Whereas achieving the desired finish for machined metals is a fairly straightforward process, techniques for machining plastic aren’t as well understood. Further, plastic machining volumes don’t nearly approach those of plastic injection molding, so the information available is relatively limited.
When engineers are faced with designing a plastic part that must be machined – because of low quantities, close tolerances, and/or unusual shape – they’ll usually turn to a machining data handbook and attempt to apply standard principles. That’s when trouble arises.
This paper discusses the key factors to consider in to successfully address the challenges of selecting the right materials, proper dimensional tolerancing, handling, and other concerns by choosing the right shop for the manufacture of your unique plastic parts.