Choosing the right trimming and finishing method is essential for the vacuum forming process. Failure to select the right one can affect the overall quality of the component, its longevity and ultimately how effective it is at doing the job for which it was intended.
Having an understanding of different trimming methods can ensure customers are better informed when choosing a manufacturer of vacuum-formed components. After all, a company that doesn’t offer a tailored solution is unlikely to deliver to the required standard.
Vacuum forming is, in many senses, just the first stage in the process. Here are just some of the ways in which manufacturers should make sure you receive the quality component you expect, every time.
CNC machining is an ultra-precise method of trimming a vacuum formed component. The computer-programmed cutter can be used on various different surfaces, the accuracy rate is high and it is a cost effective efficient solution suited to more complex higher volume components.
Vertical circular spindle saw
A circular cutter is applied to a spindle and fixed to a pillar drill for this operation, allowing components to be cut vertically. This can ensure accuracy and complete visibility while trimming vacuum-formed components.
Steel rule dies
A steel rule die is typically used as a secondary trimming method on flat parts. The component is placed in the die and trimmed using downward pressure, creating excellent results in a minimal time frame. However, efforts must be made to ensure the component doesn’t slip while the die is in operation.
The use of hand routers either in conjunction with a router jig or a cam follower on a moulded feature is a cost effective trimming solution for lower to medium volume simpler trims that still require some shape to the trimmed feature.
Thinner vacuum formed plastics can be passed through an industrial guillotine, which operates in much the same way as one used for paper. The blade is moved in a downward motion to slice through the material and create a straight edge, with both manual and automatic versions available.
Horizontal & Vertical Bandsaws & Drilling
Horizontal & Vertical or horizontal bandsaws, hand tools and drills are just some of the tools that can be used to trim vacuum formed parts. These methods are generally used for simpler trimming requirements and low or medium volume applications and specifically where there are straight line trimmed features.
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