Packaging and more

  • Average lead time 45 days

  • 46″ x 94″ build size

  • 0.04″ – 0.25″ gauge plastic

  • No MOQ, No setup fees

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Thermoform Tooling

3d-printed-tooling

3D Printed Tooling

Plastic molds perform just as well as metal molds. A single mold can last 2,000 pulls before deformation occurs. 3D printed tooling also offers the benefits of shorter lead times and unrestricted part geometry.

Aluminum Tooling

Thermoforming molds are most commonly machined from aluminum and usually take 6-8 weeks to cut. Depending on your part’s geometry, machining your mold may be challenging. 

Thermoforming Materials

LDPE

Durable, flexible Low-Density Polyethylene that is commonly used in packaging.

Polypropylene

Fatigue-resistant commodity plastic used for electrical, automotive, and consumer goods. 

HDPE

Strong High-Density Polyethylene best suited for packaging, plumbing, and electric.

Polystyrene

Widely used plastic for disposable and protective packaging applications. 

ABS

General-purpose plastic suitable for a variety of function testing and end-use parts.

PET

Lightweight, moisture-resistant plastic used primarily for bottles and other packaging. 

Post-Processing

Hand Trimming

Thermoformed parts can be manually trimmed using hand tools. This method is beneficial for sample parts and small runs. For larger quantities, this method may produce inconsistencies due to worker fatigue and human error.

Stamping

For large productions, thermoform excess is typically removed via stamping. This method requires a custom die be used to cut out the shape of the part. This provides more consistency than hand trimming. 

How Thermoforming Works

The thermoforming process uses heat, vacuum pressure, and a mold to form 2D plastic sheets into 3D usable objects. In order to do this, a mold is first cut to create a negative of your design. Air channels are drilled into this mold to enable the vacuum to pull the plastic over the mold. Both the mold and a sheet of thermoplastic are loaded into the machine where a heating element softens the plastic to a malleable temperature. Once the material had been heated to its glass transition temperature and is a rubbery consistency, it is lowered over the mold. A vacuum below the mold suctions out the air between the plastic and the mold. This pulls the plastic taut over the mold so that it takes the mold’s shape. After cooling, the plastic part is taken out, trimmed, and finished.