Custom plastic fabrication is a technical process that may seem simple from the outside looking in. Plastic products are all around us— from the water bottles we drink out of to product packaging.
If you’ve ever wondered what the typical custom plastic fabrication process looks like, here it is.
Step 1: Design and Prototype
The first step is to know what you’re fabricating. You also need to figure out the logistics of the application. For example, if you’re designing a plastic chair, you’ll want to make sure that it can support an average adult’s weight.
Step 2: Molding and Casting
For items that need to be produced in larger volumes or with specific strength and quality standards, the plastic casting process is used.
During the process of plastic casting, an injector will mix the appropriate ratio of raw, plastic materials— including resins or dies— and melt them into a liquid. Then, the liquid is injected at high temperatures and pressures into a custom mold. The product needs to be cooled for a moment before being taken out of the mold to allow room for the next injection.
Step 3: Drape Forming
Drape forming is the process of taking a preformed plastic sheet and heating it to allow it to “drape” into the desired shape. This is commonly used for windshields or vehicles such as motorcycles.