What Does a Plastic Fabricator Do?

Dan Cavallari

A plastic fabricator is a person who designs and creates plastic items for a variety of applications, including machine parts, telecommunications components, medical products, or general consumer products. The specific job functions of the plastic fabricator can vary depending on the setting in which he or she is working, as well as the machinery being used. A hobbyist can fabricate plastic parts at home, for example, using little more than homemade molds and jigs, while a professional fabricator may use more advanced equipment that allows him or her to create many different parts of various designs or several parts of the same design.

Plastic pellets, which are melted down to make other products.
Plastic pellets, which are melted down to make other products.

In some cases, the plastic fabricator may design a part for a certain application. If, for example, a manufacturer needs a plastic casing for a tool being built, a plastic fabricator can interpret the current designs of the tool to come up with a shell design that will protect the tool without adding bulk. In this case, the fabricator has an active hand in the design of the part, which may not always be the case. Very often, a plastic fabricator will interpret existing plans to create a part that has already been designed. The fabricator will need to then create the piece while keeping within very specific tolerances to ensure the plastic piece will work properly with the existing design.

A plastic box.
A plastic box.

Several methods exist for fabricating plastic, so the fabricator will need to know each method and be able to employ each one properly to accommodate a specific piece being made. Staying abreast of current advancements within the field is of vital importance; the best fabricators will be able to offer customers current technology and fast turn-around times. In some cases, the plastic fabricator may be responsible for other aspects of the business beyond just fabrication, such as interacting with customers, advertising, budgeting, hiring and firing of employees, and executing payroll.

This means some fabricators are business owners, too. A fabricator does not necessarily need to be a business owner; he can, instead, work for a fabrication company, in which case he or she will need to interact with other fabricators, answer to managers, and complete a set amount of fabrication tasks each day. Like other employees, the fabricator will need to adhere to specific safety regulations and techniques in the workplace to avoid injury or damage to machinery; fumes from the plastic fabrication process can be harmful, so appropriate safety equipment must be worn and safety procedures followed carefully.

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