Thermoforming is a plastic moulding process whereby the raw material is a sheet of thick extruded plastic. The sheet can be made from many of the common thermoplastics available including ABS, Acrylic and Polycarbonate just to name a few. The sheet is heated until it softens and then pulled over a shaped mould and vacuum is applied to ensure all the detail is achieved.
The part is now ready to be trimmed by a CNC cutter which removes all the excess material and cuts details such as mounting holes or slots for venting.
The process of thermoforming suits medium to high volume production of larger parts that do not justify setting up expensive tooling for injection moulding. The finished parts are strong and have an A-class finish on the surface away from the tool side.
Materials may also have texture applied in the extrusion process before before we run them in our thermofmring machines which is great for hard wearing parts that require scuff resistance or interior mouldings for automovtive / heavy truck that would benefit from leathergrain finish mouldings.
Lead times are generally around 4-6 weeks dependant on the complexity of tooling required and availability of materials. This is one of the major advantage of sourcing thermoformed parts locally as lead times from China are generally over three months and have high shipping costs due to the scale of the parts.
All waste is recycled and turned into sheet again in the thermoforming process therefore reducing our waste and eco-footprint.
We have multiple thermoforming machines in our facility which enables us to run your project on the correct size machine reducing cost and speeding up run times.
The largest of our thermoformers can mould parts using a sheet up to 3500mm x 2500mm.