The evolution in tooling strategies and forming methods since the industry's birth during the Second World War has been remarkable. From the early days of crude wooden molds and handheld drape forming operations, we have advanced to the level where precision machined articulated aluminum tools running on fully automated equipment are routinely producing parts that rival injection molding, but at a fraction of the up front costs.

In this section of the Thermoforming Tech Academy we discuss the various mold design options available, and the most commonly used materials to create those molds. Next, there is a comparison of male vs. female tooling and the advantages that both can offer. Finally, we talk about the variety of forming methods that are available, how they relate to a specific tooling strategy, and how the forming method relates to the quality and characteristics of the finished part.

There are three topics that are included in the Tooling section:

After you have reviewed these tooling topics, please move ahead to the Thermoforming Tech Academy's Production Section to learn how proper planning, design, material selection and tooling strategy will all come together in the production process to give you exactly the parts you need.

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