but few economies of scale are possible. The wide choice of thermoplastics and metals allows parts to be obtained with the desired physical properties.
The most distinctive aspect of this process is the fact that the parts are manufactured from the “right material”. They therefore respect the mechanical properties of the injection-moulded part (ABS, PC, PP, PVC, POM, PMMA, PA 6/66) as closely as possible. Plastic CNC machining is therefore suitable for unit production in the context of not only visual but also functional tests. In addition, we are able to offer a wide range of finishes. After machining, the parts are polished to remove any rough edges. Our workshop can paint the parts in all colours of the RAL and PANTONE ranges. Our team also provides parts machined from metals, such as aluminium or brass. Transparent parts can also be made with PMMA or PC machining. For more information on the capabilities of our workshop in plastic parts machining, please visit our pages “materials”, “finishes”, “standards” and “applications”.
Value of plastic CNC machining
CNC plastic machining can create very similar parts to series parts. It is often more efficient and faster than other rapid prototyping technologies for the manufacture of a quantity of plastic prototypes between 1 and 10 parts (low volume plastic parts production). We also recommend plastic CNC machining for parts with large sizes (greater than 600 mm).
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