While we focus a great deal on the design and shaping processes of thermoforming, we wanted to take an opportunity to go over the finishing process. Our thermoforming company in North Carolina offers a wide variety of finishing solutions that allow you to improve the functionality or aesthetics of your custom plastics.
The Thermoforming Process
Let’s touch on what thermoforming entails so you have a better understanding of what goes into shaping custom plastics and how they can be customized during the process as well as after.
When a custom plastic product is needed, thermoforming is a faster, lower-cost alternative to injection molding. The product design is created first to understand exactly what our client wants the finished part to be, and from that, a prototype is created. Once the prototype is approved, the tooling is designed and fabricated based on the prototype.
Thermoforming tooling is a single-sided mold with small vents throughout in which sheets of plastic are laid over or pressed into the shape and clamped down. A vacuum removes air from the space between the mold and the plastic to draw it more tightly, and for sharper corners and angles, pressurized air will be used to press the plastic down further into the tooling.
Customizing Plastics During Thermoplastics
Much of the customization our customers want takes place during the thermoforming process. Our thermoplastics are available in a wide variety of colors and shades, which can eliminate the need for painting the final product. Also, the tooling can have texture added to it which will then press into the heated plastic, creating the texture or design on the final product, whether it’s a pebbled appearance, deep grooves, or a slight roughness to improve grip.
Finishing Options for Thermoformed Plastics
Once the plastic is shaped, it is then trimmed of excess plastic while any burrs or rough edges are smoothed away. After this, there are other ways to put the finishing touches on the component, part, or product.
While we provide a variety of colored plastics, but painting is often used when you want a custom or metallic color or the component will be made up of several different colors.
Silk screening is a type of stenciling in which ink is printed over a porous stencil. We often use this method to add logos, graphics, or text to a completed product.
Hot stamping, or foil stamping, is the process in which metal foil with dried ink design is heated and stamped against the plastic, transferring the design.
Often, a finish does more than just improve aesthetics or add a logo. We often apply coatings, such as EMI or RF shielding to block interference from electronic devices, anti-static coatings to prevent static damage, or UV protection.
Depending on the components or parts, we can also assemble the thermoformed plastic with other parts to complete the product. This saves our clients time as we can often ship the completed, assembled part on their behalf or send it directly to their warehouse so it doesn’t require any more work.
Call Us for a Quote on Thermoformed Plastics
If you are in need of custom plastic manufacturing, reach out to Advanced Plastiform, Inc. We work with companies across all types of industries and ship to states across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia.