Transparent plastic prototype manufacturing

There are a few process to have transparent plastic prototype manufacturing as following:

  • CNC machining process with PMMA
  • Plastic casting process
  • SLA process
  • 3D printing

We can choose transparent plastic prototype manufacturing process based on your demand such as qualities, use and function etc.

CNC transparent plastic prototype manufacturing

This is common widely use transparent plastic prototype manufacturing process. If you need high quality transparent plastic prototype such as plastic lenses, transparent cover and transparent enclosure, transparent enclosure and transparent led lamp enclosure etc. You can choose PMMA CNC machining process.

Sure it is also okay to machining with polycarbonate , but the polishing process is more difficult to control than PMMA, we did not suggest to use this resin to make transparent plastic prototype for  lens or high smooth transparent part.

Plastic casting process

This process to make the RTV silicone mold to cast plastic prototype. You can lean more from our another blog, post is plastic casting prototype . You can also review resin casting on Wikipedia.org.

Plastic casting transparent prototype can be polished too, but it still worse than PMMA CNC machining prototype.

This process can make transparent plastic prototype, the material is not really resin what we used for injection molding, it is cast two kinds of liquid chemical compound into silicone mold to form plastic parts. If you need plastic parts with FDA, please do not consider this process.

Also plastic casting prototype surface finishing is worse than the PMMA CNC machining process, if you need high quality smooth transparent parts, please do not use this process.

Transparent plastic casting prototype is cheapest process to copy transparent parts. Also it can be copied complex transparent plastic prototypes.

SLA to have transparent plastic prototype

SLA rapid prototyping is a discrete layered, layer by layer stacking technology, the direct use of three-dimensional computer data is implemented as a prototype of the product, the more mature laser technology both SLA and SLS rapid prototyping, which the SLA the main material for the photosensitive resin.

SLA rapid prototype’s advantages:
A smooth surface, and good quality.
Forming high precision, and accuracy of 0.1mm;
Can be made very fine details and molding of thin-walled structures, high precision, easy post-processing.
Processing cycle is short, usually it is three days.

SLA transparent prototype manufacturing is weaker than the PMMA CNC machining prototype and transparent plastic casting prototype. Also it is more expensive than both of transparent prototypes. SLA transparent manufacturing process can have complex plastic prototype even if you have lots of undercuts.

3D printing transparent plastic prototype manufacturing

Here we just call the desktop 3D printing prototype. Generally, this process can not get a high quality smooth surface finishing transparent prototype. But the prototype is stronger than plastic casting one.

As the technique developing, we hope this process can be widely use to copy transparent plastic parts. Also right now this process is more expensive than plastic casting prototype manufacturing.

About Hedy Yeh

Major in machinery and tooling in university from 2001 to 2004; Worked for plastic mold design, mold manufacturing and mold and production project management from 2003 to 2008; Working for mold marketing and mold project management from 2008 till now My facebook page