Thermoforming is a process of heating thermoplastic sheet and placing it over a mold until cooled. The thickness of the material determines whether the manufacturing process uses rolled sheets (thin gauge) or pre-cut stacked sheets (heavy gauge). Thin gauge material is dominant in the disposable packaging sector, especially in the retail markets. Heavy or thick gauge material is commonly used as permanent components in such things as refrigerators, automobiles and spas to name a few. Watch a brief overview of the process.
Materials – PVC is the most commonly used material
Engineering and Prototypes – Our multiple years of design experience has given us an advantage and often we advise clients of the best options for their applications. Using cutting-edge manufacturing techniques, our engineers will advise on material, process, and design to ensure the outcome is the most economical and efficient product.
Not only do we have over 50 years of design experience, but we utilize some of the most sophisticated design and manufacturing software. We've grown in CAD CAM technology beginning in the early years of AutoCAD, then Pro-Engineer software. Collaborating with all our locations, we work seamlessly using PTC Creo and Siemens NX programs to seamlessly integrate the tooling fabrication process.
Equipment – Our In-line Pressure/Vacuum Forming Machine is engineered to produce high volume quality parts from a variety of materials. The material moves through the heating section into the forming section where pressure and/or vacuum forces the material onto the mold. The process continues to the next station where the forms are die-cut.
Generally, vacuum forming refers to all sheet forming methods. Pressure aids vacuum forming to push the material into the mold. The added pressure of this process provides greater detail and textured surfaces in the end product. Creating sharp corners is possible with pressure added during the forming process.
Benefits of Thermoforming
- Cost-effective customization
- Quick turnaround time
- Inexpensive molds