Thermoforming Tooling

Thermoforming

Vacuum tight/Clean finish

Thermoforming Tooling

Thermoforming is a manufacturing process where a plastic sheet is heated to a pliable temperature, molded into a specific shape, and finished to create a usable product.

3D Composites applies this method by printing the tools that are used as molds and then vacuum forming material onto them to create customized plastic products for industrial and commercial use.

Materials

Acrylic (PMMA), Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), Polystyrene (PS), and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) are some of the thermoplastic materials used. The thin-gauge or heavy-gauge thickness of the sheets can help determine the use.

Sheets less than 1.5 mm are usually for disposable packaging, and thicker than that (from 1.5mm to greater than 3mm) are used for a more permanent cosmetic nature, such as surfaces of cars, refrigerators, and electrical and electronic devices.

Benefits and Usage

Thermoforming combines low tooling and engineering costs and fast turnaround time that make it ideal for prototype development and low-volume production.

It also imparts on-the-fly product enhancements, weight savings in handling and transport, wider design scope and choices, aesthetically pleasing looks, and wide flexibility for small and large product designs.

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