Vacuum Forming

Malcolm Nicholls Limited’s (MNL) traditional model-making department have been using pattern-making and vacuum forming as part of their skillset for 40 plus years. These techniques were once an integral part of the model-making process for many free-form areas of components, now superseded by 3D printing of the entire part.

Vacuum forming, however, is still an important manufacturing process, and as such MNL have several ways in which prototype runs or low volume quantities can be produced.

With the aid of 3D printed master patterns from technologies such as Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) in a high temp material, (MNL) can provide vacuum formed parts within a matter of days. In past years patterns were predominantly produced from either a CNC machined aluminium mould patterns or carved by hand in wood or structural foam. These processes would have taken much longer and would have been more costly too.

Vacuum forming can be used in a number of different market sectors such as retail, medical, packaging, automotive to name but a few. Vacuum forming is proving to be increasingly popular within point of sale (POS) sector such as display stands.

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