Most of our customers think of Peridot as being pretty darn good at making metal do things it does not want to do. Forming, machining and welding of today’s exotic metals truly taxes CNC machining to it’s limits. But many of our customers do not realize that most of our CNC machining equipment is very well suited for machining plastics. Materials such as Radel, Delrin, Teflon etc. are far more conducive to machining than many of the metals we routinely machine.
Let’s look at this example:
This part was produced on a 60 watt C02 laser. Cut time was 48 seconds per part. Most dimensions were held within +- .010 inch of nominal. No tooling required, no burr and excellent edge condition. Need the holes smaller and moved .020 inch to the right? No problem, easy programming change and in less than two minutes a fresh part off the machine to test.
Here’s another example:
This 2 pc handle was machined on one of our CNC Vertical machining centers from Lustran as a prototype of a spinal device. We had a mold built at our favorite Molder (Stack Plastics) to shoot a 2 inch thick X 4×6 inch brick of the Lustran material as it was only available in pellet form. This allowed us to produce working models that closely mimic the performance of the final injected molded product.
A peek at PEEK:
Our machinists LOVE PEEK! Well behaved, cuts like buttah. This handle was produced on our multi-axis Mill/Turn center at just over 4 minutes cycle time.
A second PEEK:
This little guy (3 inch dia) is machined on our mill turn center in a roughly six minute cycle. No deburring necessary, excellent surface finish. We do a quick dip in the ultrasonic to clean up the cutting fluids and straight to assembly. This part goes into an assembly with 16 items on the BOM (Bill of materials) and will never see enough volume to justify the cost of Injection Molding.
Let’s look at a couple of typical Radel parts:
This Radel part has been CNC machined from 1 inch diameter bar stock, laser engraved and press fit onto a stainless steel shaft. This is just one of a suite of tools used in a novel and complicated minimally invasive spinal procedure. I expect this part will eventually be molded. Radel has the advantage of being able to withstand the rigors of autoclaving and machines very easily.
Here is another Radel handle:
This a little trickier with serrations milled for grip. This handle is press fit onto a laser engraved stainless steel “spatula” for an Ortho application
My point? The point is that Plastics machining is a service that Peridot excels at. It is a viable process for both prototyping and in many cases production volumes. Consider having Peridot take a look at your next plastics requirement.