Ultimate Guide to Creating Clear Parts Production
Clear parts often find an array of roles to play in today’s world. A few of the involved sectors are the automobile and aerospace sector. They even have a bigger role in our daily lives in the name of cans and bottles. It may, however, be unclear how we manufacturers come up with these clear parts. Below are 3 preferred ways, that we at Creatingway use in the creation of clear parts. It will cover a few pros and cons that will hopefully guide any prospects out there on the ideal creation process.
Creating Clear Parts With Using 3D Printing Process
Normally, 3D printing can’t directly print clear parts since its materials have limitations. The clear parts that we are able to print out via 3D printing appear foggy and are thus translucent. Luckily, our experts at Creatingway have a way of achieving clear parts from 3D printing. It involves using sandpaper to polish and smoothen the parts. Sanding refers to polishing parts using sandpaper. Once we turn the part from coarse to fine, we proceed to use wax in polishing. This part ends up appearing acrylic.
The major pro to this process is that we are able to make the part as a whole and not as separate parts. However, there are a few cons to it. One of them is that it tasking to create clear parts that have a complex internal structure. This is since we are unable to manually polish these internal parts. For this case, we have an alternative for achieving a completely transparent effect. This is through CNC acrylic bonding method. Another con is that the SLA raw material is usually liquid. Air bubbles may thus enter the material during 3D printing. It results in small air bubbles appearing in the clear parts.
When using a light photo-sensitive polymer in SLA 3D printing, there are a few other defects that may arise. In the case of a clear pipe prototype, its inner diameter may be relatively small. Some of its local positions may thus be tasking to polish manually. We may thus not achieve the desired effect of complete transparency. This defect may, however, be acceptable to the client in special cases. One such case is for gas valve piping. The clarity is not as vital as long as you see the transport effect of the airflow. 3D printing helps cut extra costs and completes the final product quickly.
Materials for CNC Machining Clear Parts
The most common material for CNC machining clear parts is PC and acrylic. In both cases, we have to carry out acrylic polishing and PC vapor polishing. Though both PC and acrylic materials are clear, they differ in use.
Acrylic, for instance, is clearer than PC. It thus allows better penetration and is far simpler to polish than PC. We prefer using acrylic transparency in exhibition prototypes. However, its major con is its brittleness which is lower when we compare it to PC. Moreover, we can only achieve J processing via CNC machining. We have to be more technical if the part has a functional structure, with a hollow interior. This is since disassembling it leaves a sticky wire. PC offers awesome hardness and resistance to high temps. It, however, makes it much harder to polish. In addition, if we carefully view PC materials from a different angle, we will see them reflect a violet light. Its cracks are thus even clearer during fumigation.
Complex parts need CNC split machining after which we glue the parts together. However, clear parts often end up showing glue line-markings. Luckily, it ends up looking more like an art line than an error. This is since Creatingway’s team of experts is adept at working out this flaw. The glue also saves us a lot of processing time and cost.
Vacuum Casting Process For the Clear Parts
Vacuum casting of clear parts varies depending on the type of resin material. There are two main materials that we use in making clear prototypes by vacuum casting. The performance of PX 5210 helps us create clear parts that resemble clear PMMA. On the other hand, PX 527 helps us create clear parts that resemble a clear PC. Vacuum casting is ideal for low volume production. We use silicone molds in casting 10-12 pieces that have a specific structure for analysis. One major pro is that vacuum casting can cast an array of post-processing parts. This includes different color textures, matt finishes, and textures. They thus help us cut costs on labor for manual polishing and sanding. Moreover, we can process the parts as a whole and thus shorten the time of delivery to the final market.
Silicone molds often have a short life span. They are also not economical when having to create batches that are more than 500 pieces. Luckily, any client that falls into this category can opt for injection molding.
At Creatingway, we make clear parts using the above 3 production ways. Of course, we also are able to make injection mold for clear parts. We will share more knowledge next article for this. If you have any inquiries regarding the creation of clear parts, feel free to contact us.
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