Plastic

3 Aspects of CNC Machining Parts That You Should Know

“Custom made CNC machining parts involving a variety of plastic and metal materials, quick prototyping or end-user applications, both CNC milling and turning for mirror-like surface finishing and uphold tight tolerance.” This article is from WayKen, if you want to know more about this aspect, you may click here.

1. What is CNC Machining?

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CNC machining refers to a manufacturing process to fabricate simple as well as complex CNC machining parts with miniature dimensions by utilizing pre-programmed computer software. The acronym CNC stands for “Computer Numerical Control” and it is basically a subtractive manufacturing process which removes layers of materials from a workpiece by the numerically controlled program.

Due to its compatibility with a wide variety of materials, CNC machining parts can be made of metals, plastics, wood, glass, foam, composites, and so on. It is an autonomous process that does not require human intervention, thus, it is more accurate, specific, cheap labor cost, and less time-consuming. It is the opposite of the additive manufacturing process (like 3D printing) or mass-replication technique (like injection molding) since it is a subtractive manufacturing method.

2. CNC Machining Material Considerations

The most important feature which enables them to stand out from its competitors is their suitability to a variety of engineering materials including both plastic (PEEK, PC, PE, PTFE, nylon, etc.) and metal (brass, steel, aluminum, etc.).

Plastic:

Engineering plastics or polymers are popular because of their high strength, resilience, toughness, lack of conductivity, resistance to corrosion, color, processing, transparency, and low cost. To manufacture high precision plastic parts, CNC machining of plastics is a very strong candidate. It is the most widespread method to manufacture plastic parts with strict tolerance limits and excellent surface finish. Unlike the injection molding process, in plastic CNC machining, molds are not required, hence it moderates the costs and startup times.

CNC machining of plastics is similar to machining metals however, it requires different cutting speeds, cutting tools, and tool compensation to attain desired surface roughness and tolerances. CNC machined plastics have widespread applications including plastic medical components. Generally, in biomedical devices, they require high precision and geometry. Some examples of such medical devices include anesthetic and therapy components, surgical and dental instruments, catheters, diagnostic devices, cardiac implants, orthopedic, and other implantable devices.

Metals:

Properties of metals are different than those of plastics; they are heavy due to the densely packed structure. Metals can outclass almost all material groups in some specific applications where thinness is critical. CNC machining of metals can provide us tight tolerance, mirror-like surface finish, and complex size and shape. You can get your functional metal parts as quickly as one working day by CNC machining services. The precision offered by CNC machining is the best choice for prototyping and rapid production of small and large metal parts. Among the wide variety of metal materials which are compatible with CNC machining services, Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Brass, Copper, Magnesium, Steel Alloy, and Titanium are most popular and most widely used.

CNC milling parts

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The most commonly used method to fabricate almost 80% of the plastic parts is the milling parts. However, it is not only limited to plastic products but also used widely for manufacturing metals such as aluminum, stainless steel, brass, titanium, and so on. It is a subtractive technique that removes plastic or metal from the workpiece by a numerically controlled program. Mostly, the milling machines are categorized by their number of axes. A standard CNC milling machine mostly has three axes X, Y, & Z however, to manufacture parts having complex shapes and size, there are now 5-axis, 6-axis milling machines.

It is mostly used to fabricate any rotationally symmetrical shape by removing material from the workpiece very rapidly. Turned parts are often adorned with an excellent surface finishing and it often requires no post-processing.

Typically, a lathe or turning machine is employed for CNC turning parts. It works in a linear motion by feeding the cutting tool along the surface of the rotating workpiece. In doing so, it removes material around the perimeter until the preferred diameter is attained. Some examples of turned parts are cylinder-shaped parts with external and internal structures. By the CNC turning method, almost all kinds of materials can be machined such as all types of steel, aluminum, cast iron, brass, copper, and bronze, along with plastics such as nylon, fiberglass, and PTFE.

3. Tips for Maintaining Tight Tolerances

Another term to express machining tolerance is dimensional accuracy which implies an acceptable variance in a part or cutting tool. In order to obtain high performing parts with maximum quality, tight tolerances are very critical. Here are some tips for holding tight tolerances while manufacturing CNC machining parts:

Source:ogsindustries.com

To select the perfect tool:

We have to be very cautious and wise with the choice of tools for tight tolerances. It is to be ensured that for exceptionally tight tolerances, a specific set of tools including separate ones for roughing and finishing should be used. Furthermore, good quality cutting tools can provide more precision than a dull or blunt head cutting tool.

Warm up the spindle:

A routine warm-up is extremely important for A CNC machine to work at its maximum. It is advised to run the machine for around 15–20 minutes before starting the actual milling procedure. It allows parts of the machine to reach an ideal temperature and will help diminish the effects of thermal expansion during milling.

Effect of the temperature:

For holding tight tolerances, thermal stabilization is one of the most important things. A slender deviation from the ideal temperature can largely influence the dimensions of the parts in various ways. Therefore, it should always be kept in mind to place the machine in a temperature-controlled environment.

