Which Plastic Fabrication Process is Best For Your Project?
Just as you can form plastic into many different shapes, so too are there a variety of plastic fabrication processes. Each process works with specific types of plastic, designs, tolerances, and the number of parts to be made. Therefore, based on what you want to make and the type of plastic you use, it is best to choose the right process for your needs. To help you make the right choice here are the various types of plastic fabrication processes and what you should use them for.
CNC machining involves computer software telling machines and tools how to cut plastic into parts. The computer program ensures that the machine makes the plastic parts quickly and efficiently. You can program it to create a range of complex shapes from plastic sheets, rods, and tube stock. In terms of plastic fabrication processes this achieves high levels of accuracy in making complex plastic shapes. CNC machining offers precise measurements, high production rates, less labour needed, and uniformity in created objects.
Manual Milling & Turning
Manual milling is still the most tried and tested of all the plastic fabrication processes. While CNC milling and turning are more popular due to their accuracy and efficiency, manual milling and turning still have their own benefits. Manual machines tend to be less costly than CNC ones, and often require less space. Also, manual milling and turning needs no programming and requires less steps to produce a part. Manual machines work best for new businesses in the industry, smaller projects and as a backup when CNC machines fail.
The process of die cutting involves cutting the plastic material into unique shapes with a special cutting tool known as a die. Die cutting can come in many forms, from rotary die cutting that uses unique parts to laser die cutting which can make plastic shapes very quickly. Die cutting is very flexible, low cost and fast when it comes to making more than one copy of a part. It also leaves less waste compared to other methods and works best for textiles and for printing.
Thermoforming involves heating a plastic sheet either using air pressure or a vacuum, then shaping it over a mould to create a part. Compared to many plastic fabrication processes, thermoforming is low cost and has faster turnaround times. This method also offers flexibility in design and more material options than other processes. A range of industries use this process such as for making cars, signs and building products.
Fabrication and Assembly
When it comes to plastic fabrication processes, there are many ways of joining different parts. These include adhesive bonding, solvent and hot gas welding, and more. We use these methods for more complex composite parts such as machinery, gas tanks and insulators.
Here at TK Fabrications we can offer you a wide range of solutions to create the plastic and composite parts you need. To find out more about our precision machining services we invite you to get in touch with us today.