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CNC Machining - Thermoformed Products

  • Thermoformed products
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Plastic Machining with CMS' Innovative CNC Solutions

CMS North America (CMSNA) manufactures a full line of CNC plastic machining centers engineered to deliver the fastest, most efficient, and most versatile performance possible. Our advanced CNC systems provide a broad range of machining capabilities alongside high speed processing and numerous automated functions.




There are countless types of plastics available, making it one of the most widely used materials in the world. Plastics are generally less expensive than metals, and many varieties offer comparable strength with significantly lighter weight. Commonly machined plastics include polypropylene, PVC, acrylic, vinyl, nylon, ABS, Torlon, Ultem, and Nomex.

Plastic materials are used to manufacture a vast range of products, from small components for automobiles and food processing equipment to large pieces for building construction and countless others in between.

Plastic - High Performance 5 axis Machining

Plastic—High Performance 5 axis Machining

CMSNA has decades of experience in our industry. We put that experience to work in creating the best CNC machining centers on the market. Extensive research and development goes into every system and every model, and our highly skilled engineers constantly strive to deliver the most innovative, cutting edge capabilities for machining plastic or any other material.

Our plastic machining centers include an array of features designed to improve the quality and quantity of production while providing exceptional ease of use and keeping operators safe.

Features include:

  • 5-axis plastic cutting capabilities
  • High speed work heads for high power, torque, and response
  • Available dual work zones for non-stop pendulous work cycles
  • Automated material feeds
  • Rigid construction
Fast, Flexible, Waterjet cutting

Plastic—Fast, Flexible, Waterjet cutting

Waterjet cutting is an ideal technology for cutting thermoformed plastics. As an industrial tool it's capable of cutting a wide variety of materials using a very high-pressure jet of water—or a mixture of water with an abrasive substance. In the case of thermoformed plastics, most often the trimming work can be accomplished as just a "pure" water application.

Waterjet cutting can be accomplished as part of a CNC machining center with capabilities using up to 5 axis IKC (Intelligent Kerf Cutting) or with multiple heads—for high volume production—or exploited as an "end-effector" in a robotic application.

Whatever the situation, waterjet cutting can be a real alternative to trimming by machining with a "routing" tool, especially where:

  • openings are small and difficult to reach
  • the width of the trim line is a concern
  • holding the part is problematic
Processing Plastics

Processing Plastics

Plastic materials, including advanced engineering plastics, are very easy to process with the use of the right equipment. Plastic is readily cut, drilled, milled, and otherwise machined. However, because of the varying physical characteristics of different types of plastic, certain factors must be accounted for.

Plastics are comparatively much softer than metals, as well as having greater elasticity. These properties can make it difficult to maintain tight tolerances during and after machining.

Plastics also have much lower softening/melting temperatures and greater thermal expansion rates than metals. A mist or full-flood cutting system can be used to reduce the heat generated in machining and minimize the effects of high temperatures.

Machining plastic can produce a large amount of dust and swarf. A full-flood cutting system, or one with dust extraction capabilities, can help eliminate particles from the machining environment.

Physical/Chemical Properties of Plastics

Physical/Chemical Properties of Plastics

Plastic materials may be made from synthetic, semi-synthetic, or natural materials. Most plastics are manufactured from petrochemicals, but plastics made from plant materials (called bioplastics) are increasingly common.

Because there are so many different types of plastic, the physical properties of the material can vary considerably. Hardness, density, and resistance to heat, solvents, oxidation, and other factors are affected by the organic chemistry of the polymer.




CMSNA’s Athena CNC plastic machining center delivers high performance and exceptional quality. Utilizing a high-performance electrospindle, the Athena system provides outstanding machining speeds for any material. A fully enclosed work envelope offers safe, efficient custom plastic fabrication of medium- to large-sized parts.


