Introduction to Vacuum Forming
Vacuum forming is a process whereby plastic sheets are heated and formed over an object under pressure of a vacuum. We have a vacuum forming machine that we utilise whenever we have to make repeats of simple shapes, we made lots of hearts, for instance, which were used for a retail window display for valentines day. We made the heart shape, then cast it in fibreglass and placed it in the vacuum forming machine. This method is fairly inexpensive and produces beautifully finished objects.
We can work from your pencil sketch design, 3-D artwork or create the design for you. We will create the ‘former’ that will be used in the vacuum forming process; we will either make a sculpture of the former or 3-D print or CNC it and liaise with you until you are happy. Vacuum formed items can be made with clear or coloured plastic or can be painted should you require a non-standard colour.
The benefits of vacuum forming are:
- The finished product is lightweight which keeps transport costs to a minimum
- Durable making useful for either indoors or outdoors
- We can make additional products further down the line should you require them
Some of our past vacuum forming has been used for: heads which were used to showcase sunglasses as point of sale in a retail display, masks and bricks made to look realistic which have been used in theatrical productions, television screens for retro TV’s displayed at the BBC TV Centre, small items used as replica props and artefacts for museums and additions that we placed on our sculptures of life-size gaming characters.
There are numerous applications that vacuum forming can be used, limited only by your imagination.