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How to Read Material Data Sheets

To most people, plastics might seem all the same, but to an engineer, plastics come in families, have cousin materials, and have other materials that are as different as cats are from dogs. Of course, our clients expect us to worry about these details, and as nerds, the minute differences between materials are a source […]

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CNC Plastics Selection Guide

The first step in designing a part is to determine what material it should be made out of. If you decide the part should be plastic, and it should be CNC machined, the selection does not simply stop there. There is a plethora of machinable plastic to choose from for plastic machining in 2022, each […]

Article

Aluminum Anodizing: All You Need to Know

Aluminum Anodizing Overview The anodizing process (sometimes known as anodization) converts the surface of aluminum into a thicker, more uniform oxide layer through an electrolytic process. Electrochemically anodizing aluminum produces an aluminum oxide surface that has: Corrosion resistance A pleasing appearance Wear resistance Improved paint or adhesive bonding Improved lubricity Improved plating adhesion This article […]

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Guide to Plastic Materials for Prototyping and Production

In the world of plastics, there are a lot of different options for a designer to choose from. There are so many plastic materials, in fact, that the process of selecting the proper 3D printing plastics for prototyping and subsequent manufacturing plastics for production may seem intimidating. This article seeks to clarify the main types of plastic materials […]

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Advanced Materials Guide for Injection Molding

The advent of CAD systems, additive manufacturing, and CNC machining has made the design and manufacture of complex part designs almost routine. Engineers today are being asked to design parts that will probably be exposed to many different factors, including extreme weather, chemicals, bodily fluids, high stress/high load, impact, and other elements and situations that […]

Article

Thermoplastics vs. Thermoset Plastics: Material Properties Overview

Thermoplastics and thermoset plastics are classes of polymers used in injection molding, CNC machining, 3D printing, and urethane casting. Like elastomers, another class of polymer, thermoplastics and thermosets both consist of long, repeating chains of molecules. Under a microscope, the structure of a thermoplastic resembles a railroad track while a thermoset material looks like a […]

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