Plastic Machining

TRUSTED BY OVER 1K+ COMPANIES

abb customer
electrolux customer
Flir Client 3ERP
Tesla Customer
BMW Customer
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Bombardier Customer

3D printing processes such as FDM, SLA and SLS are today considered the most economic way to make plastic prototypes. Sometimes, however, certain non-printable materials are needed, and sometimes CNC machining is the only option. Our company has rich experience making plastic concept models and precise functional components. Understanding the properties of different plastics, with lots of testing and experimentation with pre-heating, tool paths and other factors, we are able to minimize deformation on plastics such as PP, PA (nylon), PE, POM (Delrin), etc. 3ERP provides a range of solutions for the machining of plastic parts.

Plastic Machining Processes

CNC Machining Plastics

Milling Plastic

CNC milling is the common processes to machine plastic prototype or production parts from solid blocks.
Lathe Plastic

Lathe Plastic

CNC lathes and swiss machines are the most efficient machine to make round shaped plastic parts from bars or tubes.
2k+
customers
Served
29+
countries
Served
1M+
Parts
Made
20+
Years
In Business

Advantages of plastic machining

The Top 3 Reasons:

Mold-free
Mold-free

One of the main advantages of plastic machining — especially for prototypes and short-run production — is its ability to create parts without molds or support structures. The most expensive part of injection molding is creating the metal tooling; with CNC machining, however, that stage is not required.

1
Adaptable
Adaptable

Because machined plastic parts are made directly from a plastic sheet or rod using a digital file, it is easy for engineers to make small modifications to the digital design between iterations. And since they do not have to make new tooling, there is little cost involved in upgrading and updating the part.

2
Precise
Precise

The range of machine tools allows for total control over a part’s final appearance, offering fine trimming and cutting capabilities not available to injection molding or 3D printing equipment. Machined parts are also free from 3D printer layer lines and seams from injection molding parting lines, which can be unsightly to view.

3

See why Our Customers love us

“ 3ERP is the most reliable plastic molding company we have used. After seven orders, they haven’t let us down in terms of quality or delivery. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to other companies looking for rapid-molded parts.”

quotes
Devin W Vice President
Devin W
Vice President

“ I had a project with a couple of complex plastic molding parts. 3ERP took care of it without any fuss: DFM confirmation, T1 samples confirmation, then the final parts arrived quickly. Overall, working with them was really easy.”

quotes
Project Manager Darko
Darko S
Project Manager

“ Thanks for shipping out our molding parts so quickly! Quality was high, as expected, and the laser engraving and pad printing finishes were especially good. We plan to use 3ERP again for plastic moldings.”

quotes
Mark Peterson - Outsourcing Manager
Mark Peterson
Outsourcing Manager

Machinable plastics

  • ABS
  • PC
  • PC/ABS
  • PP
  • PS
  • POM
  • PMMA
  • PEI
  • PA
  • PA-GF30
  • PC-GF30
  • Teflon (PTFE)
  • PE
  • HDPE
  • PPS
  • PEEK
machining plastics



Get Your Plastic Machining Parts Done

in 4 Simple Steps

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Upload a CAD File

To start, simply fill in a few information and upload a 3D CAD file.

1
analysis file
Quote & Design Analysis

You'll receive a quote shortly, and we'll send you design for manufacturability (DFM) analysis if necessary

2
Order Confirmation icon
Order Confirmation

Once you review the quote and place your order, we'll start the CNC manufacturing process, and surface finishing afterward as well if needed

3
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Parts are Shipped!

Your CNC prototypes or production CNC machining parts will be inspected and delivered straight to your doorstep

4


Applications of plastic CNC machining


automotive pmma prototype

Automotive

CNC milled plastic parts are very popular in the automotive industry, especially for automobile lighting.When making an outer lens cover, for example, a 3D printed SLA prototype only provides about 60% transparency when compared with a CNC machined PMMA prototype. Marks left by the printer can be a major problem, while SLA printing materials are not as effective as PMMA block.
Light guides are also suited to machining, since they require optical details such as prisms, teeth and other tiny shapes.

3ERP Industrial plastic machining

Industrial

CNC machining is widely used for small and medium-size high-strength components like pulleys, clamps and levers, which can be made from engineering plastics.
The process is particularly valuable for parts in custom machinery, where mass production using injection molding would be economically inefficient.

Electronics plastic machining

Electronics

CNC machining is commonly used within the electronics industry to create plastic parts for goods such as semiconductors, IoT equipment and consumer electronics.
Many electronic devices are contained within machined plastic enclosures, while CNC machining is also highly useful for the rapid prototyping of various electronic components.

Medical Devices plastic machining

Medical Devices

CNC machining is frequently used to make plastic parts for the medical industry. These include medicine dispenser components, handles for surgical tools and components for electronic medical devices.

 3erp Consumer products

Consumer Products

Consumer products, including household goods, appliances and even sporting goods and toys, are frequently made with CNC machined plastic components.
In addition to the prototyping of parts, CNC machining can be used to fabricate items such as custom models, enclosures, jigs and fixtures.


When to use CNC machining instead of 3D printing

01

When plastic parts need to be large and solid. These parts can take hours to 3D print, while it takes just a few minutes to mill them from a sheet or rod with a CNC machine.

02

When special material is needed. If you design a component in a material like PVC, POM, PEI or PEEK, there is virtually no way to 3D print them, since reliable and affordable printing formulations of these plastics are not yet available. Instead, we can get blocks and bars of the materials, which can be used for CNC machining.

03

When concept models or functional prototypes need a high-quality surface finish. The 3D printing process leaves layer marks on the surface of part that can be difficult to remove. But since we can achieve surfaces of Ra 0.2 from milling, we save a lot of time on finishing.

04

When parts have tiny details that can only be made from CNC machining. Some small details are not suited to printing. For example, lots of optical patterns are designed with a small radius, and with CNC milling we can achieve radii as small as R 0.05 mm.

machinable project machinable project
finsihes image

Surface finishes

Although machined plastics are not as amenable to surface finishing procedures as machined metals, there are still several options for altering and improving the surface appearance of a plastic part.

All machinable plastics can be finished with a selection of finishes such as basic smoothing or bead blasting, while certain plastics can be treated with high-gloss polishing, brushing, painting, chroming or metallizing, allowing for a diverse range of finishes across different plastic machined parts. 3ERP can guide you to the right surface finish if you are unsure.


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