Thermoforming Vs. Injection Molding - How to Choose?
Techniform is a recognized premier thermoformed packaging manufacturer and supplier based out of Fremont, Ohio who utilizes thermoformed plastic components and plastic thermoforming machines and equipment. We offer vacuum thermoforming, pressure thermoforming, and twin sheet thermoforming along with several other value-added custom plastic thermoforming services.
Thermoforming is a plastic process which heats a thermoplastic sheet and uses vacuum and, or pressure to form the plastic sheet into three dimension products or shapes. Thermoforming is a single sided process where only one side of the sheet can be controlled by the tool surface. Finished wall thickness is mainly determined by the design of the product part.
Thermoforming is often utilized for production quantities of 100 to 8000 annually, offering lower tooling costs, rapid product development cycles, and parts with color and texture. However, there are times where other plastic manufacturing processes such as plastic injection molding are a better choice. These types of circumstances may include the need for high volumes and very complex, detailed product designs.Vacuum forming is a plastic thermoforming process that involves forming thermoplastic sheets into three-dimensional shapes through the application of heat and pressure.
In general terms, vacuum forming refers to all sheet forming methods, including drape forming, which is one of the most popular. Basically during vacuum forming processes, plastic material is heated until it becomes pliable, and then it is placed over a mold and drawn in by a vacuum until it takes on the desired shape.
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In conclusion, thermoformed products (whether Vacuum Forming, Pressure Forming or Twin Sheet Forming) can be virtually indistinguishable from injection molded products. Most importantly, thermoforming has less set up and lead time, so it is extremely ideal for project designs and market concepts that require the manufacturing processed to be quick.
However, again, the cost advantage of a thermoformed part or design compared with injection molding in the end depends on the quantity to be produced.