When making prototypes for auto lamps, there are lots of transparent parts. They are usually made of PC or PMMA material via rapid CNC machining or vacuum casting. For vacuum casting, the materials are actually PC-like PU and PMMA-like PU. They are less transparent than the materials for CNC machining. So CNC machining is still the first choice if transparency matters.
For rapid prototyping by CNC machining, PC is less transparent than PMMA. If you look closer, you will find the surface of the PC parts is light violet. Therefore, the surface treatment vapor polishing is applied after rapid CNC machining to make PC parts truly transparent. But there is a possibility that the surface cracks.
Transparent prototypes are often made in one piece to avoid gluing marks. Because they are rather obvious on transparent parts and not good-looking. So, we usually don't advise the machining solution that requires splitting the parts.
To know more about the differences between PC and PMMA material in rapid prototyping via CNC machining, you can read our blog. We also will help you to decide the best material based on your needs according to our experience of over 10 years. The material data sheets can also be provided. In some cases, the finishing requirements also affect the material choice. Some structures cannot be polished. And SLA printing in transparent resin material will be suggested on this occasion. In conclusion, the production method varies based on different situations.
In this case, we’d like to show you some transparent PC auto lamp rapid prototyping parts by CNC machining with vapor polishing finishing.
You can easily see the violet color of the PC parts via rapid prototyping CNC machining. It is very normal after vapor polishing as mentioned above. If you mind the violet color, PMMA is a better choice in rapid prototyping CNC machining.
For more cases of transparent prototypes, don't hesitate to contact us. Also, for any rapid prototyping needs by CNC machining, we are more than happy to provide you the custom machining solutions within 24 hours.