Tech Talk Blog

4 Reasons to Choose Machining Plastics Over Injection Molding

November 17, 2015

Choose Machining Plastics Over Injection Molding

To machine or injection mold? This is a common question based on the numerous queries submitted to our Ask the Experts portal. At first glance, injection molding appears to be the most cost-effective means of producing a plastic part, but machining plastics may be the better option in certain circumstances. 

Today we reveal the top 4 reasons to choose machining over molding:

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Q&A – Machining plastics – what do I need to know?

September 2, 2014

Machining plastics – what do I need to know?This question came into our Ask the Experts portal and it bears repeating. There are many variables when it comes to machining plastics that one must consider, such as thermal expansion, the speeds and feeds of the machine, plus the need to use a coolant ― and choosing the right one ― to prevent melting. 

How can you avoid the machining pitfalls of chipping and threading? 

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Machining Rulon® - 8 Techniques to Finish Stock Material

May 28, 2013

Machining Rulon - 8 Techniques to Finish Stock Material

You’ve identified the ideal Rulon formula for your application, and now need some advice on achieving the best machining technique to fit your application.Before you start experimenting, here are some of the most-common machining methods.

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Machining UHMW – Points to Consider

May 1, 2012

A customer recently asked us for tips on machining UHMW materials to better hold tolerances. UHMW is a very unstable material to machine, since it has roughly 12x the thermal expansion of steel. 

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Prototype to production - Custom solutions for you application

November 8, 2011

I’ve noticed an uptick in requests for our custom fabrication services.  In fact, we are currently collaborating on new ingress and egress components with a big city transit system.  I’ve found that many of our clients are not aware of the range of our custom abilities, nor do they realize that we design and build everything in-house to help save on product lead time and delivery.  Our facility has complete CNC milling, turning, and Swiss screw machining capabilities to give you the exact fit you need.  And we also do custom bonding – to help your part better accept paint, for example.

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TriStar's Fabrication Capabilities

February 8, 2011

At the start of this New Year, I thought I’d take a minute to tell you about our fabrication capabilities. In short, TriStar is able to fabricate just about anything and everything out of plastic; we call it “Print to Part.”

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Clean Parts are Usually Not Clean – Part 2

July 16, 2010

The recommended cleaning procedure for machined parts is as follows:

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Clean Parts are Usually Not Clean – Part 1

July 14, 2010

Most cleaning processes leave a layer of contamination on the cleaned surface. For sensitive bonding applications a single layer of contaminant molecules can reduce the bond strength. A monolayer is only ~0.1 microgram/cm2 - an extremely small amount of contamination. This is the residual from the evaporation of only 0.2 drops/cm2 of liquid containing 10 ppm of non-volatile organic material. The vast majority of water or solvents contain more that 10 ppm of dissolved organics.
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Q & A: I'm new at machining plastics. Do you have any tips on getting the best results?

January 6, 2010

If you have been machining metal for a while the change to plastics can be a little daunting. There are some tricks to the trade and some basic things you need to know about thermal expansion, speeds and feeds and the use of coolant. The biggest thing to remember is that most plastics, especially those that are thermoplastic, will melt when they get hot enough. Thermosets won't melt but can be brittle to machine so they are a totally different problem. Since heat is the culprit you must machine each plastic with the knowledge that it will grow, sometimes very rapidly, and then shrink again after machining. Some materials have to be machined once, normalize at room temperature, and then go back for final cuts. Sharp tooling, properly designed tools, speeds and feeds are all critical so there will be a learning curve. TriStar offers a "Machining Plastics" seminar and design manual through their website. For even more tips, Ask The Experts - that's what they are there for! It's not rocket science but there are tricks to the trade!

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