3 Steps For Successful Plastic Fabrication

Plastic has emerged as a viable material for use in a variety of industrial and retail situations. The creation of plastic components often requires custom fabrication to ensure specific and unique product specifications are met.

If you are thinking of investing in custom plastic fabrication, complete the following three steps to ensure the durability and reliability of your fabricated plastics.

1. Think through your design.

All fabrication projects begin with a structurally sound design. You want to use the design period to ensure that your finished product will be able to accomplish its intended purpose. You may find that you need to revisit the design several times in order to get the specifications correct.

Once you have created a viable plastic component on paper, you can begin to transform your design into a three-dimensional product.

2. Create a prototype.

Just because a design looks good on paper doesn't mean that it will function the way you want it to. After the design of your plastic component is complete, you need to create a three-dimensional prototype of the component for testing.

Conducting reliability and strength tests on a prototype can help you reduce fabrication costs by giving you the ability to refine your design before moving on to the production stage. Prototypes are especially important when working with plastics, as the smallest error in design calculations could compromise the structural integrity of the component as a whole.

3. Select a finish.

Plastic components need to have a finish applied as the last step of the fabrication process. Once all the errors have been eliminated from your prototype, you can begin fabricating plastic components on a large scale.

You will need to determine if these components should be polished to a glass-like finish, given a textured surface, or etched to feature a specific design. The application of a finish can have an effect on the look of your custom plastics over time.

Textured finishes are better suited for components that will be in a high-use environment, while a smooth and polished finish is more appropriate for components that must be aesthetically pleasing.

Plastic fabrication is a complex process that requires a multi-step approach. Refine your designs, create a prototype, and select the right finish in preparation for the mass production of your plastic components. Following these steps will reduce costly errors and allow your fabrication process to run smoothly in the future.