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During the '80s and the '90s, a lot of media cases were made of thermoformed PVC. I believe this trend was created by Disney and Blackbourn with their VHS cases. Then with DVDs, industrial standards for media casing have changed in favor of injection moulded PP.

For example, the latest Neo Geo AES cases are made of PP plastic but early Neo Geo AES cases were completely different. Internal trays were clearly made through thermoforming, as they have strong light reflection properties, but I'm not sure how external cases were made. They give the impression of being made of leather but are certainly some kind of plastic imitation. How were the external cases processed? Is it also PVC?

Alpha Mission complete set: case, manual and cartridge

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For injection molding this is typically done by etching or burning(EDM) a pattern onto the surfaces of the injection mold.

check out this PDF for more detailed information on this: http://eschmanntextures.com/fileadmin/user_upload/flyer_neu/texturesguide_eng.pdf

Search around for injection mold surface texture guide

There are plenty of resources out there.

re: Is it PVC? Probably not, but you can do a burn test or send it to a lab for material testing.

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  • $\begingroup$ Can this effect be done through another kind of processing or is it exclusive to injection moulding? What kind of plastic is usually used to achieve this result in cars (the PDF deals with the mould material but not with the plastic parts themselves)? $\endgroup$ – OOEngineer Jan 6 '16 at 0:42
  • $\begingroup$ Typically in injection molding...I haven't seen textures like this done with thermoforming...or at least with this quality level. Most cosmetic automotive panels are ABS plastic. $\endgroup$ – GisMofx Jan 6 '16 at 0:53

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