Vacuum forming is a common thermoforming method that uses negative air pressure to force the plastic sheet against a mold. Suitable materials for use in vacuum forming are conventionally thermoplastics, the most common and easiest being High Impact Polystyrene Sheeting (HIPS), which is molded around a wood, structural foam or cast/machined aluminum mold and can form to almost any shape. Vacuum forming is also appropriate for transparent materials such as acrylic which are widely used in applications for aerospace such as passenger cabin windows, canopies for military fixed wing aircraft and “bubbles” for rotary wing aircraft. Pressure forming is a thermoforming process that closely resembles vacuum forming and is also a service offered by ShapeMaster. As in the vacuum forming process, a flat thermoplastic sheet is formed into a 3-dimensional part via heat from infrared natural gas or other heat sources. The pressure used in pressure forming is about three times greater than the pressure used in vacuum forming. The benefits of pressure forming include sharper edges and corners for greater product detail, lower tooling cost than injection molding, and multiple surface textures. Molded logos and lettering can also be incorporated onto the part`s surface.


– Standard vacuum forming: Up to 36? x 48? capacity with 24? depth of draw and up to 3/8? thick plastic.

– Rotary vacuum forming: Up to 6-ft. x 10-ft. capacity with 36? depth of draw

We have a broad array of vacuum forming machines with a variety of sizes and are ready to assist you with your next vacuum forming project!