Even if plastics have not had a good press in the last few months, it should be remembered that they have surrounded us for a very long time, and are so much a part of our daily lives that we forget to what extent plastics have become indispensable.
If plastic has succeeded in supplanting a good part of other materials, it is mainly thanks to the astonishing properties that the multitude of plastic types offers us. Today, we manage to respond to almost all user problems with one or other of the existing ranges on the market, and a phenomenal quantity of new references appear on the market year after year to respond to new constraints and new user needs in terms of transparency, impact resistance, elasticity, etc.).
Plastics are so important in our daily lives that many processes have been developed to shape the basic material; moulding, shaping, thermoforming, blowing, machining, etc.
Plastics are very often shaped using mass production processes, allowing the same part to be manufactured several tens of thousands of times, while being highly repeatable.
We master several of these techniques, and we would like to talk about plastic machining, which allows us to start from a plastic block or rod, and to machine or cut it to give it a desired shape.
Plastic machining is quite easy, because the material generally presents few constraints, and the great diversity of sources of supply and types of plastic allow us to meet your aesthetic and/or technical expectations.
Finally, you should know that plastic is evolving, and allows you to work in different ways depending on the quantities (non-exhaustive list, but which gives some ideas):
Prototype or small series of parts: 3D Printing or Machining - No fixed costs at launch, and short lead time for a small quantity of parts. However, part prices are quite high because production times are long.
Small & medium series: Thermoforming or plastic sheet metal - Technical solutions linked to low fixed costs (low-cost tools/jigs) and controlled production costs, often more interesting than machining or thermoforming. However, the share of labor remains quite important.
Large series: Plastic injection/blow molding - These technical solutions have the advantage of having relatively low part costs, excellent repeatability and the possibility of easily automating the production line. It is also possible to meet large part requirements very easily. However, both technologies have high fixed costs (machine start-up costs / initial tooling costs, etc.).
Transparent machined plastic parts
Plastic machining is an ideal solution when it comes to making prototypes and/or small series of parts. Its enormous advantage is that machining has no fixed start-up costs (or very low costs compared to other forming processes).
It is therefore an ideal solution if you are in the development phase of a product, and that this one is likely to evolve. Machining allows you to produce different versions of the same product, in a very short time, and with attractive prices!
Our integrated design offices also allow us to ensure the development of the product, and the different iterations that you may wish to do.
If you also want to test and validate the geometry of a plastic part before launching a production tool, machining is a good solution, because it allows you to obtain a realistic plastic sample while avoiding too high fixed costs (injection tool for example).
It is a solution that we often use internally in the development of our serial products with our customers. As a plastic designer/mould maker/injector, we systematically produce one or more validation parts via 3D printing and/or machining. These make it possible to ensure that the part meets your expectations, is well designed, has a consistent grip, etc.
This solution allows us to reduce as much as possible the retouching on the serial tooling which can lead to premature wear of the tooling, unexpected over-costs, and delays in your production deadlines.
Another advantage of plastic is its ease of supply; the number of references and suppliers is almost unlimited, which will always allow us to ensure a consistent supply, and meet your expectations (bar - plates - sheets - panels - etc.).
This allows us to limit the costs of material purchase, to reduce waste, to optimize the machining costs, as well as time. You will thus have a cheap plastic machining solution ...and adapted to your needs!
Plastic is a "soft" material. Machining is therefore "easy", the tools do not wear out too much (provided you choose the right ones), and allow fast roughing speeds.
These elements therefore limit the machining time and its cost impact.
Finally, our great diversity in terms of machines, within our 5 machining sites, always allows us to choose the best solution in terms of size, speed and orientation (3/5 axes).
We are thus competing with ourselves, to offer you the best solution, and to ensure you a good reactivity and an excellent price for the machining of all your plastic parts!
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