Some companies choose the plastic prototyping method because they can get the prototype of their products immediately. This method is not only fast but also accurate and produces a great finish. Learn more about the plastic prototype below before applying it to your company.
The Reason to Create a Prototype
A company has to test its product first before launching it to verify that the product follows the standard. Instead of using the real product, companies love to use a prototype of the product for the testing session. Companies choose to do it because of the affordable cost, fast, and easy to revise if it is necessary. So, why do companies often create plastic prototypes instead of others? Again, the reason is because of the affordable cost. It is perfect for companies that need to produce a lot of prototypes. As a result, they can test the new products without spending too much money yet the companies get the result they want.
Plastic Prototyping Methods
A plastic prototyping company, such as WayKen uses several methods to provide high-quality plastic prototypes. Check the methods below to know the way the company produces your product prototype.
Additive Manufacturing or 3D Printing Method
The process starts by designing a CAD file, setting up the machine, and loading the raw material. The manufacturer will bind the layers of the material together. Manufacturers often use Stereolithography or SLA, Selective Laser Sintering or SLS, and Fused Deposition Modeling or FDM to print the 3D prototype. Prototype companies use this method if they have to create a prototype with complex geometry. The drawback is that the materials are difficult to find, along with a little bit of rough surface finish. The plastic prototype with this method is not the strongest one. At least, it is an option if you only want to see the product size and shape.
Rapid Injection Molding
The manufacturer will molten plastic to produce a mold. The benefits of using this method for prototyping are a fast process and result. Indeed, this method is also affordable for companies that need their product prototype. Unlike a 3D printing method, the rapid injection molding method produces a prototype with a smooth surface. That’s why it is an alternative for companies who need to produce a lot of prototypes. It is because companies can use the mold anytime they need it. The product prototype is also suitable for multiple testing.
CNC machining is a traditional prototyping method. It is one of the best methods to produce a plastic prototype. The process begins by loading the material on the CNC machine. It involves cutting the material to substrate it. Some prototyping companies choose to use this method because it helps them to produce complex parts. It is also compatible with a variety of machinable plastic, such as acrylic, machining wax, and even the hardest engineering plastics. Companies can customize the number of prototypes. They even can order the prototype in small quantities. The system makes the product prototype more durable and functional. You are about to get a prototype with accurate size and shape and smooth surface finish. The process is fast and you don’t have to spend extra money for creating molds. A company such as WayKen provides its clients with this plastic prototyping method. They offer several services, such as ABS, PC, PP, POM, HDPE, Teflon, PPMA or acrylic, and others.
The Challenge of Using Plastic Prototype
Despite the benefits of applying plastic prototypes, companies still have to face several challenges. Here are the challenges companies have to face when they are using a plastic prototype.
Slip or Deflect
A plastic prototype is soft. It is the reason why companies love to use this prototype. The drawback is that the prototype is often easy to slip and deflect during the machining operations. This prototype doesn’t have enough rigidity to defend against distortion if you have to cut it.
A plastic prototype is often hard to cut, especially if you are using a cutting tool that produces heat. This sensitivity may change the accuracy and the surface finish of the prototype. Melting, brittle, prone, and chipping are common risks that you have to face if you are using a plastic prototype. So, you may think about a safer cutting method alternative before cutting the plastic prototype.
Burrs are also a common issue when you are using a plastic prototype. This problem triggers holes, ruins the appearance of the prototype, and even part scrapping.
Tricks for Achieving High-Quality Plastic Prototype
You need to know what the prototyping company uses while handling your request. For example, WayKen is using high-precision 3, 4, and 5-axis CNC machine tools to process a variety of complex and high-precision plastic prototypes. Make sure that the company knows the cutting tools they use. Most professional prototyping companies use uncoated carbide tools, polished tools, or cutting tools with a maximum chip evacuation clearance. These tools can control the heat during the cutting process. As a result, you will have a perfect plastic prototype to achieve your goals.
So, the most important thing to know when you are looking for a plastic prototyping company is its experience and skills to handle the material. The company has to use the right tools and know-how to use the tools to produce a plastic prototype you want. As a result, you will have a prototype that passes a variety of tests. It means that your company can make sure that a new product the company is about to launch is perfect and passes the quality standards.