Trustworthy Thermoforming… Trustworthy Manufacturing?

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describe the imageTrustworthy?  Is Your Company Trustworthy?  Are You?
We have recently released a Thermoforming Design Guide for engineers and designers.  It lists a lots of technical data about Thermoforming, Vacuum Forming, and Pressure Forming.  This is vital information that can make or break the successful manufacture of thermoformed plastic parts.

While reading through it yesterday, it occurred to me that there is a vital assumption upon which the design guide is dependent.  That characteristic is Trust. Continue Reading

Did You Know This About Thermoforming?

Filed in Forming Plastics | Manufacturing | Medical Devices | Plastics | Radomes | Thermoforming Leave a comment

Koko Smart TrainerDid you realize that thermoforming is a crucial industry for many different types of companies from medical device companies to aerospace companies and more?  Here’s why.

Thermoformers produce plastic products that are either created through thin-gauge or thick-gauge thermoforming.  Thermoforming is a process that essentially uses a sheet of heated plastic which then becomes pliable and can be placed in a mold, trimmed, and cooled.   Continue Reading

A Thermoforming Design Guide You Can Use Now

Filed in Comprehensive Thermoforming | Pressure Forming Design Guide | Vacuum Forming Leave a comment

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Thermoforming, Vacuum Forming, and Pressure Forming are plastic forming processes that are distinct and different from other methods.  Injection molding, blow molding and rotational molding offer advantages for producing plastic parts but their design requirements are quite different than those needed to produce thermoformed plastic parts.

Our experience working with mechanical engineers and designers has shown us that many do not understand the different design requirements for effective and efficient use when thermoforming is required. Continue Reading

Why Designers Love Thermoforming

Filed in Forming Plastics | Manufacturing | Thermoforming Leave a comment

thermoformingThe process of molding and manufacturing plastic products through thermoforming allows for quite a few advantages over other possible techniques for shaping plastic parts. This form of producing plastics entails advantages that those working at all stages of the production process can appreciate, but in particular designers love thermoforming thanks to the flexibility, speed, and cost-effectiveness of the process.

In thermoforming, heat is used to render a sheet of plastic more pliable so that it can be placed into a mold and acquire a desired form. The process is typically discussed in comparison to injection molding, another possible method of molding plastic parts that involves injecting molten plastic into a mold. Both techniques for molding plastics became prominent manufacturing processes throughout the course of the 20th century as plastic products became increasingly ubiquitous. Yet thermoforming has made particularly notable advancements in recent years thanks to the attention it has received from its frequent application to new engineering technologies. Continue Reading

A Thermoforming Budgetary Quote?

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We often receive requests for a budgetary quote.  On the surface it would appear that the client might be asking for a quote that fits within their budget.  So, it would be tempting to jestingly reply, “Be glad to give you one, what is your budget?” Continue Reading

Why Medical Device Manufacturers are Turning to Thermoforming

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medical deviceThermoforming plastic isn’t new, but medical device thermoforming is attracting significant new interest among manufacturers who have come to appreciate its production benefits and cost savings.

It’s a relatively simple process in which a sheet of thermoplastic material is heated enough to soften it, then stretched over mold plates, cooled and trimmed. Medical device thermoforming uses thick gauge material to produce rigid, sturdy items such as enclosures, housings and covers. It’s ideal for custom device and equipment markets where quality performance and appearance are essential but vast volumes aren’t necessary. Continue Reading

Heavy Gauge Thermoforming? Thin Gauge? Learn Which to Choose

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questionThermoforming has been an excellent invention since it was first used in the 1940s. Not only does it save time and energy, but, one could argue, that it has helped the environment because the plastics that are used in thermoforming are recyclable. When determining if thermoforming is right for a project you must first understand the differences between heavy gauge thermoforming and thin gauge thermoforming. 

Thermoforming itself is quite basic: heat a plastic to where it is most malleable, put it over or into a mold and then use a press or vacuum to form the malleable plastic to the mold. With thin gauge thermoforming, this is most often the case. A huge roll of thin gauge plastic or inline extrusion is heated in an oven and molded appropriately to the manufacturers specifications. Continue Reading

Radomes: Can Radio Signals Penetrate Through Plastic?

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radomesProtecting delicate antennae that receive radio waves from the ravages of Mother Nature and other mechanical harm is most often accomplished through the use of a radome. The word “radome” itself is a combination of “radar” and “dome” and describes the functionality of the device.

Radomes are constructed of suitable plastics that are essentially transparent to radio signals. In other words, the materials used to construct the radome have no significant effect on either the amplitude or frequency of the incoming signal. This fact is extremely important when using the radio waves to establish such things as distance, speed and location.

One of the most typical methods for manufacturing radomes is plastic thermoforming.  Thermoforming is an ideal process because the tools used in thermoforming are less expensive than other methods.  Thermoforming also is an ideal process for creating radomes that have highly the cosmetic finishes that owners of luxury yachts and recreational vehicles demand.  Continue Reading

How Do You Know The Right Plastic To Use

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Plastic To the untrained eye, plastic is plastic. As an industry professional, however, you’re well aware that there are tens of thousands of plastic variations. With so many options available, do you feel confident that you’re selecting the right materials for your projects? To eliminate doubt, it’s a good idea to incorporate the UL IDES Prospector tool into your plastic part design consideration. Here’s a breakdown of what the Prospector tool is, and how you can use it to benefit your business.  Continue Reading

Thermoforming… Get to Market Fast

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speedWhen it comes to getting your product to market in as expeditious a manner as possible, thermoforming is far superior to other plastic manufacturing methods. In general, thermoforming is quicker to implement, more efficient in terms of materials and yields a significantly more affordable end-product.  On a more specific level thermoforming provides the following benefits:

Shorter Lead Times
Thermoforming molds are far easier to manufacture than ones for injection molding process as the latter are required to be far more robust to handle the pressures associated with the process. Thus, lead times on producing a cast or machined aluminum molds or even composite ones is significantly shortened even for thick gauge applications. Continue Reading