Frequently Asked Questions – OEM Custom
Thermoforming is the process of taking a flat sheet of plastic and forming it into a contoured part or shape by heating the sheet in a large oven, stretching it over a mold and using a vacuum to force the sheet to follow the contour of the mold. When the sheet is cooled the plastic becomes rigid again and takes the shape of the mold.
While thermoforming is a method of manufacturing custom plastic components by preheating a flat sheet of plastic and using a mold to perfectly shape it, injection molding involves melting plastic pellets and forcing them into a mold where it cools and takes on the desired shape.
Thermoforming offers low tooling costs, short lead times, and detailed parts with customized colors and textures, while plastic injection molding can be used to make plastic parts for similar applications but for larger quantities, and with much higher tooling costs.
Thermoforming and rotational molding are processes that form finished plastic parts that have a cavity area. Thermoforming is used to form parts with open cavities while rotational molding can be used to form completely enclosed cavities, molding multi-piece parts as one unit.
Advantages to the thermoforming process include the ability to form products with sharp details and tight tolerances, all with short lead times and low tooling costs.
Thermoforming is a production process that heats a plastic sheet and forms it around a mold to create a three dimensional shape, while fiberglass molding uses multiple layers of fiberglass reinforced resin.
Fiberglass molding is best suited for making heavy, durable parts, however it has slower production times. Thermoforming is a lightweight, environmentally friendly alternative, with lower tooling costs and lead times. When high production volumes are needed, thermoforming is the most efficient option.
Thermoforming is a method of manufacturing custom plastic components by preheating a flat sheet of plastic and using a mold to perfectly shape it. Plastic thermoformed parts can be large in size, have lower tooling costs, shorter lead times, and can have customized colors and textures.
Metal injection molding involves heating very fine elemental or prealloyed metal powders to produce relatively small, highly complex metal parts. Metal injection molding is a process used for high volumes of ultra-strong, high impact parts, resulting in much higher tooling costs.