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Thermoforming & Vacuum Forming 

High Quality, Good Tolerances, and Quick Production

Multiplastics specializes in heavy gauge thermoforming and vacuum forming of custom plastic parts. “Vacuum forming” and “Thermoforming” are often used interchangeably. Powerful vacuum pressure assists the forming stage for tight tolerances and sharp detail.

Multiplastics defines Thermoforming/Vacuum forming: The process used to manufacture plastic parts with a shorter lead time and more flexible tooling designs than injection molding. Thermoforming is a cost-effective method to manufacture precision parts, offering close tolerances, tight specifications, and sharp details. The process involves heating a flat sheet of thermoplastic material until it softens and is stretchable. The hot sheet is then stretched over and forced against the contours of the mold by removing air from the area between the mold and the sheet, typically by vacuum process. After cooling, the plastic sheet retains the mold shape and detail. The formed part is then trimmed from the sheet.

Thermoforming Features/Benefits:

  • Part thickness: .060-.50 inches

  • Tight detail and tolerances

  • Significant tooling flexibility and

  • Thermoforming is generally selected over injection molding for tooling costs

The Thermoforming Process:

Part Examples:

Multiplastics History: 1960's Plastics in Space 

Around the time of the Apollo missions, Multiplastics manufactured a series of helmets for NASA’s top astronauts. We manufactured the clear components of the iconic, space helmets of that time. Our experience with forming spherical shapes gave us an edge up on the challenge of forming chromium plated hemispheres for the security industry a few years later.

Pressure Forming

Pressure forming provides some of the highest possible detail and intricate texture possibilities available in plastic forming today. Pressure forming utilizes air pressure to achieve sharp edges, undercuts, and intricate details often associated with injection molding. 

Unmatched Detail, Tightest Tolerances, and Quick Production

Multiplastics defines Pressure Forming: A process that forces hot plastic sheets against a mold, usually female mold, to form parts.  Compressed air is applied to the back of the sheet.  The air pressure increases the amount of detail that is transferred from the mold to the part.  The detail achieved in this process can be five times greater than traditional vacuum forming.

The set-up, tooling and labor costs associated with pressure forming are less then injection molding, and at the same time pressure forming creates parts with the similar detail and quality as injection molding.

Pressure forming is an ideal process when fine detail and textured surfaces are needed. Detail such as engraved lettering, tooling textures, figures and wood grain are common.

Pressure Forming Features/Benefits:

  • Part thickness: .060-.50 inches
  • Tightest detail and tolerances
  • Tooling flexibility and Pressure Forming is often selected over injection molding for tooling cos t

The Pressure Forming Process:

Part Examples:

Multiplastics History: 1980's

 We work well under pressure, ever since the 80’s at least. Our first pressure forming machines hit the floor in the 80’s and brought in a world of new possibilities in achieving high resolution detail and fine textures on formed plastic parts.

Rapid Tooling Design

High Quality and Quick Turnaround

Typical tooling production can take weeks for the design, pattern, and casting to be completed. Sometimes production can’t wait. While quality is the top priority, our tooling turnaround times are some of the quickest in the industry. It all starts with our design team. Our proficiencies in CAD/CAM mean short lead times and parts in your hands quickly.

Tooling design photo’s renderings and finished tool photos.

Value Added Services

Welding, gluing, drilling, polishing, riveting, pinning, hinging, bolting, fastening, bending, bonding, trimming, die cutting, foam filling or whatever it takes to manufacture your finished part to your specifications and tolerances.

Multiplastics' Defines CNC programming:  A Computer Numerical Control (CNC) router is a controller that reads instructions and operates a machine tool.  The device is used to cut and fabricate components by the selective removal of material. 

CNC machines are programmable to perform many kinds of operations form cutting holes in a part for screws or creating a stencil. Cutting curves is as easy as cutting a straight line.  CNC routing, with its close tolerances and 100% repeatability, means that your parts are cut with precision every time.

CNC features/Benefits:

  • Precision and Speed

  • Tightest detail and tolerances

  • Repeatability 

Value Added Assembly and Secondary Operations

Multiplastics can provide additional services that will deliver a beautiful part into your hands.  We offer a variety of secondary operations including:

  • Heat Staking 

  • Injection Welding

  • Hot Air Welding 

  • Plastic Welding

  • Structural Adhesive Application

  • Heat Bending

  • Flame Polishing

  • Foam Filling

  • Hardware Assembly