Plastic Forming Services in Utah

plastic rods for lightingWhat does a vacuum have to do with plastic fabrication? In the world of plastic, it has quite a bit to do with fabrication in that a vacuum is powerful enough to shape and form plastic to meet specific shapes and dimensions. If you’ve ever seen a big plastic cover for a machine, or a curved plastic fish bowl, you’ve seen plastic that has been vacuum formed!

Domes and bubbles are the most common vacuum-formed shapes for plastic, however plastic vacuum forming in Utah is often used in conjunction with thermoforming to produce a wide range of formed products.

How does vacuum forming work?

Despite its seemingly complex theory, vacuum forming plastic is quite simple! In just 6 steps you can go from general plastic sheeting to a finished, formed product:

  1. Plastic is heated up to a very high temperature in an oven, raising its malleability and allowing it to be manipulated without fear of cracking or breaking.
  2. Heated plastic is pulled down onto a mold, which is the inverse of the final shape desired for the plastic.
  3. The mold contains many small holds connected to a vacuum so the plastic is sucked tightly around the mold.
  4. While the plastic is on the mold, it’s cooled and hardened in the molded shape, thus creating the final form.
  5. Once sufficiently cool, the plastic is removed from the mold and the process is started again for the next plastic sheet.
  6. Excess plastic is cut off of the molded piece to achieve a clean look and a finished product.

Plastic types that can be vacuum formed include ABS, acrylic, polycarbonate and more, allowing for a myriad of possibilities when it comes to customization.

Common questions

Vacuum and plastic thermoforming in Utah are often met with a lot of questions by interested customers. Some of the most common questions we get include:

  • Can you custom-design a mold for the part I need? Yes, we have staff on-site to help with this process! Custom molds incur specialty mold creation fees.
  • Once the mold is created, can you mass produce the item I need? Yes, we can achieve runs of all sizes based on your need. Bulk orders can potentially include bulk pricing.
  • Do you have an upper item limit? No, we can mass-vacuum form as many pieces as you need.
  • How much does it cost to have items vacuum formed? Call us today for pricing as it pertains to your specific job.

If you’re looking for a custom vacuum formed product, get in touch with D&D Plastics today by calling 801-373-0202!