In our last newsletter, we discussed the possibilities of what could be formed using the vacuum-forming method. In this letter, we are looking at what simply cannot be done with this process.

Vacuum Thermoforming of plastic sheet can accomplish a great many things. Shapes you make through this process can be varied. There are various colors, thicknesses, durabilities (U.V. resistance, toughness, electrical properties, flame-spread resistance, extreme heat, even self extinguishing properties) to be considered.

This process may not work for every project however. You may find that due to the volume of parts you require that the cost per unit will be substantially higher. In that case, Injection Molding may be preferred.

There is a process within the Vacuum Thermoforming Process that allows for “near” injection molded features with a much less cost for tooling. This process is known as Pressure Forming.
Through the process of “pressure forming” a plastic sheet using the vacuum thermoforming process you can find that “near” injection molded shape and features may be obtained.

With pressure forming, expect to pay more for your tooling than with standard vacuum thermoforming. The parts will be more expensive than with both vacuum forming and injection molding making the process not for every application. However, it does allow for a less costly tool set up for initial out of pocket expenses vs. injection molding and while helping to provide some very “injection molding” like properties.

Examples of where pressure forming may be helpful are with industrial computer or electronic enclosures, medical equipment cases, parts requiring threaded metal inserts or undercuts that wrap around the edge and form interlocking case halves.

I would not consider vacuum forming for applications where a bottle or a vessel shape are required. Any fully closed shape may require blow molding or rotational molding to achieve the necessary features.

Vacuum forming is great for very large parts as well. However every process has its limitations.

Please note that we are now offering injection molding in house in Ogden.

Take a look at our capabilities and work with ShapeMaster on your next product launch.

For more information, visit our website or call us today at 800-779-6925 for more information.


The ShapeMaster Crew

Our Capabilities With The New Injection Molding Press In Ogden, Illinois

The Nissei is up and running with capabilities for nice sized jobs as follows:

-10.5 ounce shot size
-132 tons of clamping force
-Core Pull capable
-All colors
-Resins: ABS, HIPS, HDPE, PE and Polycarbonate

Finish work, assembly, packaging and warehousing available in-house with just in time shipment.