Calibration of equipment:

Apart from being extremely cautious on all the above points, a desired level accuracy or precision may not be achieved after the machine is used for a longer period of time. It’s time to calibrate the equipment. It is very natural for the machine to loosen up after being used for thousands of hours and it’s unavoidable. However, calibrating, servicing and annual maintenance can keep a fitted leash on the machine precision.

In Conclusion

CNC machining of plastic and metal parts stands out from all other manufacturing processes available in the industry for its diversity, precision, and comparatively faster process. Almost any type of plastic or metal part can be fabricated by the CNC milling or turning process with strict tolerances if the machine is operated and maintained carefully.

Best Plastic Storage Containers

We are so heavily dependent on plastic that thousands of items are made from it, of which storage containers are one of those items. But plastic is a component that many people are divided on.

For starters, this component is the single most common polluter on the plant. Bottles made out of plastic, plastic bags, and anything of the kind is polluting our seas and rivers the most.

But not all plastic-made products are bad for the environment. Some, such as storage containers, serves a unique purpose that the importance cannot be overlooked.

There are dozens of plastic storage container types that we can use to store various things. They range in size and usability, and we are going to hopefully try and tell you of the best ones out there.

So, let’s start.

1. Bulk Containers

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Bulk containers predominantly see their use in the transportation of cargo (or bulk) in larger quantities. These containers usually have a loading hatchet on the top of the storage unit and the hatchet is used for the goods to be placed inside.

As we mentioned, these containers predominantly transport cargo such as foods, spices, and many vital ingredients that we consume on a daily basis.

They are best for it because the dimensions to weight ratio perfectly match the needs of the manufacturers.

2. Cases

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Cases are probably the units that you see a lot throughout the household. Cases made out of plastic are mostly used for storing tools and power tools.

All kinds of products can be stored in cases, making them one of the most important plastic storage containers out there. Cases are also used, to a great extent, in the business sector. Although not entirely made out of the component, sales representatives and businessmen carry cases with them at all times.

Cases vary in the type of plastic material and can range in all sizes and shapes. They are mostly made with a handle on top so that the user can conveniently carry the case with him.

3. Crates and Baskets

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Crates and baskets see their use predominantly in the agricultural world with most fruits and vegetables being transported and stored in crates and baskets.

What’s even more interesting is that nearly 90% of all crates and baskets don’t need to be extremely durable, since the transportation of fruits and vegetables don’t require the crate or basket to be durable.

Also, nearly all the crates and baskets are manufactures by recycling other plastic products. Although they can be used for storing and transporting a variety of items and goods, it’s in the agricultural industry that sees the most use.

4. Drawer Units

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The best thing about drawer units is that they’re stackable, meaning one can go on top of another and so on and so on.

Drawer units aren’t used to store a unique item, but rather anything that can fit in them. They are very convenient, due to the fact that you can stack them, making them excellent for crowded or limited spaces.

They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, which are very cheap and affordable.

We’ve mostly had drawer units as kids, and we’ve used them for storing our toys and books.

5. Tubs and Pans

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Tubs and pans, like many other plastic storage containers, are used through plastic injection molding. This is a very important service that manufactures nearly all of our plastic products.

For more information feel free to Qmolding.com.

However, back to the subject, tubs and cans don’t really have a unique use in the storage world. They can be used for a variety of things, but it seems that the food industry gets the most out of these.

This is because tubs and pans, although vary in price, generally don’t cost a lot. They’re quite affordable due to the fact that they’re mostly produced through recycling but can withstand quite high and low temperatures.

This means that you can take one with you to the freezer and the effects of the cold won’t bother the container too much.

6. Boxes

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Whenever we think about any storage container made out of plastic, the box instantly comes to mind. But why haven’t we included it in the number spot? Why this low? Well, once upon a time, plastic boxes were used for everything.

As time went on, and new things were invented, the box saw its use limited to only a number of things.

But that doesn’t mean that we don’t use boxes in our current time. We use boxes mostly for storing and transporting merchandise, objects, and various goods.

Like most containers out there, boxes can vary in size, shape, and can come in many colors.

The best thing about boxes is that they’re excellent as a domestic organizer. They’re also affordable, resistant to hot and cold temperatures, and easily transportable.

7. Hobby & Craft

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Hobby & Craft plastic units look a lot like cases. But the main difference between both is that hobby & craft units are mostly smaller and used to store items that are used in arts & crafts and various hobbies such as fishing equipment.

Like most of the others we’ve mentioned on this list, hobby & craft units are very affordable, durable, can withstand extreme temperatures, and are very transportable.

They can be used over & over and are currently a big trend in the pharmaceutical industry, toy industry, hardware, and storing jewelry.

8. Tanks

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Tanks can come in a lot of shapes and sizes, and from a lot of materials. PVC tanks are probably the hottest trend in the plastic container industry nowadays; due to their heavy-duty surface that gives it a lot of protection.

Naturally, we can use PVC tanks for a lot of things, but the plating, chemical processing, and various niche industries have the best use of these.

Unlike most of the units, we’ve discussed, tanks and their PVC counterparts are very expensive and not recommended for usual household storage.