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Process Spotlight: Vacuum Forming

Midwest Rubber uses a number of manufacturing processes to develop solutions for our customers. Throughout our company’s history, we have always taken the time to evaluate every project to determine the best approach to a challenge, and we enjoy the entire collaboration process with our customers. Today, we’re taking a closer look at our vacuum forming process.

What Is It?

Also known as thermoforming, vacuum forming is a manufacturing process in which a preheated sheet of plastic is draped over a mold and suctioned against the form by a vacuum, creating the final formed product.

Why is it a good choice?

Vacuum forming utilizes a simpler tool which is quicker and less expensive to build. In fact, the tool is usually a fraction of the cost of the injection molding tool. Even though the mold is only one sided as opposed to injection molds which have both a cavity and a core, the vacuum draw creates finite details on one side of the part with good dimensional tolerances.

When is it the right choice?

Vacuum forming works very well for lower volume productions runs. When considering total part cost (tooling + piece price) it is a great choice for projects with tight budgets, or when a quick turnaround is needed. The process is often used to create pieces where only one finished side is needed, such as a shell, a cavity without a core or a core without a cavity. Novelty items are also frequently produced using vacuum forming.

If you think vacuum forming could be the right manufacturing process for your next project, please give us a call. We’d love to talk with you and see what kind of solution we can come up with together.

Contact Us
Midwest Rubber Co.