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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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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 […]

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Working with Copper: Design, Machining, and Finish Requirements

Copper is a truly versatile metal. Copper has a naturally beautiful, shiny finish that makes it desirable for artwork, cookware, kitchen backsplashes, countertops, and even jewelry. It also has excellent material and electrical properties for engineered, complex parts, like EDM electrodes. There are many benefits to using copper for machined parts. Copper is one of […]

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Finding the Right Secondary Operations after CNC machining, Part I: Heat Treatments

Once you’ve finished CNC machining your parts, your work isn’t done. Those raw components might have ugly finishes, may not be strong enough, or be just one part of an assembly that’s got to be connected with others to make a complete product. After all, how often do you use devices composed of a single […]

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What You Need to Know About CNC Machining Aluminum

Aluminum is the name of the most abundant metallic element found in earth’s crust, which is part of the reason why it’s used in so many objects that we use every day. In fact, it’s the most widely used non-ferrous metal (meaning that it doesn’t contain any iron). Aluminum is found both in common objects, […]

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ABS Injection Molding: Material Properties and Processing Considerations

ABS is a commonly used plastic injection molding material with three main ingredients: acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene. Each of these monomers imparts specific properties and provides ABS terpolymer with a robust combination of features. The “A” in ABS, acrylonitrile, imparts hardness and heat and chemical resistance. The “B”, which stands for butadiene, provides toughness and […]

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The Many Types of Steel, and What You Should Know About CNC Machining Them

Steel comes in many forms: sheet metal, plates, bars and beams of various geometries, pipes, and of course, the solid stock material used when CNC machining steel. Steel is used for so many applications and by so many industries that it makes sense for there to be many different types of steel. But what’s the […]

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The Ten Most Common Plastic Injection Molding Materials

Plastic injection molding materials have names that sound like terms from chemistry class. It’s hard enough that polyethylene rhymes with polypropylene, which has an abbreviation (PP) that’s similar to polystyrene (PS). Choosing the right injection molding material also means knowing your application requirements, which can change between prototyping and production. Fortunately, you don’t need a […]

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Thermoplastic vs Thermoset Plastic: Mechanical Properties Overview

The flexibility in adjusting plastic mechanical properties makes much of our technological advancement possible, from being able to produce fuel-efficient jumbo jets with high strength, to lightweight carbon fiber-reinforced plastic that can be made into impact-resistant silicone phone cases that save our precious phones from shattering into pieces. This article provides an overview of the […]

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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 […]