Vacuum forming

CPI offers vacuum thermoforming and pressure forming, along with other pre-draw or plug assists such as snap-back forming and billow forming to minimize material thinning and increase pressure, drape forming and matched mold forming.

Thermoforming, also referred to as vacuum forming is a method of manufacturing by preheating an extruded plastic sheet or moldable vinyl, draping it over a mold where vacuum is applied to achieve the desired shape. We utilize rotary, shuttle forming processes. The trimmed material is reground and recycled.

Pressure thermoforming is ideal for components that require crisp formed in detail such as labels, logos and printed areas or when a part needs to have various textures on the same surface. Another advantage is the ability to mold in undercuts. This type of forming uses compressed air in order to force the raw material against a mold.

Materials include: ABS, ABS/Polycarbonate blend, Acrylic, Polyesters - PETG, Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polystyrene, Rigid PVC, Thermoplastic Olefins (TPO), decorative composites such as acrylic and vinyl films, Tri-Laminate Vinyl, Seamless Vinyl Upholstery

Typical Applications Include:

  • Specialty automotive: interior trim pieces, headliners, dash panels
  • Sport & utility vehicle: vinyl seat covers / skins, plastic caps
  • Marine & recreational vehicle:storage tubs, livewell compartments
  • Consumer products: refrigerator liners, shower surrounds
  • Retail and display: casegood bins, tissue/napkin dispensers
  • Packaging: protective carrying cases, trays, bins, plastic pallets
  • Healthcare: vinyl upholstery for stools, chairs & exam tables, operating room equipment housings, hospital bed surrounds
  • Seating: backpanels, adjuster covers, armcaps
  • Sound proofing / noise control: diffusers
  • Bezels, panels, guards & housings for industrial, electronic, sport and leisure equipment


Thermoformed Parts in the simplest of design can be rough trimmed, but are typically 5 Axis CNC Precision Cut prior to packaging and shipping.

Pressure Forming

thermoformed parts