The surface finish options for nylon CNC machining are surprisingly varied, ranging from glossy and smooth to rough and textured. Your intended aesthetics and the particular application you're using will determine which finish is best. Here's a breakdown of some common surface finishes for CNC machining nylon:

Smooth Finishes:

  • Machined finish: This is the basic finish that the cutting tool left behind; it has a slightly rough texture and obvious tool marks. It works well for functional parts where aesthetics isn't the main priority.
  • Milled finish: Like the machined finish, but with tool marks that are a little bit smoother. used frequently for parts that prioritize functionality over aesthetic appeal.
  • Sanded finish: Tool marks are eliminated and a smoother, slightly sheened surface is produced through hand or machine sanding. Ideal for parts that need a more refined appearance but don't require extra finishing processes' high gloss.
  • Bead blasted: To produce a smooth matte finish with better wear resistance, the surface is bombarded with fine beads in this process. Great for parts that need to be more durable and have a non-reflective finish.

Textured Finishes:

  • Etched: A matte-finished, textured surface is produced by chemical etching. This can be applied decoratively or to increase friction and grip.
  • Media blasted: Bead blasting is similar to this, but instead of using beads, use glass or ceramic beads to create a variety of textures. provides a wide range of options, both functional and aesthetic.
  • Laser textured: One of the many visual and practical advantages of laser technology is its ability to produce complex surface patterns and textures, such as enhanced grip or smoother flow.

High-Gloss Finishes:

  • Polished: Buffing the surface to a high-gloss mirror finish is required for this. Perfect for parts that need to look perfect, but they might be more prone to scratches.
  • Electropolished: This smooth and highly reflective surface is achieved by eliminating microscopic surface imperfections through an electrochemical process. Ideal for parts needing a very high surface quality for applications in optics or medicine.