Machined Plastic Parts: Precision Engineering Solutions

  • Accelerate product development
  • 3-5 days to finish samples.
  • Prototype to production made easy

Precision and Quality – Right Down to the Smallest Detail.

18 Years Manufacturing Experience

For nearly two decades, we have been creating high-quality precision CNC plastic parts.

Multi-axis CNC equipment

We utilize advanced equipment to easily solve complex shaped parts with an accuracy of ±0.005mm.

Multiple plastic materials

ABS, PC, PEEK, HDPE, Nylon, PC, Delrin, PTFE, Teflon, PVC, etc.

Introduction: The Power of Machined Plastic Parts

Machined plastic parts transform industries with their precision and versatility. These components start as solid plastic blocks. Through CNC machining, turning, and milling, they become intricate parts. They serve critical roles in aerospace, medical, automotive, and electronics fields. Their significance cannot be overstated. Each industry benefits from the tailored properties of plastics. These include durability, corrosion resistance, and lightweight.

Furthermore, the ability to machine complex geometries allows for innovation in design and functionality. As we explore the world of machined plastic parts, we uncover their impact across applications. They not only meet but often exceed the demands of modern engineering challenges.

CNC Plastic Machining

Understanding Machined Plastic Parts

Machined plastic parts are precision-engineered components created by cutting away material from a solid plastic block. This process, utilizing CNC machining, turning, and milling, stands out for its ability to produce intricate designs and tight tolerances. Unlike other manufacturing methods, machining offers unparalleled precision and flexibility.

Comparing Manufacturing Techniques

When we contrast machining with injection molding and 3D printing, several differences emerge. Injection molding is ideal for high-volume production but lacks the customization and precision machining offers. On the other hand, 3D printing excels in prototyping and complex geometries but often falls short in material strength and finish quality. Machining bridges these gaps, delivering high-precision parts with excellent material properties and surface finishes.

Plastic Machining Materials
Injection Molding Plastic
1_TEfxlZBGHeZUpHnbLue5Tg

The Advantages of Machined Parts

The benefits of using machined parts in engineering are significant. Firstly, machining allows for the use of a wide range of plastics, each offering unique properties suited to specific applications. This material versatility ensures engineers can select the optimal plastic for their project's requirements. Secondly, the precision and accuracy of machined parts are unparalleled, critical for industries where even a minor discrepancy can lead to significant consequences. Lastly, the flexibility of machining processes enables customization and rapid prototyping, allowing engineers to iterate designs quickly and efficiently.

  • Have questions? Our experts are here to help.

    Send us your inquiry to get started!

Types of Plastics Used in Machining

Machining allows for the use of a diverse range of plastics, each with unique properties suited to different engineering applications. Here’s an overview of some common plastics and their characteristics.

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)

  • Properties: Good strength, toughness, and impact resistance. Easily machinable and affordable.
  • Applications: Widely used for functional prototypes, automotive components, and consumer goods.

Polycarbonate

  • Properties: Outstanding impact resistance, temperature tolerance, and clarity. It also offers good electrical insulation.
  • Applications: Ideal for transparent applications, protective gear, and parts requiring high durability.

PEEK (Polyether Ether Ketone)

  • Properties: Exceptional heat resistance, chemical resistance, and mechanical properties. It is also biocompatible.
  • Applications: Suitable for aerospace, medical implants, and high-temperature engineering applications.

Nylon (Polyamide)

  • Properties: High strength, wear resistance, and toughness. It also has good chemical resistance.
  • Applications: Commonly used in gears, bearings, and parts requiring high durability and low friction.
Acetal (Delrin) Plastic Machining Parts
PMMA -Plastic Machining Parts
POM
Nylon (PA)

PMMA (Polymethyl Methacrylate or Acrylic)

  • Properties: Excellent optical clarity, UV resistance, and good impact strength, albeit lower than Polycarbonate.
  • Applications: Used in lenses, displays, and transparent covers where clarity is essential.

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

  • Properties: Good electrical insulation, chemical resistance, and mechanical properties. Available in rigid and flexible forms.
  • Applications: Used in pipes, medical devices, and electrical cable insulation.

PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene, Teflon)

  • Properties: Outstanding chemical resistance, temperature resistance, and low friction. Non-stick surface.
  • Applications: Suitable for seals, gaskets, and parts in chemical handling applications.

Acetal (Polyoxymethylene, POM)

  • Properties: High stiffness, low friction, and excellent dimensional stability. Good wear resistance.
  • Applications: Ideal for precision gears, bearings, and components requiring tight tolerances.
POM PLASTIC MACHINING PARTS
PMMA plastic machining parts
PTFE Plastic CNC MACHINING PARTS
NYLON PLASTIC MACHINING PARTS

Machining Processes Explained

The machining of plastic parts employs various processes, each with its unique capabilities and advantages. Understanding these processes—CNC machining, turning, and milling—is crucial for selecting the most appropriate method for a given application.

