Vacuforming, or Thermoforming is
a process that uses vacuum and/or pressure to
form a variety of plastic materials. The plastic
sheet is heated to a very soft stage, then by
force of vacuum, the plastic is sucked into or
over a mold.
Matrix Enterprises makes our own
molds from a variety of materials depending on
the complexity of the geometry, coupled with the
number of parts the mold is expected to produce.
Molds can range from very inexpensive prototype
or short run production units using MDF or
tooling boards, to aluminum molds which have a
long mold life.
We employ a cut-sheet method for
vacuforming here at Matrix, and can form a blank
that is up to 4? x 4?.
Vacuforming is a good approach
for making large parts. It has the advantage of
reasonable tool cost and fills the gap
price-wise between hand fabrication and high
production injection molding.
Materials that are very
popular for vacuforming include ABS, Styrene,
PETG. They range again in very inexpensive
utility-grade materials to expensive materials
that have special FR and UV ratings, if