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Plastic CNC Machining Services for Automotive Lamp Prototype Manufacturing

Date: Dec 25 2020 | By:LC Rapid
Tag:CNC Machining,

1. The importance of plastic CNC services

With the acceleration of product iteration in various industries, how to shorten the product development cycle has become the key to quickly occupy the market. From model design, prototype verification, small batch production or trial production to final batch production, this is a strict and orderly process. Plastic CNC service provides great convenience for obtaining plastic prototypes. With only 3D drawings, many mechanical products can be obtained within 1-2 days. In CNC processing, plastic is the most commonly used material. For plastics, the commonly used board/block materials are ABS, PC, PMMA, PP, POM, PBT, etc. The material properties are close to the production level of formal injection molding.


2. Plastic CNC processing services in car lights

(1) Plastic raw materials commonly used in plastic CNC services and processing precautions

A. Commonly used plastic raw materials

The use of plastic covers all walks of life. Compared with metal, stone and wood, plastic products have the advantages of low cost and strong plasticity. For many years, the production of plastic products has been developing rapidly in the world. Therefore, a large part of product development and design is related to plastics. For CNC prototypes, plastic CNC services also have a very wide range of needs. From the analysis of customer needs, it can be said that CNC plastics account for half of the usage. Usually, depending on the design size, the material used for CNC plastics will be plate or block material.

Currently, the most widely used CNC plastics are ABS, PC (polycarbonate) and PMMA (acrylic). Among them, ABS is an opaque material, while PC and acrylic resin have both opaque and transparent materials. For example, the design of car lights usually uses transparent acrylic as a material, which is polished to make it have a perfect transparent effect, and it is also used to verify the needs of optical and aesthetic design. Even the prototype of the famous FAW-Volkswagen brand's car lights also adopts plastic CNC services.

B. Processing considerations

Unlike metal, CNC plastic processing needs to slow down the processing speed, raise the cutter more frequently and have better cooling control to prevent the material from melting due to high temperatures during processing. Poor control not only makes it easy to process poor-quality products, but also severely damages CNC tools. In addition, the processing of plastic products is related to its material characteristics, and internal materials will generate stress. As a result, deformation and cracking are prone to occur, which will eventually lead to tolerances or scrap. In order to control this problem, engineers should have richer processing experience so that they can control every detail in the process.

Although there are many plastics used for CNC processing, not all materials are suitable. For example, materials with relatively low hardness are obviously too soft to be processed. Usually, experienced prototype manufacturers can make some appropriate suggestions and provide the best manufacturing solutions according to the actual needs of customers.

(2) Plastic CNC processing services used in car lights

Usually, the officially produced car light lens is a transparent PC material with high impact resistance. However, in the design and prototyping stage of many car lights, plastic CNC processing services are selected to process acrylic to make it have better aesthetics and optical effects.

Therefore, based on the above discussion, designers of automobile lights can select plastic CNC processing services according to their own design material requirements and prototype verification purposes to achieve the purpose of verifying design points.

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