Thermoforming is one of the oldest and most common methods of processing plastic materials. Thermoformed plastic products are all around us and play a major part in our daily lives. It is a very versatile process used to manufacture a wide range of products from simple packaging trays to high impact aircraft cockpit covers. It is also used extensively to make design prototypes of products to be produced by other processes. The process, however, is basically the same in each case. Vacuum-forming is the most common form of thermoforming that we employ. In the plastic forming process, we heat the sheet of plastic to a malleable state.  At that point, we engage one atmosphere of pressure to press the plastic against the mold. Typically, pre-textured sheet is what we use in this process.  In addition, the part is usually made using a male mold with the controlled surface on the inside, against the mold. However, we can also use female molds with the vacuum-forming process. Regardless of the mold configuration, once the part is molded it will need to be trimmed to remove the flashing (remainder of the sheet).  Also, at this point, we might perhaps perform some secondary machining to the part, such as holes.

Tolerances Contribute to Driving Costs

Our machining costs are significantly driven by the geometric tolerances required for your part.  Thus, the tighter the tolerance required, the higher our costs will be.  Therefore, our goal is to help engineer components in creative ways, thus allowing for lower tolerances, resulting in lower costs.  We encourage our customers to specify the widest tolerance that will adequately serve the necessary function of the part.  To sum it up, we address, in early stages of design, factors that might affect the manufacturability of your part.  Especially relevant are things such as the type and form of material, dimensional tolerances, and secondary processes.  Finally, our ultimate goal is to deliver a better product than you expect, at the best possible cost.

Thermoforming and vacuum-forming services are quick, efficient, and low cost manufacturing processes. Today, many customers are choosing to save on tooling costs by thermoforming or vacuum-forming new plastic components instead of using more expensive tooling alternatives such as used in injection molding. Thermoforming has many advantages over injection molding for manufacturing plastic parts. Some advantages of using thermoforming or the vacuum-forming process over other plastic manufacturing processes are:

  • Quick, efficient, and low cost
  • Lower tooling costs
  • Thermoforming or vacuum-forming can replace metal, wood, fiberglass or plastic injection molded products to lower costs
  • Faster product development and increased speed to market
  • Lead times for tooling and production are much shorter than other processes

Universal Custom Display provides an efficient, cost effective experience for product designers developing new products to rapidly develop prototypes and sample parts for testing, test the prototypes, make design adjustments, and then seamlessly move to manufacturing production quantities.

Universal Custom Display can meet your end-to-end plastics manufacturing needs – we offer in-house design & engineering services, tooling capabilities and a variety of secondary services to complement our custom thermoforming expertise. Our products and the industries we serve are continuously growing and range from plastic trays, product housings, manufacturing aids and part protection for numerous other industries.

Vacuum-forming is well suited to large parts with moderate volumes.  It offers lower cost tooling and quicker prototyping than other alternatives.  Contact us to find out how vacuum-forming can be used for your application.

MATERIALS COMMONLY USED IN VACUUM-FORMING

  • ABS
  • PC/ABS
  • HDPE
  • TPO
  • HIPS
  • PVC/Acrylic

Secondary Operations

  • Routing
  • Riveting
  • Gluing
  • Assembly
  • Custom Packaging
  • Engineering Design Support Services
  • Design
  • Prototyping
  • Molds/Fixtures

Banana Wing ABS Topper
Vacuum forming is well suited to large parts with moderate volumes.  It offers lower cost tooling and quicker prototyping than other alternatives.  Contact us to find out how vacuum forming can be used for your application.

MATERIALS COMMONLY USED IN VACUUM FORMING

  • ABS
  • PC/ABS
  • HDPE
  • TPO
  • HIPS
  • PVC/Acrylic

Secondary Operations

  • Routing
  • Riveting
  • Gluing
  • Assembly
  • Custom Packaging
  • Engineering Design Support Services
  • Design
  • Prototyping
  • Molds/Fixtures