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Plastics are generally low cost, easy to manufacture, durable, strong for their weight, electrically and thermally insulative, and resistant to shock, corrosion, chemicals, and water.
Plastic materials include polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS), high impact polystyrene (HIPS), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyester (PES), polyamides (PA) (Nylons), poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC), polyurethane (PU), polycarbonate (PC), and polyethylene (PE).
The name Plastic is derived from the Greek word plastikos, which means able to be shaped. Plastic materials consist of long chain molecules (polymers). Available in many colors and in transparent form, plastics can be rubbery or rigid. Plastic shapes include sheet, rod, hex, pipe, cubes, balls, and tubes.
Mills use rotating tools to cut material into almost any 3D shape. CNC Mills can work with tight tolerances.
Waterjets mainly cut sheet material into 2D parts using a high-pressure stream of water and abrasive. Waterjet cutting is suitable for most materials and yields clean edges.
3D Printing (aka Rapid Prototyping) is an additive manufacturing process. It’s often used for testing designs and quick-turn low-volume 3D parts.
CNC Lathes feed cutting tools into rotating material. Turning is mainly used to produce precise, cylindrical parts.
Injection Molding produces parts by forcing molten polymer material into a mold. It’s the most economical process for producing high volumes of plastic parts.
After manufacturing, parts may require additional processing. Secondary services include CNC bending, grinding, tapping, knurling and more.