Versatile, tough and functional, plastics like acrylic and Corian are easy to process with the right CNC tools.
CNC Tooling for Plastics
A specialty material with thousands of uses, plastics like acrylic, foam, compact laminate and Corian are a building and design staple. While plastics were traditionally shaped using heat and moulding, modern CNC machines can transform plastic sheet, slabs and bar stock into functional products and beautiful design features.
Resistant to weather, water and spills, it’s now common to find plastics being put to use by cabinet makers, shopfitters and sign makers. With the help of a 3 axis CNC machine, plastic can be cut, milled and shaped for use as benchtops, wall panelling, furniture and bespoke design elements. Achieving quality results with plastic often requires the use of specially designed tools. For working with plastics of all kinds, Panel Tools provides a range of CNC tooling that delivers smoother finishes, faster feed rates and longer tool lives thanks to our combination of specialty tool materials and diamond like coatings.
Working With Plastics? Contact Our Team For CNC Tools
Solid Surface’s such as Corian are a popular alternative to stone for countertops due to its strength and resistance to the elements. It’s density and hardness makes it somewhat abrasive to machine. Fortunately, there is a solution, compact laminate and diamond tooling are a match made in heaven. With the correct parameters, machining Corian does not need to be difficult, and we have a diverse range of solutions to cater for any application.
Compact Laminate is a class of High Pressure Laminate (HPL) which comes in solid panels >2mm. Commonly supplied in a 13mm thick sheet, compact laminate is used for partition systems, tabletops, outdoor areas and benchtops due to its strength and resistance to the elements. It’s density and hardness makes it very abrasive to machine. Fortunately, there is a solution, compact laminate and diamond tooling are a match made in heaven. With the correct parameters, machining compact laminate does not need to be difficult, and we have a diverse range of solutions to cater for any application.
Foams have a wide range of applications from prosthetics and camera cases through to wall panelling for office fit outs and flooring on sea crafts. Foams must be treated differently to timber or harder plastics regarding tooling and working parameters. Soft foams are highly susceptible to tear out and melting. Some foams can be machined effectively with spiral cutters, whilst others require oscillating or drag knives for effective cutting. Router bits used on foam are designed to shear the material very delicately and have polished flutes to allow the chips to glide over the tool with minimal friction.
Plastics such as Plexiglass are very popular for sign makers. The chips can melt onto the tool if there is too much friction in the cut. The main challenge with Plexiglass is that chatter marks can stand out more than other materials. In order to achieve a mirror finish, it is recommended to run a finish pass where only a small amount of material is removed at an elevated RPM.
Find the Tools You Need
Panel Tools supplies a range of CNC tooling and custom solutions designed to push the limits of your equipment and drive the industry forward with innovative processes.
A common sight in the woodworking industry, 3 axis and 5 axis CNC machines have revolutionised timber manufacturing, and our CNC tooling delivers more processing versatility than ever before.
Unlocking the potential of your CNC processes means exploring new and varied materials. Our range of CNC tooling can be designed to work with everything from chipboard to composites and more.
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