Toronto Fabricator Cuts Mold Build Time With CNC Router
Like many fabricators, Engineered Plastic Designs (Toronto), a manufacturer of plastic point-of-purchase displays, used to manually build molds for vacuum-formed parts out of wood. The process was tim...
Like many fabricators, Engineered Plastic Designs (Toronto), a manufacturer of plastic point-of-purchase displays, used to manually build molds for vacuum-formed parts out of wood. The process was time consuming and often inconsistent. The purchase of a CNC router and CAD/CAM software has now helped the Toronto-based company reduce the time needed to build molds for jewelry display cases from three days to six hours, with improved repeatability. The cost of the CNC machine, manufactured by Techno Inc. (New Hyde Park, NY), includes the CAD/CAM program.
Engineered Plastic Designs produces the molds to make vacuum-formed inserts to hold jewelry. Typically these inserts are made of either polystyrene or acrylic and are designed with a number of cavities for displaying, for example, earrings. Grooves in the top of the cavities must match up with tabs on the cards holding the earrings. Molds made by hand tended to produce inserts with variations in groove dimension. The combination of CNC and CAD/CAM programming has eliminated these variations.
Bonnie Rainer, vice president of operations at Engineered Plastic Designs, reports that the company does all its own CAD/CAM programming. The CAM package creates all the tool paths for cutting the mold. Frequently, three molds are programmed and cut together. Prototype molds are cut from wood. After trial, a final mold is cut from epoxy. Once the machine is set up it can operate unattended.
EPD and its sister company, Liberty Displays Inc., produce and market custom-built display merchandise such as countertop displays, floor displays, trays, props and pool cue displays. The companies employ about 50 people and sell mainly to customers in North America.
Techno Inc. 516-328-3970