No doubt, CNC milling primarily started as a milling method for metals. But now it machines many other materials. And one such common material is plastic.
As the popularity of plastic grows, several industries invest in CNC plastic milling. A significant part of daily accessories uses plastic as a fundamental manufacturing material. However, the most dependent are automobile, construction, and the medical industries.
This article explains everything about plastic CNC milling. How it is valid, what kind of plastics it uses, and everything else worth knowing.
How Is Plastic Milling Different From Other Milling?
CNC is a computerized process. Although many things remain the same for plastic milling, staying well-informed is still good.
The plastic milling machine consists of a milling cutter to craft the final piece. There are two primary milling service machines: the three-axis and the multi-axis mills. CNC milling a plastic part seems easy; there are some things engineers need to keep in mind.
- Firstly, if the targeted material is thermoplastic, it is best to use carbon tooling needles.
- Secondly, undertake the use of clamps. Creating pockets is a good practice for maintaining a secure grip on the workpiece.
Materials Which Serve Best for Plastic Milling
Plastic products are standard in diverse industrial and daily accessories applications. Plastic milling provides an easy, durable, and economical method to manufacture modern plastic parts.
Plastic is a versatile material with different polymers. Let’s take a look at the standard materials.
Polycarbonate is the most successful industrial material due to its heat and impact resistance. Effective PC use lies in bulletproof jackets, automobile dashboards, and Blu-Ray discs. These are some typical applications although, their applications extend far beyond this.
Teflon, chemically known as Polytetrafluoroethylene, is a versatile polymer of plastic. It has earned its reputation due to good chemical resistance, higher elasticity, and non-stick abilities. A commendable application of Teflon is in making non-stick kitchenware.
Nylon is a material with easy washing and drying properties. Moreover, it has good flexibility and thermal resistance. Industries like beverages, automotive and mechanical parts employ plastic CNC milling to manufacture nylon pieces.
POM is short for Polyoxymethane. It is a stiff material with good electrical stability and absorbs less moisture. Typical applications of POM are car locks, showerheads, fuel tanks, etc.
Advantages of Plastic Milling.
It is no hidden secret why plastic earned such a reputation at the industrial level—the sole reason being economy and durability.
However, some other advantages make it a better choice than other materials available.
A one-line explanation about the CNC plastic economy won’t do the job. Other details are necessary as well. Milling metallic parts are not expensive in terms of money but also time. In contrast, milling plastic parts reduces the money expenses and time.
· Easy Prototype Construction
Many manufacturers use plastic because it’s easy to make a plastic prototype compared to other materials. Milling plastic doesn’t use any molds, which is time-consuming yet vital for different materials.
· Good Resistance and Tolerance Levels
When there comes a call for higher tolerance, plastic serves the best. Most industries need high-precision intolerance. And plastic polymers provide that tolerance. Plastic parts are twice more resistant as metallic ones. It earns the CNC plastic milling another edge.
CNC plastic milling has earned a leading role in industries over the last few years. And its advantages justify its popularity. No doubt, there are many advantages that plastic polymers offer. But economy and durability are the two leading factors.
Since many materials are common for plastic milling, careful selection is important for the precise outcome.