Plastic Trim Part Fabrication

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by jdworld, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. jdworld
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    Location: Portland

    jdworld Junior Member

    Where would one go to get custom designed one-off plastic trim pieces made? Say for example you needed some interior trim rings made to match some custom shaped windows on a houseboat. OR maybe you wanted / needed a custom instrument cluster manufactured out of plastic. There's a lot of custom boat designers and builders on this list, and I'm sure with many of the boats that get built there's surely some custom plastic pieces that need be made. Where do you go? Thanks!
     
  2. Greybarn
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Greybarn Junior Member

    We either design and build them in-house, or design them and sub them out to CNC shops.
     
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    These sort of thing don't have to be difficult. If you have a good production run to perform, then you have many options, but for one offs, 'glass over or in a mold, will suffice quite well.

    A wooden representation of your port trim could be easily carved up. A female mold pulled from this in vinyl, latex or rubber and a cast laminate built up in the mold, possibly with pigment added to make over coating easier.

    It would be helpful to know what you're attempting, how many, in house facilities, etc.
     
  4. wardd
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    wardd Senior Member

    clay master, plaster mold, vacuum form

    you can do it at home
     
  5. jdworld
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    jdworld Junior Member

    Wow - so you would actually try and do it yourself then. Ok, I've done a few little latex mold plastic pieces before. And get the clay or wood master with a latex or plaster mold concept. But the DIY vacuum forming I haven't done since using a big industrial machine once or twice way back in high school. How can you do this at home ? I would love to get this stuff down. I'm a total DIY guy and it would open up a whole new world of possibilities if I could somehow make the parts (at least functioning prototypes) myself. Although trying to carve up and mold something as big (and thin walled) as an instrument cluster seems unwieldy, but maybe? What does CNC stand for?
     
  6. wardd
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    wardd Senior Member

    if you seal the plastic sheet to a box with heater coils in it you can use pressure to force it over the mold just put vent holes in the mold
     
  7. kerosene
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    kerosene Senior Member

    CNC = computer numeric control

    means you create a 3d-model in a modeling software and a computer controlled milling machine mills the shape out of material of your choice. accurate but expensive
     
  8. jdworld
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    jdworld Junior Member

    ahh right, have seen that on tv. any example of costs?
     

  9. kerosene
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    kerosene Senior Member

    I have no recent experience but on one off parts one grand doesn't get you much - someone else can chime in.
     
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