Plastics and Composites Interest Group

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The Plastics and Composites Special Interest Group is a group of DMS members who are interested in fabricating items from plastics and/or composites. In all cases, the use of the word Plastics on this page generally refers to plastics and all related composites.

This SIG is under the purview of the Machine Shop Committee, which helps to enable the SIG's activities.

Current Group Leader is [OPEN].

Plastics and Composites Group Goals

  1. Maintain the quality of our existing tools by regularly monitoring the resources in the Plastics area of the Machine Shop.
  2. Train Members on the safe and proper use of our tools during introduction to Plastics and Composites related classes.
  3. Acquire tools as the opportunity arises and funds are available.
  4. Encourage safe fabrication by offering skills based project classes.

How To Join

The Plastics and Composites group is open to all DMS members. Some tools are dangerous and will have Training and Age requirement or both. Add your name, in alphabetic order, to the "Members" section of this wiki page along with your TALK handle to receive specific group messages.


Jay Phelps - volunteered to work on Shapeoko 3XXL

Angelica Johnson - TALK handle: angelica

Tools and Supplies


  1. Shapeoko 3XXL (Training Required)
  2. Formech Vacuum Former (Training Required)
  3. Jet Band Saw (Training Required)
  4. Porter Cable Router (Training Required)
  5. DeWalt Table Saw (Training Required)
  6. Quincy Acrylic Bender
  7. Wen Drill Press
  8. Rigid Multi-Sander
  9. Delta Dust Collector

Additional tools and resources which we plan to be available will include:

  • Plastics adhesives
  • Plastics Polishing compounds
  • Styrene sheets for purchase for use with the vacuum former

Shared DMS Resources

  • There are DMS tools that are already available for use in the fabrication of plastics. Most can be found in the Machine Shop Area and will not be duplicated in the plastics area.
  • A table saw for cutting down sheet material is available in the woodshop area. Training and rules are under the woodshop committee.
  • Lasers are a valuable tool for cutting plastics and are available in the Laser area. It is important that proper venting be followed as some plastics generate noxious fumes. A prohibited example would be PVC which can generate Chlorine gas when heated. Consult the approved materials list in the Laser committee page and area. [1]

Rules and Safety

As a SIG under the governance of the Machine Shop Committee, the Plastics group will follow all of the rules as set forth in the Machine Shop rules.

Rules specific to the fabrication of plastics and composites will be identified here (enacted by committee 03/2024)

  • Machining of carbon fiber is not allowed in Plastics (nor in Machine Shop)
  • Glass Fiber Composites are allowed only on the Nomad, and only after training for that material is complete
  • All other plastic composites are allowed throughout the Plastics area.

Machine-specific rules are documented in the machine-specific wiki sections.


A topic category on TALK has been created under the Machine Shop Category to specifically address Plastics discussions. It will be Machine Shop ->Plastics & Composites.

Reference Materials

Plastics and Composites Vendors

Plastic Suppliers

Tutorials and Reference Sites