Process of industrial plastic prototypes

Design document output→drawing analysis and quotations →component programming →CNC machining →manual  adjustment→surface treatment→ assembly and quality inspection→ shipment

1. What are the design file?

A. 3D model file, subject to STP ,igs format

B. CMF files and product process renderings.

C. Film CDR files, CDR files with silk screen LOGO or other patterns on the surface of products.

D. BOM list. If the structural prototype needs to be made, the material and production quantity of all the individual parts shall be listed.

E. Instructions for the production of special requirements, such as those for the structural parts that need to be assembled by  the prototype factory, or for the parts that need to be welded together with special requirements.


2. Review drawing analysis and quotation

A. Receive the design documents and confirm whether the contents of the documents are complete. In case of any discrepancy, communicate with the designer in time.

B. Check whether the design document is consistent with the 3D model, and communicate with the designer in time if there is any discrepancy.

C. Analysis of difficulties in prototype processing and production, feasibility analysis of surface treatment, and timely communication with the designer if there is any problem.

D. Evaluate the process method, lead time according to complexity of prototype and offer quotation to customers.


3. Component programming

A. Classify and disassemble the design 3D drawings. Some parts that cannot be directly processed need to be disassembled into several pieces and assembled into A whole.

B. Import the classified 3D files into the programming software MasterCAM for CNC machining programming.

C. Cutting tool selection. Different machining materials choose milling cutters with different materials.

4. CNC machining

A. First fix the solid material on the CNC machine. There are many ways to fix it, including double-sided glue, glue and putty. But to ensure that within the scope of processing, and raw materials must not moving.

B. Restart the machine to program 3D file data for automatic CNC machining.

5. Manual Adjustment

A. Firstly, clean the parts processed by CNC, and clean the unwanted burr and residue.

B. Check the real accessories with 3D files to see if they are processed properly. If there is any omission, the parts will be processed again.

C. Manual adjustment. If there are processing difficulties in the parts, manual adjustment shall be carried out if the parts cannot be processed in place.

For example, if the hole is too deep and is not fully through during process, it needs to be adjusted by hand with tools.;the tool can not reach the inside right angle, you need tools to re-work.

D. Grinding the appearance surface and special matching surface. Since it is impossible to achieve a completely smooth surface after CNC machining, there will machining mark left. Sandpaper will be used to polish parts.

6. Surface processing

A. According to the CMF diagram, select the parts that need surface treatment and classify them. For example, those that need electroplating, those that need spraying, those that need silk-screen printing, etc., are classified according to requirements. 

B. For metal parts, if satin finish or sand blasting is to be achieved on surface, the designer needs to provide the sand number, and it is better to mark clearly on the CMF file. If there are characters carved with laser, the depth of the  laser carving should be marked.

C. In addition to conventional surface treatment, such as to make a semi-transparent, water transfer printing, UV transfer printing, IML etc, those special surface treatment is difficult to achieve the result of a real product. so, Prototypes only can show a rough effect. If you want to see the perfect effect, you need to make production mold.

7. Assembly and quality inspection

When all the parts are finished, they need to be assembled. and the assembly process has been designed in the disassembly programming stage, just like we do the structure, we need to think clearly about the assembly process before the construction can start, the later stage will be assembled step by step according to the process.

When the assembly is completed, it is necessary to check whether the overall prototype meets the design requirements. For example, no mismatch on exterior surface; no deformation, no uneven gap and other problems affecting the appearance. In terms of structural coordination, it depends on whether the parts can be assembled together, whether the assembly is not in place, whether there is interference, screw holes are not processed in place, and so on.

8, shipment

The product shall be packaged in a fall-proof way to prevent damage to the prototype during transportation.

FP is a reliable supplier making rapid prototypes, machining parts, molds and molding plastic parts.

Any project we can talk, welcome to contact us..

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