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What Is CNC Plastic Machining

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-06-15      Origin: Site


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CNC Plastic Machining is controlled digitally. Here digital milling machines are used for manufacturing parts with plastic blocks. In CNC Machining, there is the removal of material which is also called the subtractive method. It is very pocket friendly when it comes to the instant manufacturing and prototyping of approximately ten plastic models.

The best advantage of CNC plastic machining is that this prototype is exact in the types of results needed for testing. However, other economical options are available for plastic prototyping, including FDM, SLS, and SLA. Therefore, CNC is the only available option when one needs non-printed materials.

Types Of Plastic Machining Processes:

Majorly There Are Two Types Of Cnc Plastic Machining Processe:


CNC milling plastic machining process is commonly used for producing parts using solid blocks and for machining plastic prototypes. Here, a cylindrical cutter moves to mill shoulders, grooves, flat surfaces, etc., whereas plastic is held in place. Apart from CNC milling, manual milling is also famous for machining plastic. 


While milling for several plastics following guidelines should be kept in mind:

For thermoplastics, High-speed steel tooling is the best fit. Carbide tooling works well with reinforced materials. There exists a possibility of high spindle speed and table travel with adequate clamping. Depending on the characteristics of the material, finish cuts should be made by two-flute or four-flute mills. 


CNC lathe plastic machining and swiss machining are efficiently used for producing round-shaped plastic parts with bars and tubes. A CNC lathe is a machine that has a stationary cutter and a central spindle around it. The simplest lathe has two axes; the material moves with rotation. This rotation of material is called turning. That’s why the lathe is also called a turning machine. 

The following are the benefits of a CNC lathe:

It is a cost-effective, cheaper option ( although the machining setup is high), provides high precisions, and manages multiple operations simultaneously.


In plastic prototyping of printed materials, CNC plastic machining might not be the best available option, but it is an excellent productions process in the following manner :


Among all the available advantages of CNC plastic machining, its independence from molds or support structures is irreplaceable. This advantage is more efficient for prototypes and short-run productions. Furthermore, in the process of plastic production, injection molding is not required.


CNC plastic machining provides exact and accurate final products. Here the absence of 3D printing appliances allows total control over the last look with the most delicate cutting and trimming capabilities. Also, there is no injection mold, so there would be neither folding parting lines nor 3D printer lines. This all makes it precise.


The machined particles are directly made up of sheets and rods of plastic via a digital file. Therefore, it is easily adaptable to modifications. Also, it becomes easy for makers of the machining to manipulate it by digital mathematics. This all makes CNC machining of plastic a flexible process.

Apart from this, CNC machining is pocket-friendly because tooling is not required here, and tooling is the process where one needs more money for the upgradation of parts.


Technically in CNC plastic machining, the machine structures consist of 3 axes. A computer with a cylindrical cutter precisely controls the CNC milling plastic machine. This cutter flattens the surface, and the material rotates around it. In the case of devices with three axes, the process is digitally managed according to the requirements of the 3D files. 

In lathe and milling, the CNC machine’s position of the cutter change according to the type of material used, the final product needed, and the holding space of the plastic piece. These two types of CNC plastic machining differ in the by-product they produce. However, the significant technical aspect of CNC plastic machining is that it is controlled digitally.


The main application of CNC machining is after-production finishing. For example, at Zetwerk, the process follows polishing products to make the rough surface smooth after production.

In other production processes, the injection mold comprises ABS, PP, PC, PVC, PMMA, POM, PA 6/66, etc. These materials then impact the properties of the final part. On the other hand, in CNC, plastic machining has no direct impact on parts, and they can also be made from metals. Therefore, CNC machining in plastics is mainly used for unit production in the context of visual and functional texts.



Plastic CNC machining can create various similar parts in series. Compared to other prototyping manufacturing parts, it is the most efficient and fast.



Have a look around, and observe all the things that are made of plastics, the screen on which you are reading the blog, stationery, the chair, bucket and mugs in the bathroom, packaging, gardening equipment, children’s toys, decoration stuff in the living room and what not.

The popularity of plastic parts is due to their feasibility, durability, flexibility, and variety of available shapes. For creating plastic parts, there are methods, including 3D printing, injection molding, CNC plastic machining, etc. Out of these, CNC plastic machining is famous for its ability to create complex parts with a wide range of materials.


Digital Design controlled by computer is used in the CNC machining of plastics. In the process, three axes, X, Y, and Z, move the cutter to rotate the tool or workpiece. Whereas in multi-axes, both the tool and work axes are rotated simultaneously. This enables the manufacturing of complicated designs to be easy and fast.

As the CNC machined parts is a subtractive process, the problem of wall thickness and draft angles arises. However, this also makes a perfect fit for complex part designs to mold. CNC machining offers manufacturing industries the to create plastic parts with high tight tolerance.

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