Thermoforming is used to produce a multitude of large and small surfaced plastic parts. During thermoforming a flat sheet of material is heated to a pliable temperature and pressurized against a tool. Both pressure and suction can be used in the process, explaining the common industry terms of Vacuum forming (vac forming) and pressure forming. Met-L-Flo uses Thermoforming to produce prototype and custom low volume parts in production materials.
Vacuum forming and pressure formed parts are very prominent in our daily lives. Some of the most common applications are plastic packaging, dash boards, food transport containers, point of purchase displays and interior aircraft panels. Now the ability to utilize Direct Digital Manufacturing for tooling of Vac Formed parts enables rapid response to custom prototype and low volume production requirements.
WHY CHOOSE THERMOFORMING (aka: Vac Forming)?
It’s fast and cost effective. The main time saver is the tooling. Vac forming and pressure forming tooling is easier and faster to produce than production tooling. Reduction in tooling time equals final parts in your hands several weeks before production parts. These faster, less expensive tools also allow for design modification at far less cost than modifying or creating a new production tool. The thermoforming process is an ideal method for design testing of custom prototypes and low volume production for marketing campaigns of products well before production parts are finalized.
- Cost effective
- Faster than production
- Design flexibility
- Variety of materials including grades
- Molded in texture
- Allows for Undercuts and bonded in materials