Design and Technology (D&T) KS3: Finishing plastic
This short film explains the processes used to take a rough-cut plastic edge or surface and give it a professional, polished finish.
It lists the tools students will need and guides them through the process step-by step.
Points for discussion
- When has one process been completed well enough to move on to the next?
- How do you achieve quality control in small-scale projects? How would that differ in large scale, commercial manufacturing?
- In what ways are these processes similar to finishing metal or wood?
- When might you choose flame polishing over buffing and polishing with a polishing mop or wheel?
- How might toothpaste be useful as a product for helping to finish plastics? It can be!
- Would you apply a surface or edge finish to a piece of plastic before or after line bending or drape forming it? Why?
- As an FPT, have a competition to create the best polished edge on a rough-cut piece of acrylic.
- This process can be used to finish a huge range of items which students choose for projects, for example mobile phone holders, personalised bag tags, desk tidies, boombox housings, etc.
- This process can be adapted to provide a professional finish for a huge range of products and components for KS4 projects.
Suitable for teaching design and technology (D&T) at KS3/KS4 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and 3rd/4th levels in Scotland.