  • Up to 24,000 RPM machining speeds, with extremely fast acceleration.
  • Solid, compact structure reduces installation and re-starting times.
  • Maximum machining stroke: 3,000 mm, 118.11 inch, (X axis); 1,500 mm, 59.06 inch, (Y axis); 800 mm, 31.50" inch, (Z axis).
  • Automated tool-changer magazines available for 6 to 12 work tools.


A Monobloc Structural Frame, Moving Bridge, 5 axis, High Speed Machining Center. The Monobloc Structure provides incredible rigidity resulting in high accuracy values, quick and easy installation and plant layout resets. The enclosed design also provides excellent dust/chip control, reduced noise, and increased operator safety. With its powerful 5 axis working unit and variety of work table and fixturing solutions available, the compact Antares performs like a much larger machining center.



A wide range of Monobloc Structural Frames, Moving Bridge, 5-axis, High Speed Machining Centers. The Monobloc Structure provides incredible rigidity resulting in high accuracy values, quick and easy installation and plant layout resets. It has a broad range of work envelope sizes, wide variety of work table designs, powerful 5 axis working unit, and the ability to work in either a single zone or dual work zone manner for pendular work cycles. The enclosed design also provides excellent dust/chip control, reduced noise, and increased operator safety.

Poseidon K

Poseidon K

Poseidon K's working unit is a KX5 with either 15 kW power (20.1 hp) at 12,000 rpm, 24,000 rpm maximum, S1 rating, or 28 kW power (37.5 hp) at 4,300 rpm, 24,000 rpm maximum, S1 rating, and pneumatic brakes on the B & C axes. Poseidon K also is available with optional:

  • linear and rotary scales
  • compressed air through the cutting tool, if required
  • CMS' total enclosure with carbon fiber/composites dust protection kit
  • dust hood for 5-axis work
  • high velocity dust extraction system connected to the dust hood, for maximum efficiency

bridge CNC's



MX5 is a monobloc numerically-controlled machining center with 5 or 6 interpolated axes, designed and built to offer maximum accuracy, quality and flexibility.

  • Mobile bridge structure
  • Accuracy of movement and ease of loading/unloading operations of the heaviest pieces
  • Wide section “monobloc” basement in electro-welded steel, properly stress relieved
  • Rugged and stiff structure to meet the most demanding processing and built with long life components
  • Monobloc bridge based on aeronautical applications, a sturdiness which grants accurate and rapid acc/dec axes movement
  • Electrospindle completely designed and manufactured from CMS


Poseidon's range expands significantly to incorporate increased axis length, width or height requirements, mutiple work zones, or even with mutiple working carriages, making it possible to machine plastic components requiring very large work envelops and making Poseidon perfect for large dimensional projects...

band saw



Plastic Saw
The horizontal band saw TMaxi is ideal to separate thermoformed pieces from a larger thermoformed sheet from which a number of pieces must be separated, in total safety for the operator. Simple and solid, TMaxi is an indispensable piece of equipment downstream from the thermoforming process.

Precise and fast
TMaxi has welded steel support base with an extremely stiff monobloc structure. TMaxi is equipped with a conveyor belt which runs on a steel frame and is coated with polyurethane to prevent workpiece slippage. TMaxi is also designed with an effective band saw tensioning and adjustment system to ensure its correct and smooth movement. The belt speed can be adjusted as required.




CMS' Tecnocut Easyline Series provides customers an accurate and cost-effective entry-level waterjet cutting system. CMS' Tecnocut waterjet manufacturing technology, achieved through twenty years of experience, combined with the buying power of CMS Industries, results in a best value and top performance.

The Easyline is a three-axis abrasive waterjet cutting robot that offers a cutting envelope up to 2m (78") x 4m (156"). It can easily cut aluminum, steel, titanium, and other metals, as well as stone, plastic, glass, and other materials.

Idroline S

Idroline S

CMS' Tecnocut Idroline S combines cutting performance, productivity demands, and environmental considerations in a technologically superior system. The Idroline Series raises the bar for waterjet cutting systems, making it unique in the market. It is the first waterjet system with an active method for controlling the speed and kerf of the jet; the first with a 5 axis cutting head with continuous height following, and the first production waterjet system to provide an isolated cutting environment, providing for maximum operator safety and noise reduction. Idroline is able to perform the most demanding jobs, meeting the expectations of those requiring maximum performance from their cutting system.



