Plastic Machining:Design Considerations For Plastic Prototypes

What design considerations are necessary when purchasing plastic prototypes with full function?

In order to get to market fast, plastic prototypes should be fully functional. Plastic prototypes with full function of course offer the same tight tolerances and high precision as do plastic machined components, as they are one in the same. Simply fast, fully functional plastic prototypes are made in order to meet stricter deadlines, and are often ordered in smaller quantities. When ordering plastic machined prototypes, the considerations are the same as when ordering production plastic machined parts. The design specifications for production plastic machining and fast plastic prototypes are as follows:

Design Considerations For Plastic Prototypes and Plastic Machining

-Thermosensitivity – tolerance can change in different temperature conditions
-Sensitivity to humidity and hygroscopic absorption affects tolerance
-Sensitivity to chemicals and oils
-Notch sensitive corners and square ID’s
-Tolerances
-High loads
-High impact
-Fatigue loading or cycle loading requires consideration of flexing, deflecting, and compression
-Temperature – max/min extent of time
-Electrical considerations such as insulating properties
-Wear resistance or abrasion resistance
-Dimensional shape retention (load, cold flow, temperature)
-Regulatory requirements (FDA, UL, etc.)
-Appearance (color, texture)
-Optical requirements
-Outdoor use

Now that you’ve identified the important factors in your application, evaluate material specs in the Free Plastic Properties Handbook and select your material!

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