Rapid Prototyping Service

Plastic Prototype Materials Comprehensive Guide

Henry

Henry

15 years of experience in prototyping and manufacturing.

As a product engineers, you may receive some rapid prototypes from your supplier, and they told you they use the same materials with your designed bill of material. but sometimes, it cannot happen due to prototype use different process than mass production process and the materials cannot be exactly same. in this blog, we will share the common materials used in plastic prototype process.

PLASTIC MATERIALS FOR CNC PROTOTYPING

Clear Materials

Acrylic sheets and polycarbonate sheets are commonly used by CNC machining to create clear prototypes. Acrylic offers excellent optical clarity; it can be easily machined and polished. Polycarbonate offers good optic clarity and also high impact resistance.

Machined Grade Acrylic Sheet

Machined grade PMMA(Acrylic) sheet is Commonly used for cost saving, it is different from the product material but still has similar properties to production PMMA material and can provide good product aesthetics. Sheets usually are available as below:

ThicknessTransparency Used for automotive lighting lamps
From 1mm to 200mm90%Outer lens
Inner lens
Light guide
Light thick blade

Customed Optic Grade Acrylic Sheet

When come to Photometry prototype of lighting lamps, to verify the original design, production material must be used to achieve the test requirement, then customed acrylic sheet with production material need to be used for CNC machining. sheets commonly available as below in Kusla. if new PMMA material needs, KUSLA could be custom for our customers.

Materialthickness Transparency used for automotive lighting lamps
Clear Evonik PMMA 8NFrom 10mm to 200mm90%Outer lens
Inner lens
Light guide
Light thick blade
Red Evonik PMMA  8N 33691N/AOuter lens
Inner lens
Light Red Evonik PMMA 33721N/AOuter lens
diffusing Evonik PMMA DF23,DF22N/AInner lens
Evonik PMMA LD12, LD24, LD48, LD96N/AInner lens

Machined Grade Polycarbonate Sheet

Polycarbonate is also widely used in a lot of industry because of its good temperature resistance. Machined grade polycarbonate could be used for aesthetic Prototype, Sheets thickness usually is available as below:

Thickness Transparency used for automotive lighting lamps
From 1mm to 100mm89%Inner lens
Light guide
Light thick blade

Customed Optic Grade Polycarbonate Sheet

Customed optic grade polycarbonate sheets needed for any optic parts are sensitive to materials, to get the best lit aspect and best test result according to the optic design. Sheets in our warehouse are available as below, if new Polycarbonate material needs, KUSLA could be custom for our customers.

Materialthickness Transparency used for automotive lighting lamps
 PC2407 diffusedFrom 10mm to 150mmN/AInner lens
PC2405N/ABezels
PC LED224590%light guide, light blade
PC LC150090%light guide, light blade

Opaque Plastic Materials

Opaque prototype materials are used to create prototypes that do not allow light to pass through with solid, non-transparent appearance.

Materialthickness used for automotive lighting lamps
ABS sheetsFrom 1mm to 300mmHousing, bezel
Black PC sheetsReflectors
POM Sheetsadjustments
Nylon sheetsbrackets

ABS sheet

PLASTIC MATERIALS FOR URETHANE CASTING PROTOTYPE

Urethane casting is a cost-effective method for producing small quantities of prototypes with silicone mold (soft mold). there are several materials commonly used in urethane casting:

Clear Urethane Resins:

Clear urethane resins are made to provide clear and transparent look. These resins have similar appearance and characteristics of transparent materials such as acrylic. it offers high optical clarity and light transmission. It is commonly used for Auto lamp lenses, light guides and display components.

Clear Casting Epoxy:

the property of Clear casting epoxy is similar with clear polycarbonate material. It offers good optical clarity, high impact resistance and excellent dimensional stability.

ABS-Like:

ABS-like urethane materials have similar properties with Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) plastic. They offer good impact resistance, dimensional stability and surface finish.

PLASTIC MATERIALS FOR 3D PROTOTYPING

3D printing can print both clear and opaque materials and common materials used in 3D printing as below:

Clear Photopolymers:

Clear photopolymers are liquid resins that solidify when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light during the SLA 3D printing process. These resins have good optical clarity, allowing for the production of transparent prototypes.

Transparent Filaments:

Polycarbonate (PC) Filament and polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG) Filament are transparent, can be used in FDM 3D printing to create clear prototypes.

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene):

Same ABS plastic material for injection molding, it is a widely used thermoplastic material with good strength, durability, and impact resistance.

Nylon:

Nylon has good mechanical properties, include high strength, toughness, and impact resistance. It is suitable for 3D printing functional prototypes.

Kusla is a rapid prototyping service company from China that offers customized services for both metal and plastic rapid prototyping. If you have any needs, you can contact Kusla.

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Request A Quote

Get in touch with our professional team today, and we will respond to you within 24 hours.

Employees of Kusla.

Gang Liu

Marketing Director

Employees of Kusla.

Hua Liu

Project Manager

Employees of Kusla.

Yiyang Zhao

Project Manager

Employees of Kusla.

Lu Wang

Technical Sales

Employees of Kusla.

Anming Li

Technical Sales

Employees of Kusla.

Xiaoli Wu

Technical Sales

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