Vacuum forming plastic: Benefits and Tips for Beginners

Vacuum-forming plastic is a popular manufacturing technique used to create a wide range of plastic products. It involves heating a flat sheet of plastic until it becomes pliable, then placing it over a mould and using a vacuum to suck the air out from underneath the plastic. The result is a three-dimensional object that conforms to the shape of the mould. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of vacuum-forming plastic and provide some tips for beginners who want to try it for themselves.


Benefits of Vacuum Forming Plastic

1. Cost-effective: Vacuum forming is a cost-effective way to create plastic products compared to other methods such as injection moulding or blow moulding. This is because the moulds used in vacuum forming are relatively simple and can be made quickly and inexpensively.

2. Versatile: Vacuum forming can be used to create a wide range of products, including trays, blister packs, and even car dashboards. The process can be used with a variety of plastic materials, including ABS, PVC, and polycarbonate.

3. Quick turnaround time: Vacuum forming is a relatively quick process, with some products taking as little as a few minutes to create. This means that manufacturers can quickly produce large quantities of products, which is particularly useful for companies that need to meet tight deadlines.

4. Customisable: Because the moulds used in vacuum forming are relatively simple, it’s easy to make changes to the design of a product. This means that manufacturers can quickly adjust their products to meet changing customer demands.


Tips for Beginners

1. Choose the right plastic: When vacuum forming, it’s important to choose the right plastic material for the job. Some plastics, such as ABS, are better suited to creating products with deep drawers, while others, such as PETG, are better suited to creating products with sharp edges. It’s important to choose a plastic that will work well with the design of your product.

2. Pay attention to the thickness of the plastic: The thickness of the plastic sheet used in vacuum forming is important. Thicker sheets are more durable and can withstand greater pressure, but they can also be more difficult to form. Thinner sheets are easier to form but may be less durable. It’s important to find the right balance between thickness and durability.

3. Use a release agent: To ensure that the plastic product can be easily removed from the mould, it’s important to use a release agent. This can be a simple spray-on product that is applied to the mould before the plastic is heated and formed.

4. Experiment with different moulds: One of the benefits of vacuum forming is that it’s easy to experiment with different moulds. This means that beginners can try out different designs and shapes to see what works best for their products.



Vacuum-forming plastic is a versatile and cost-effective manufacturing technique that can be used to create a wide range of products. By choosing the right plastic material, paying attention to the thickness of the plastic, using a release agent, and experimenting with different moulds, beginners can successfully create their vacuum-formed products. If you’re interested in learning more about vacuum-forming plastic, there are plenty of online resources available to help you get started. By following these tips and taking advantage of these resources, you can create your high-quality plastic products using vacuum forming.