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Expertise In Plastics For Mechanical Prototypes & Mass-Manufacturing via CNC, 3D Printing, and Injection Molding

The right plastics for your project and the necessary hardware to complete a high quality product quickly and at a fair price. We are the world's experts at mechanical design with plastics used in 3D printers, CNC machines, and design for injection mold manufacturing. 

ABS Plastic

 

ABS is the plastic used to make LEGOs

Cheap, readily available, with flexible material properties. ABS is the go-to product for 3D printing applications. Read more.

Acetal
(Polyoxymethylene, POM)

 

Acetal is an ideal plastic for low friction gears

Low friction, high impact resistance. The ideal plastic for gears and surface-surface contact. Read more.

Acrylic (PMMA)

 

Acrylic (PMMA) optical plastic: magnifying glass lens

Physically flexible with diverse utility in household and industrial applications. Polypropylene is the go-to material for CNC cut living hinge prototypes

Nylon (PA)

 

nylon rope

 Nylon is strong and temperature resistant making it a good substitute for metal parts and for use as a fiber in things like rope and textiles. Read more.

Polycarbonate (PC)

 

Polycarbonate (PC) Greehouse

Translucent, highly impact resistant. The ideal plastic for allowing the trasmission of light. Read more.

Polyethylene (PE)

 

Polyethylene (PE) plastic replacement hip (UHMW)

Versatile and diverse applications from plastic bags or construction materials to medical device implants. Read more.

 

See How Different Plastics Compare and Contrast

 

  ABS Plastic Acetal (POM) Acrylic (PMMA) Nylon (PA) Polycarbonate (PC) Polyethylene (PE) Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) Polylactic Acid (PLA) Polypropylene (PP) Polystyrene (PS) Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
ABS Plastic Read About ABS             ABS vs PLA      
Acetal (POM)   Read About POM                  
Acrylic (PMMA)     Read About Acrylic    PMMA vs PC            
Nylon (PA)       Read About Nylon              
Polycarbonate (PC)      PC vs PMMA   Read About PC            
Polyethylene (PE)           Read About PE          
Polylactic Acid (PLA) PLA vs ABS             Read About PLA      
Polypropylene (PP)                 Read About PP    
Polystyrene (PS)                   Read About PS  
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)                     Read About PVC

Polypropylene Living Hinges

Get Free Widget

Initial Prototype Development Process

 

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)

polyester fabric

  PET/PETE is the most commonly plastic in the world. Applications include food & water packaging & the popular "polyester" fabric. Read more.

Polypropylene (PP)

Business_Card_Holder_Living_Hinge_Polypropylene_3.png

Physically flexible with diverse utility in household and industrial applications. Polypropylene is the go-to material for CNC cut living hinge prototypes. Read more.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

Schedule 40 PVC construction pipe

PVC is available as both a rigid plastic used commonly for plumbing or as "vinyl" siding, and as a flexible plastic used as a rubber substitute. Read more. 

Polystyrene (PS)

polystyrene "styrofoam" disposable dinnerware

 PS is a predecessor to ABS in model making applications and it's the material behind the well-known trade product "stryofoam." Read more.

 

Learn About The Prototype Design Process

Benefits of Working With Prototype Design Specialist

Material Properties For Different Plastics

 Plastic Chemical Formula Petroleum Based Shrink Rate Thermoplastic or Thermoset Melting Point Glass Transition Mold Temperature Mold Pressure Tensile Strength Flexural Strength Unique Characteristics
ABS Plastic (C8H8)x· (C4H6)y·(C3H3N)z Yes 0.5-0.7% (.005-.007 in/in) Thermoplastic 204-238°C (400-460°F)  105°C (221°F) 63-85°C (145-185°F) 69-103 MPa (10,000-15,000 PSI)   46 MPa (6,600 PSI) 74 MPa (10,800 PSI) Readily available, cheap, durable
Acetal (POM)  (CH2O)n Yes  2.1-2.9% (.021-.029 in/in)  Thermoplastic  182-218°C (360-425°F)    79-107°C (175-225°F) 69-103 MPa (10,000-15,000 PSI)  63 MPa (9,100 PSI)  90 MPa (13,000 PSI) Low friction surface, high impact resistance
Acrylic (PMMA) (C5H8O2)n Yes  0.2-1% (0.002-0.01 in/in)  Thermoplastic  130°C (266°F)    79-107°C (175-225°F) 69-103 MPa (10,000-15,000 PSI)   65 MPa (9400 PSI)  90 MPa (13000 PSI) Low friction surface, high impact resistance
Polycarbonate (PC)  C15H16O2   Yes  0.6-0.9% (.006-.009 in/in)  Thermoplastic   288-316°C (550-600°F)    82-121°C (180-250°F) 69-103 MPa (10,000-15,000 PSI)  59 MPa (8,500 PSI)  93 MPa (13,500 PSI) Extremely high impact resistance, Translucent
Polyethylene (PE)  (C2H4)n  Yes LDPE: 2.4-3.1% (.024-.031 in/in)
HDPE: 1.7-2.9% (0.017-0.029 in/in)
 Thermoplastic  LDPE: 110°C (230°F)
HDPE: 130°C (266°F)
  21-66°C (70-150°F) 69-103 MPa (10,000-15,000 PSI) LDPE: 7 MPa (1,000 PSI)
HDPE: 20 MPa (2,900 PSI)
LDPE: 6 MPa (800 PSI)
HDPE: 21 MPa (3,000 PSI)
 Diverse applications across a range of different types (LDPE, HDPE, UHMW etc)
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)   (C10H8O4)n  Yes 0.1-0.3% (0.001-0.003 in/in)  Thermoplastic  500°C (260°F)   74-91°C (165-195°F) 69-103 MPa (10,000-15,000 PSI) 152MPa (22000 PSI) *w/ 30% glass fiber 221MPa (32000 PSI) "polyester" fabric, safe for consumables packaging, and shatterproof 
Polylactic Acid (PLA)  

(C3H4O2)n

 No - Biomass (typically derived from Sugarcane or Corn Starch)  PLLA: 0.37-0.41% (0.0037-0.0041 in/in)   Thermoplastic  PLLA: 157-170°C (315-338 °F)   PLLA:  178-240°C (353-464°F)    PLLA: 61-66 MPa (8,840-9,500 PSI)  PLLA:  48-110 MPa (6,950-16,000 PSI)   Biodegradeable (typically decomposes in 6-24 months)
Polypropylene (PP)  (C3H6)n  Yes 1.5-2% (.015-.020 in/in)   Thermoplastic   191-232°C (375-450°F)    82-121°C (32-66°F)   69-103 MPa (10,000-15,000 PSI) 32 MPa (4,700 PSI)  41 MPa (6,000 PSI) Extremely flexible and ductile (#1 choice for living hinges)
Polystyrene (PS) (C8H8)n  Yes   0.3-0.7% (.003-.007 in/in)  Both (Depends on Type) 210-249°C (410-480°F)     38-66°C (100-150°F) 69-103 MPa (10,000-15,000 PSI)  53 MPa (7,700 PSI)  83 MPa (12,000 PSI)  Unique application as a foam ("styrofoam") 
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)  (C2H3Cl)n  Yes    Thermoplastic  100-260°C (212-500°F)       Flexible: 6.9-25 MPa (1,000-3625 PSI)
Rigid: 34-62 MPa (4930-9000 PSI)
  cheap, very hard and impact resistant