Envision Plastics Expert Announces Part Five in the Series: How to Design Plastic Enclosures Using NMR Technology

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NMR Technology (No Molds Required) is a technology Envision Plastics and Design uses to manufacture custom plastic electronic enclosures with no tooling or molds. Since it’s a unique plastic fabrication process, some forethought goes into the design criteria to make an economical plastic enclosure.

the NMR plastic fabrication process can accept many types of materials and material thicknesses. However, all materials do perform a little differently through the milling process.

In the last segment of the NMR Technology design series, materials used in the NMR manufacturing process were defined and explained in regard to types, thicknesses, and UL grades. This fifth installment in the series will start to define define the manufacturing process steps of NMR production. The first step is CNC milling.

Once files are received and purchase orders are placed, Envision design engineers begin to make manufacturing layouts of the components used to make up the custom plastic enclosure. In addition, the design engineers program the three axis CNC routers for each component.

Envision’s three types of CNC routers have three different bed sizes. They are:
36” x 40”,48x48, and 50” x 120”. Engineers will decide which machine best fits the custom enclosure application based on size and features needed on the part components.

As stated in the previous installment, the NMR plastic fabrication process can accept many types of materials (ABS, HIPS, polycarbonate, acrylic) and material thicknesses. However, all materials do perform a little differently through the milling process. Milling bit size and travel and RPM speeds are adjusted accordingly based on material type and material thickness.

Typically, the material is placed on the milling bed with the texture down. Most features are internal on the enclosure walls, so milling from the non-textured smooth side of the sheet eliminates the concern of scratches on the texture (or appearance) side. However, there may be recesses needed on the visible surface for a label, sticker, etc. If dual-sided milling is required, the part is placed in a fixture on the router table texture side up. This procedure is common, but it does add some additional setup and run time. Considerations should be made to use digital printing instead of use of labels (click on this hyperlink to the digital printing page on Envision’s website for more information).

In the next installment in this series, the NMR bending process will be discussed.

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Brian DuFresne
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