Drape Forming

Unlike most thermoforming processes, drape forming does not stretch the plastic during the formation of the part, which allows the plastics thickness to remain consistent throughout the part. A sheet of heated extruded plastic is manually draped over a mold to create the desired shape without the use of a vacuum. The mold is usually a felt lined wood or epoxy board with a matched upper and lower “clamshell” type of mold.

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Drape Forming in Action

This video shows drape forming in action at our workshop:

  • The material is polycarbonate, dark grey
  • The machine is a drape tool

Drape Forming Advantages

The advantages of using drape forming include:

  • Lower cost of tooling and fixtures
  • Sheet is not stretched

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