There are several different options to consider in the formation of plastic parts and components. For relatively simple shapes and forms, plastic extrusion can be an effective option. This is a relatively fast process which is ideal when tight tolerances and precision shapes are not essential.
Another option to consider is injection molding for plastic parts. This is often done for mass produced types of plastics in simple to moderately complex shapes and forms. There is a range of different applications for these parts, including the manufacturing of very precise types of plastic parts and components for medical devices, aerospace applications and even in the telecommunication industry.
The third option and one that offers extreme precision with highly complex parts as well as simple shapes and components are CNC plastic machining. Unlike the first two options mentioned, machining starts with a solid piece of plastic and then removes the surface material to create the shape.
Through the use of CNC or computer numerical control equipment, this machining process can be done to extremely tight tolerances. With an exact replication of the pathway and the speed of the cutting tool, the rotation or position of the workpiece, and all other elements of the process, there are unlimited options in drilling, boring, turning, milling and other machining operations.
Utilizing CNC plastic machining, wall thicknesses and complex shapes can be created in the same workpiece. Depending on the specific equipment used, it may be possible to create highly complex parts and components on a multi-axis machining center.
With just a single process and the use of one piece of equipment to create the complex forms, CNC plastic machining can be a very cost-effective option. It can also dramatically reduce turnaround times on large or small orders, and can easily be scaled up from prototyping to full production.