Thermoforming is used to create three dimensional parts from otherwise flat thermoplastic labels. Typically the labels are created using silk screen printing or digital printing as other inks are not able to stand up to the temperatures and stress of thermoforming. Thermoformed parts add tremendous application versatility and provide added durability to a part as the image is sealed beneath the surface. Often used for cosmetic enhancement, thermoforming is ideal for electronic device covers and point of purchase displays. Thermoformed labels are often used in conjunction with film insert molding to form plastic housings, faceplates, display panels and lenses.
Thermoformed parts are created by vacuum forming pre-printed plastic over a heated mold to form a three dimensional shape. A three dimensional mold is created in relief with venting for the vacuum pump. The mold and the film are each heated to the proper temperature for forming and the mold is elevated to the plastic sheet. As the mold comes in contact with the now heated and pliable film, the suction vents pull the material over the mold to form a tight seal. When the mold is released, the formed sheet is cooled and ready to be die cut. Specialized dies are often required to compensate for the three dimensional shape.
Typical thermoformed parts
LGInternational's Thermoforming Products
LGInternational's Thermoforming Options