The Milestone series of CNC waterjet cutting machines was designed in response to customer need and benefiting from our engineering experience of waterjet manufacturing processes for many years. Milestone has been studied for easy and performance oriented processing, and provides, due to its focus on the basic essentials, a configuration designed for high productivity, and at the same time one that pays great attention toward a safe working environment. Milestone is particularly suited to the stoneworking industry.



Cutting performance, productivity demands, and capacity have been combined in a technologically superior system named Idea. The Idea Series has raised the bar for large waterjet cutting systems, making it unique in the market. It is the first large waterjet system with an active method for controlling the speed and kerf of the jet; the first with a 5 axis cutting head with continuous height following. The Idea system is able to perform the most demanding jobs for large capacity cutting, meeting the expectations of those requiring maximum performance from a large format waterjet cutting system.



Complete Waterjet Cutting Systems

Quick and versatile cutting Waterjet CNC, specifically designed for all flexible materials, such as plastics, rubbers, foams, composites, layered materials, industrial gaskets and technical materials. Waterspeedy is fast , with the ability to use multiple cutting heads, and an automatic pallet change system to offer high levels of productivity at very competitive costs compared to conventional systems.


Automotive: Cutting & Finishing Dashboards

Automotive: Cutting & Finishing Dashboards and other interior parts

Modern automobile dashboards are made with more engineered plastics than ever before, from individual components to complete panels. There are dozens of parts involved, all of which must match exact dimensional specifications to provide proper fit and function. CMSNA’s advanced CNC technology provides the multi-axis capabilities, high speed, accuracy, reliability, and rapid tool changeover automakers need for the start-to-finish cutting and machining of dashboards and related components.

Automotive: Waterjet Cutting of Vehicle Interiors

Automotive: Waterjet Cutting of Vehicle Interiors

Vehicle interior components include arm rests, trunk liners, engine housing parts, door handles, and hundreds of other items. With the designs of today’s vehicles leaving little room for error, automobile manufacturers need every part to meet their specific requirements. CMSNA’s waterjet cutting machines provide high speed performance and superior cutting precision, and can reduce or eliminate the dust produced in the machining process for cleaner, more efficient production.
Building: Production of Thermoformed Parts

Building: Formwork 

Traditionally, formwork was produced using a costly system of molds to create the desired shape of the finished product. CMSNA’s CNC plastic machining equipment has the capabilities to produce superior quality formwork pieces at a much lower cost without the need for traditional molds. With multi-axis performance, automated tool changeover, and incredible precision, our machines enable start-to-finish production of even the most complex formwork shapes.

Building: Formwork

Building: Production of Thermoformed Parts

Thermoformed plastic parts are widely used in home and building construction. Everything from shower stalls to vent covers to lighting components falls into this category. CMSNA’s CNC machining centers provide the versatility and flexibility needed to quickly and accurately produce these essential and wide-ranging parts.

Building: Skylights

Building: Skylights

Producing plastic or plastic-composite components for skylights used to require a large amount of manual labor. This process was not only time consuming, but also highly susceptible to human error. CMSNA’s CNC machining technology provides perfect precision and repeatability for skylight components, leading to faster, more efficient production.


Trimming thermoformed parts

A thermoformed part's flashing is trimmed away, along with the use of a small saw blade around the edge as well as inside pockets which would be impossible to reach without its use. The video also illustrates a nonstop work cycle in which a different is machined with routing and blade trimming operations.

Waterjet 5 axis trimming of helmet

CMS Tecnocut 5 axis waterjet capabilities are shown in this video as a motorsport helmet is placed on a form, the table rotated into its work position and the helmet is trimmed with high pressure water.


Plastic technology profile
(click on the folder to download)