The CNC machining process is extremely versatile and efficient, making it a popular manufacturing process for many industries. The CNC machining plastics used display the same kind of versatility and are great for many different applications. However, with so many plastics on the market, it can be difficult to know which one fits your needs best. Luckily, our experts have created a guide for you to discover which CNC machining plastics are best for you.

What to Consider When Deciding on a CNC Machined Plastic

Thermal Stability

In many industries, plastics are exposed to varying temperatures in their applications. Whether those temperatures are hot, cold, or both, it is important to make sure that the plastics you choose can withstand the temperatures they will be exposed to.

If your product is used in automotive, aerospace, oil and gas, or semiconductor applications, it is important to choose a plastic that can maintain its properties at high and low temperatures.


The strength and hardness of a plastic can affect the wear life of a part in an application. In particularly taxing applications, the anticipated wear and tear should inform material selection. For example, in the fluidics and oil and gas industries, it is important to choose a high-strength, hard CNC machining plastic.


Depending on your product’s application, it may come into contact with chemicals, heat, or water frequently and needs to be able to withstand them. Various CNC machining plastics are resistant to chemicals, heat, and/or water. Knowing what materials or temperatures your product will be subjected to allows you to find a polymer with the right properties.

Common CNC Machining Plastics and Their Properties

Acetal POM

This thermoplastic polymer provides good strength and is easily machined to meet the tightest of tolerances. Since it can withstand high-moisture environments and is FDA, USDA, Canada AG, and 3A-Dairy compliant, this polymer is ideal for use in food handling, medical components, and marine components applications.


There are a few different types of Nylon available on the market. While all Nylons are easy to machine, there are a few other properties that differentiate potential options. Nylon 6 can be machined to easily meet tight tolerances, Nylon 6/6 is strong and abrasion resistant, and 30% Glass Filled Nylon 6/6 is tough and provides good electrical insulating properties.


This CNC machining polymer has low moisture absorption, good chemical resistance, and can easily be machined to meet tight tolerances. All of these properties make it a good choice for applications in the automotive and aerospace industries.


This high-performance thermoplastic is tough and can easily operate in high temperatures. It is also resistant to steam and has good wear resistance. PEEK is a popular choice for medical and pharmaceutical applications, as well as aerospace and automotive components.


This engineering thermoplastic is easily machined, has impressive strength, good chemical resistance, and exhibits minimal moisture absorption. PET is also FDA compliant making it good for food handling and medical applications and its low moisture absorption makes it popular in marine components.


HDPE is a chemical-resistant, tough, low-cost CNC machining plastic. Since it is FDA, USDA, and NSF compliant, it is used widely in many industries including food handling, chemical applications, and many more.

Ensinger Precision Components Has the CNC Machining Plastics You Need

At Ensinger Precision Components, we have years of experience in CNC machining precise components with tight tolerances. We work with cutting edge technology to create high-quality products that meet the tightest of tolerances — up to +/- 0.0005 inches. From CNC drilling to boring to milling, we can take care of all of your CNC machining needs.

We carry various CNC machining plastics and can help you decide which is best for your application’s needs. From high-performance polymers to engineering resins to general industrial polymers, we have you covered.

If you are ready to get started creating your products through our CNC machining services, contact our team today.