The vacuum forming process can be used to make most product packaging, speaker casings and even car dashboards.
Normally, draft angles must be present in the design on the mold (a recommended minimum of 3°), otherwise release of the formed plastic and the mold is very difficult.
Vacuum forming is usually – but not always – restricted to forming plastic parts that are rather shallow in depth. A thin sheet is formed into rigid cavities for unit doses of pharmaceuticals and for loose objects that are carded or presented as point-of-purchase items. Thick sheet is formed into permanent objects such as turnpike signs and protective covers.
Relatively deep parts can be formed if the form-able sheet is mechanically or pneumatically stretched prior to bringing it in contact with the mold surface and before vacuum is applied.
Suitable materials for use in vacuum forming are conventionally thermoplastics, the most common and easiest being High Impact Polystyrene Sheeting (HIPS). This 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 PCW (passenger cabin windows) canopies for military fixed wing aircraft and "bubbles" for rotary wing aircraft.
Printing vacuum forming tooling with FDM: combining the advantages of 3-D CAD and FDM technology, vacuum forming can be completed quickly, efficiently and cost effectively.(Rapid Prototyping / Rapid Tooling)(fused deposition modeling)(computer-aided design)
Nov 01, 2008; Vacuum forming involves heating a sheet of thermoplastic to forming temperature, drawing the sheet onto a tool (or mold) by...
Utilize Vacuum Forming to Make Interdisciplinary Connections: It Became Apparent That This Activity Had Too Much Potential to Be Kept Only in the Technology Education and Family and Consumer Science Departments
Nov 01, 2011; Introduction The concept of vacuum forming has been around since the 19th century, despite not being fully utilized in industry...