For a long time, metal was the primary material used in many manufacturing applications. Its considerable strength and durability made metal a logical choice for applications across many industries.
Today, plastic has revolutionized manufacturing, producing durable and versatile products that are more flexible, weigh less, and offer greater freedom for product designers. As a result, many manufacturers have decided to convert traditionally metal parts to plastics. However, it’s important to carefully consider the tips below before taking on a metal to plastic conversion project.
- Get the right help: To ensure your metal to plastic conversion project goes smoothly, partner with a manufacturer who can help you modify your part design to make sure it’s suitable for plastics manufacturing.
- Ask questions: Never be afraid to ask questions as you navigate the metal to plastic conversion process. Consider your goals. Are you hoping to reduce part weight? Improve product quality or consistency? You will also want to think about the functional and aesthetic qualities of your component, and how new material will affect those characteristics. Asking these questions upfront can help you select the right materials and adjust your design as needed.
- Consider materials: There are a wide variety of plastics materials that may be suitable for your part. Working closely with your manufacturer’s engineering team, you’ll be able to determine which plastic is the best choice for your components and learn how different materials will affect the overall strength, durability and appearance of your finished product.
- Evaluate costs: Transitioning from metal to plastics requires an upfront investment. You will need to take into account design, prototyping and production costs. The key is to thoroughly assess your situation and determine whether the benefits of a conversion will pay off for you in a timeframe that is acceptable.
- Don’t be afraid to tweak that design! With different materials come different design possibilities. Make sure to include time for prototyping and design modifications to ensure the finished product is even more functional than the original.
Have questions about whether metal to plastic conversion is right for your products? We are proud to offer professional engineering and design services for plastic injection molding. Reach out to us today to find out more and to get started with services.