What Type of Machines Are Used for Vacuum Forming?

September 1, 2022 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Thermoforming is an absolutely amazing and fascinating process. It gives workers the ability to take a flat sheet of plastic and heat and vacuum it to form a new item that would otherwise be difficult to make. This process takes a sheet of plastic and transforms it into a usable final product. So, what machines and materials go into thermoforming? Keep reading to find out.

Thermoforming Plastics

This process requires that you get a design in place to help you to figure out the next step and help you figure out what materials and machines you essentially need. Your CAD drawing is a huge part of the process of thermoforming. ABS plastic is the most often used in this type of process because it can be made pliable and shaped into whatever it is that you are trying to make. You then need to make or assemble your mold.

After that, you can begin the actual tooling process. Thermoforming uses heat to heat up the plastic to make it pliable, then uses vacuum or air pressure, sometimes both, to mold the plastic. To reduce stress from the process, the item will be left in the mold to cool.

Vacuum & Pressure Forming

One aspect of thermoforming that is also used in other applications is vacuum forming and pressure forming. With thermoforming, you use vacuum pressure to suck the air out of the area and press the plastic sheet to the form you have readied. This helps you to get a clear and concise impression. Pressure forming can be used with vacuum forming, but it can also be used alone.

The process of pressure forming is similar, but there may not be any vacuum pressure to create the form or the final product. With pressure forming, you may end up having a form that comes down on top of another form and uses pressure to push the plastic into the mold.

Both methods are effective, both are used to create a ton of great products, and both can take plastic from a boring sheet that might not be useful, or that might not fit the purpose that you have, and make it into a usable finished product. The process of using molds and vacuum pressure to create items has come a long way and is used to make a ton of products that you might not even be aware of.

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