How to make plastic parts

There are a few process to make plastic parts, first we can divide the plastic manufacturing process into two categories, one is the plastic prototype process, the other is plastic manufacturing mass production.  Then we will instruction two categories now.

Plastic prototype manufacturing process for how to make plastic parts

With the development of technology, there should be more and more plastic prototype manufacturing process.  Right now peoples are using plastic casting(silicone rapid mold /RTV silicone), CNC machining, SLA, SLS and 3D printing.  With the plastic prototype manufacturing, it is the valuable solution to manufacture small batch plastic parts, but for the mass production, then we should make the steel molds, we will talk this later.

Plastic casting(silicone rapid mold /RTV silicone) is a cheap plastic prototype making process to use the silicone rubber mold to copy the plastic prototype more than one piece,  the first prototype normally is manufactured by CNC machining, SLA, SLS or 3D printing. Anyhow the plastic casting process need the samples to proceed to make the silicone mold to copy prototype. For more information for this process, you can also review ” RTV silicone” on

CNC machining plastic prototype manufacturing process is to manufacture the plastic workpiece to have the prototype made. Generally, the plastic resin can be ABS, POM, PMMA and PC etc.  Thereinto the PMMA can be used for the transparent plastic prototype such as optics lens, instrument lens and phone lens etc. 

SLA plastic prototype manufacturing process 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. If you would like to know more, you can also read below links:

SLA technique on Wikipedia    SLA manufacturing samples, advantage and disadvantage

Selective laser sintering (SLS) is an additive manufacturing technique that uses a laser as the power source to sinter powdered material (typicallymetal), aiming the laser automatically at points in space defined by a 3D model, binding the material together to create a solid structure. More, you can read on

3D printing plastic prototype manufacturing is a new process to make the plastic prototype, it is much more popular recent years as the economy 3D printing machines development.  But sometimes 3D printing process is more expensive than the plastic casting process to make the samples. The advantage of this process is faster and easier to get the plastic prototype if you already own the 3D printing machine and have the plastic part drawing designed. 

Mass production to make plastic parts – How to make plastic parts for big quantities?

Plastic injection molding is the most valuable solution to have the plastic parts mass production thanks to it can form complex plastic parts even if there is undercuts, ribs and lots of features inside etc. Most of plastic parts is made by this process such as cover, enclosure and bracket of electronics, automotive industry and medical device, basket, cups etc. lots of plastic products. 

Blow molding is the  a manufacturing process by which hollow plastic parts are formed. Normally it is used to manufacture bottles. If you would like to know more, you can review  . Also there is injection molding blow molding, the first process to have the injection mold to make the blow molding workpiece to have the blow molding, normally it is used to make the big bottle or uniform wall thickness bottle such as water dispenser bottle and feeding bottle. 

Thermoforming is a plastic parts manufacturing process where a plastic sheet is heated to a pliable forming temperature, formed to a specific shape in a mold, and trimmed to create a usable product.  On this plastic manufacturing, we should make a simple mold, normally it is made with aluminum, then the thermoforming plastic manufacturing is cheaper solution to start as the mold is cheaper. But on these process, there should be personal to operate the thermoforming process to form the plastic parts, the unit price is not so cheap as injection molding.  

There are also a few other plastic parts making process, but above should be the major plastic parts manufacturing process.  We will have more information to talk this on blog in future.


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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