CNC turning stainless steel machining service
CNC Turning

Advantages:

  • Efficient for producing parts with symmetrical shapes around an axis
  • High surface finish quality
  • Relatively quick and cost-effective for round or cylindrical parts

When to Use: Turning is best suited for parts that are cylindrical or have rotational symmetry, especially when they require a high degree of accuracy and surface finish.

6061 Aluminum CNC Machining Parts
CNC Milling

Advantages:

  • Can produce a wide variety of shapes and features
  • Suitable for complex or irregular parts
  • Can be used for both flat and curved surfaces

When to Use: Milling is versatile and well-suited for parts with complex geometries or those that require features like pockets, channels, or intricate contours.

5 axis CNC machining China Manufacturer
CNC Machining

Advantages:

  • High precision and repeatability
  • Capable of producing complex shapes and intricate details
  • Versatile — suitable for plastics and metals

When to Use: CNC machining is ideal for prototypes and low-to-medium volume production where complexity, precision, and a smooth surface finish are critical.

Considerations for Machining Plastic vs. Metal Parts

Machining plastics requires a different approach than metals due to their unique properties:

  • Material Behavior: Plastics are generally softer and less stable thermally than metals. This can lead to challenges with precision and surface finish due to material deformation.
  • Tool Selection: Sharp tools with high rake angles and proper clearance are essential to prevent plastic from melting or chipping during machining.
  • Cooling and Lubrication: Unlike metals, many plastics are sensitive to traditional coolants. In some cases, air blasts or specialized coolants may be required to prevent material warping or distortion.
  • Feed Rate and Speed: Optimal machining of plastics often involves higher feed rates and lower speeds to minimize heat build-up, which can cause melting or warping.

Ready to transform your ideas into reality?

Click here to send us your project inquiry now!

Applications of Machined Plastic Parts

Machined plastic parts play a pivotal role in various industries, offering customized solutions where metal parts may not be viable due to weight, conductivity, or cost concerns. Below are examples illustrating how these parts fulfill critical roles in aerospace, medical devices, and automotive applications, each showcasing unique challenges and innovative solutions.

Aerospace: High-Performance Components

Case Study: Use of PEEK in Aircraft Systems

Role and Benefits: In the aerospace industry, weight reduction is crucial for fuel efficiency and performance. PEEK, known for its high strength-to-weight ratio and resistance to chemicals and high temperatures, is used for components like bushings, seals, and electrical connectors. Its lightweight nature contributes significantly to overall aircraft efficiency.

Challenges and Solutions: The primary challenge was machining PEEK into complex shapes while maintaining tight tolerances required for aerospace components. Advanced CNC machining techniques were employed, with specialized tooling to prevent material warping and ensure precision. The solution showcased the material's versatility and the machining process's adaptability to meet aerospace standards.

PEEK in Aircraft Systems Machined Plastic Parts
Medical Devices: Precision and Biocompatibility

Case Study: Nylon Surgical Tools

Role and Benefits: Nylon's strength, sterilization compatibility, and lower cost make it an excellent material for disposable surgical tools. These tools are precisely machined to meet the strict geometrical requirements of medical devices, ensuring patient safety and surgical efficacy.

Challenges and Solutions: Achieving the necessary precision for medical tools was challenging, especially for complex, small-sized components. The solution involved utilizing high-precision CNC machines and optimizing tool paths to reduce machining time while maintaining the integrity of the delicate features. This approach ensured the production of reliable, high-quality surgical tools.

Nylon Surgical Tools Machined Plastic Parts
Automotive: Durability and Cost-Effectiveness

Case Study: Acetal Gear Components

Role and Benefits: In the automotive sector, durability and noise reduction are key. Acetal is used for gear components in power windows and seat adjusters, offering excellent wear resistance, low friction, and minimal noise during operation. Its machinability allows for the cost-effective production of these complex parts.

Challenges and Solutions: The main challenge was designing gears that could withstand long-term use without failure. Through careful selection of acetal grades and optimization of the machining processes, engineers were able to produce gears that met the automotive industry's rigorous durability standards. This included adjusting machining parameters to achieve the optimal surface finish and strength.

Acetal Gear Components Machined Plastic Parts
Start Your Project with RALLY Today

Ready to elevate your projects with the precision and quality of RALLY's stainless steel machining services? Our team is here to turn your vision into reality. Contact us today to discuss your needs and discover how we can support your success.

By email or online form

Send your 2D/3D drawings

FAQs: Machined Plastic Parts

General Questions:

Small group of young people at a business meeting in a cafe

Request a Quote

Looking for a custom solution? Our quote request process is straightforward and accessible.

Simply fill out our online form with your project details, and a member of our team will get back to you promptly to discuss your project in detail and provide a comprehensive quote.

Click or drag files to this area to upload. You can upload up to 6 files.
Scroll to Top