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Aug 11,2023

What Role Do plastic cnc parts Play in Assembly Lines

CNC machining has rapidly transformed the industrial manufacture of complex products. A lot of industries depend on CNC machining for the production of parts that are used in complex products like cars or aircraft. Large products like cars consist of thousands of small parts, most of which are made from CNC machining. 


CNC machining is a manufacturing process that involves moving a solid block of raw material against a moving cutting tool to give it shape. The cutting tool removes the excess material around the block, so it is a subtractive manufacturing process rather than an additive one. Most parts have complex shapes, so CNC machining consists of more than just cutting tools.


A range of moving tools, such as drills and turning tools, transform the material. CNC tools are controlled by a Computer Aided Design (CAD) file to move in ways that shape the product perfectly. CNC machining can be applied to a range of materials, from metal to plastic. In this blog, we will take a detailed look at the Role of plastic CNC machining in assembly manufacturing. 


Characteristics of Plastic That Make Machining Easy


In today's modern world, plastic has replaced metal in various products. Since plastics have become so widely used, the CNC machining process, which was previously used to work with metals, has been adapted to work with various types of plastic materials also.


Plastic CNC machining uses precisely the same tools as metal machining. However, plastic material is easier to cut and drill than metal. Let us take a look at various plastic features that make it such a useful and effortless material to work with.




Since plastic has a diverse type, it means that manufacturers can create products of variable toughness ranging from soft to hard.


Easily Shaped


Plastic can be cut and milled more quickly compared to metal. It is softer and can be turned effortlessly.  




Plastic is a light material that is easy to handle. The CNC machining process involves holding the material in a fixed place when working on it.


Plastic, naturally lighter than metal, is particularly easy to hold firmly, which makes it easy to execute refined cutting and grinding. 


Plastic Types Used Commonly In CNC Machining


When it comes to milling plastic products, manufacturers have plenty of options to work with. The most commonly used plastic in CNC machining is thermoplastics which is a kind of hard plastic. Plastic CNC machining can be classified into three categories based on the type of plastic hardness.


This includes 


Soft plastics 


Hard plastics


Reinforced plastics  




This tough and durable plastic type has high thermal and corrosion resistance. It is a hard plastic that behaves like a metal during machining.


During cutting and grinding, it retains its surface tension and does not crack. While machining, these plastic tungsten-carbide machining tools should be utilized for the finest finish. 




A thermoplastic that is tough and rigid. It can also withstand heat of up to 121 Degrees Celsius without melting. This plastic can tolerate the tensile stress of the cutting tools, which makes it suitable for a machining process. 




One of the advantages of using plastics in products is that it's lightweight. Acrylic is one such material that is rigid, tough as well as light. These qualities make it an excellent material for machining.


But it must be kept in mind that the cutting tool used in machining should complement the material you are working with. In the case of acrylic, the tool should be of carbide with a really sharp edge. 




You might know Teflon from the common frying pan that is used in every household. Also known as PTFE, this plastic type is highly resistant to heat, moisture, and chemicals. Like all plastics, it is also a non-conductor of electricity.


In the CNC industry also, Teflon is a popular material to utilize. However, it is not as easy to shape or cut as other plastic varieties. So, to machine this plastic executing a trial run to produce a prototype product is necessary so that the appropriate tools can be selected for mass production. 


Plastic CNC Machining In Assembly Line Manufacture


Plastic CNC machining setups tend to have a high initial investment cost. This means that manufacturing plastic cnc parts can only be profitable when the production volume is high or medium. This high volume production perfectly suits complex industries that use assembly line manufacture as they also have a high unit production which demands a lot of small parts on a regular basis.


To supply these industries adequately with the correct and precisely machined small parts, CNC processes need to have a speedy turnaround time that involves the manufacture of a small part in the least number of steps. Let us explore the assembly line industries that commonly utilize CNC machined parts as part of their production operations. 


Semiconductor Industry


Small semiconductive components are used in almost all electronic products. They partially conduct electricity, and without them, none of the smartphones would be functional.


Plastic CNC machining plays 


a significant role in the manufacture of these components. Circuits in the semiconductor industry require plastic cnc parts to be flawlessly and precisely manufactured so that they match the circuit specifications and requirements.


This is not humanly possible, and plastic CNC machining is critical in the mass production of these intricate components and electrical insulators. 


Automotive and Defence Industry


The automotive and defense industries are that also engage in assembly line production style. These industries require small parts to be made according to a specific quality standard and specification. In the assembly line, the production volume is high and multiple vehicles are simultaneously manufactured.


Therefore, a high quantity of readily available small plastic components is needed to keep the production line going. Similar is the case with aircraft manufacture. In defense industries, many aircraft parts are required to tolerate certain temperatures and should have the required durability.


The precision of CNC manufacturing ensures that the quality standards within a large volume of small parts stay the same.


In the dynamic landscape of modern manufacturing, the Role of plastic CNC parts has emerged as a transformative force in assembly processes. The precision, flexibility, and cost-efficiency offered by plastic CNC parts have revolutionized the way industries approach assembly line production.


These parts, with their lightweight designs, corrosion resistance, and ability to dampen noise and vibrations, have not only elevated the efficiency and quality of products but also opened doors to innovative designs and sustainable practices. 

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What is The Typical Tolerance for Injection Molded Parts?

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