The Vacuum forming process is relatively simple procedure but utilises some complex equipment.
Vacuum forming is performed by heating a thermoplastic material till it reaches a pre-set melt flow index at which point the material can be formed over a TOOL / Mould using Vacuum.
Typical range of thermoplastic materials use in Vacuum Forming include:
- Acrylic (Perspex)
- High Impact Styrene (HIPS
- High Impact Acrylic (HIA)
- ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)
- ASA (Acrylic Styrene Acrylonitrile
All 2D vacuumed plastic components are made from a tool. During the proto-type stages the tool is made from wood or MDF and made in house on our 3D routers or made in our Tooling Dept.
After trials have been run, adjustments made and samples approved the tool is then manufactured from either fibreglass or a Aluminium Epoxy material.
- Tooling will normally be 2 - 3 weeks Lead Time
- Off Tool Samples will normally be 1 week Lead Time
- Production Commencing normally be 2 - 3 weeks Lead Time
From conception to production approx. .5 - 6 weeks
Jigs & Fixtures can be then made up to cut the components from the moulded sheet. This operation is performed for low volume components.
CNC ROBOT TRIMMING
We can also set up Jigs & Fixtures so our CNC Robot Trimmer can trim components from the moulded sheet.
We require minimum order runs of 1000 pieces to set this up. We have several specialisedVacuum Forming machines that have a variety of applications, utilising different plate sizes & but most importantly are driven by advanced CNC software to accurately adjust the individual heaters, the time, vacuum & ensure that the formed part is consistent every time.
There are three vacuum processes currently in use
- CNC Twin Sheet Vacuum Forming - can produce 3D components.
- CNC Single Station up to 3 X 2 Mte - 2D components only.
- CNC Rotary 4 Station 2200 X 1200mm - 2D components only.