Now viewing: prototyping

Chris Passanante
By Chris Passanante
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 00:00

A while ago we posted two articles touching on the plastic machining capabilities of Elite Plastics - Plastic machining capabilities at Elite Plastics and Benefits of plastic Machining. Recently, our plastic machining capabilities have grown as we’ve upgraded equipment and expanded our capacity.

Plastic machining offers a number of valuable uses when manufacturing plastic parts. Machining can be utilized for secondary machining, taping holes, trimming and de-gating, prototyping, and it even can be used to fabricate full parts from one piece of plastic. Our plastic machining department is equipped with a state of the art vertical milling center with a fourth axis. It has a work capacity of 40” x 20” x 25” and a spindle speed of 12,000 RPM with a 1,400 RPM tool change. To ensure that the parts are free of contaminates, we use air instead of coolant.

Plastic machining is a very cost effective option when prototyping new parts. Since parts can be fabricated completely, it eliminates the need for costly tooling, and allows you to verify the part design and functionality before investing in a tool.

One great example of how our plastic machining capabilities can be utilized for prototyping projects is a connector panel we provided for a customer as a prototype. This connector panel was made from flame retardant plastic. The fabrication of this prototype started with a blank piece of plastic. All of the features are machined into the front and back within our machining center.  The panels were used to test fit and function for a new product, before developing tooling.

Stay tuned for another post discussing how secondary machining was utilized to create a custom solution for one of our medical customers!

By Chris Passanante
Tuesday, September 4, 2012 - 16:26


In the last post we announced our new machining capabilities at Elite Plastics. This week I want to touch on the benefits of plastic machining.

  • Cost
    • Depending on order quantity, utilizing machining over a tool can result in significant savings. For lower volume parts, tooling isn’t necessary – eliminating the cost of tooling, and reducing the NRE (non-recurring engineering).
  • Prototyping
    • Need a quick prototype of a new part? Machining allows for fast turnaround of prototypes, while also making prototyping of plastic parts affordable, by cutting out the tool cost.
  • Quality control
    • Having our own machining capabilities means increased control over our quality and production. By not having to sub contract machining, everything can be done in house. This means less handling and paperwork and ensures the GM Nameplate quality and level of detail.
  • Fine Trimming/De-gating
    • Many parts require a smooth finish. Machining can be used to remove the gate from an injection molded part, making the surface smooth and gate free.
  • Taping holes
    • Machining allows the ability for holes to be taped rather than using an unscrewing tool. The result is a huge cost savings, depending on quantity, and allows better control of threads and holes.
  • Tooling or Machining
    • There are many factors to consider when deciding whether or not to use a tool or machining. Well, machining may eliminate the tooling cost it increases the price per part, so depending on volume size tooling may be more affordable. But if you need to change an existing part, secondary machining may make more sense.

To learn more about the benefits of plastic machining at what capability is the best fit for your part, please contact Elite Plastics.