To many, plastic means fake. Yet one
Texas Company is becoming famous for its lifelike
Karen M. Koenig
Cliffhanger...Saving Private Ryan. Who can forget the
opening minutes of the latter movie as bodies of young
soldiers are maimed and destroyed. Or the young woman in
Cliffhanger, who loses her grip on Sylvester Stallone and
goes plunging down into the canyon gully.
It certainly wasn't real. But it was plastic.
For those people who think something made from plastic
will automatically look fake, Gatesville, TX-based Medical
Plastics Laboratory can prove them wrong. In addition to
specializing in realistic, anatomically accurate skeletal
models, the company has also carved a niche for itself in
manufacturing lifelike mannequins. While they are used more
often than not in medical training, the company has
developed a sideline business in supplying movie makers with
lifelike bodies to maim and kill. (See story beginning on
Part of that realism from the fact that the company does
live casts for its "manikins." The manikins are rotationally
molded from a soft plastic, giving them a lifelike
"This is an artistic process," says Danny Smith, MPL's
vice president of R&D and a medical artist. "It must be
Mark the date: PM&F's
Learning the ins and outs of manufacturing aesthetically
pleasing products is just one of the topics to be discussed
at PM&F's second conference, to be held Oct. 18-20 in
Last year's attendees gave the conference high marks with
regards to the comprehensive seminar content and the quality
of exhibitor displays. We hope to better that achievement
with a technology-packed program focusing on:
Material selection guidelines
Thermoforming tips and techniques
Routing and trimming requirements, including
fixturing and software needs
Cutting tool requirements
Bonding and welding guidelines and
Plus, case studies from fabricators in high production
and custom environments.
For more information about the conference, please contact
either myself (847/634-4366 &emdash; direct) or the
Industrial Division Conference Office (888/903-9663).
I hope to see you there.
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Plastics Machining & Fabricating
F: (847) 362-5028