skip to Main Content
When To Choose Polycarbonate For Prototyping

When to Choose Polycarbonate for Prototyping

Creating a prototype for a new product or piece of equipment can be a costly business, as low runs or one-offs can come at a high price if machining or other special services are required. Choosing the right material for your prototype can simplify the design process and help keep costs down, which is why polycarbonate is a favored material for this purpose.

Polycarbonate is a thermoplastic polymer that is moldable and shapeable when heat is applied, and it is capable of being repeatedly heated, shaped, cooled, and hardened. These qualities make it ideal for molds and films, but polycarbonate also has several other qualities that make it a popular choice for prototypes.

One quality is its transparency. Polycarbonate material allows up to 92% light transmission, which makes it a good option for prototypes that require transparency. This level of transparency can provide prototypes with clear sight lines for safety purposes or for observation of internal structures that are being evaluated for functionality and performance. It’s also lightweight, so if weight is a critical component of your design, this thermoplastic material can help keep your weight down.

Another appealing feature is its non-conductivity. Polycarbonate is inherently non-conductive, so it does not readily conduct heat or electricity. It’s electrical insulating properties prevent an electrical charge from flowing freely through the material, which is often important for isolating and protecting electrical components within a prototype design.

Lastly, polycarbonate can be cold formed. In addition to its ability to be infinitely heated, reshaped, and reused, it can be shaped at room temperature. This can allow for design modifications on site and without the need for special tools or equipment, and the thinner the polycarbonate material is, the easier it is to modify.

If you’re looking for a material that is transparent, lightweight, non-conductive, and easy to mold and shape, consider polycarbonate for your next prototyping project. To learn more about the different types of polycarbonate, visit For help selecting materials or finding a distributor, contact UG Plast at 717-356-2448 or

Back To Top