WHAT IS VACUUM FORMING ?
Vacuum forming is a simple way of shaping plastic into a dimensional part. It's a process of taking flat plastic, heating it up to a pliable state, then stretching it over a hard mold while still hot. Vacuum is applied, air is then sucked out of the voids around the mold to pull the plastic tightly around the shape. It cools quickly, the mold removed and the result is a plastic shape of the mold.
WHAT CAN BE MADE
There is a wide variety of things that can be made using a vacuum former. The incentive is to produce multiple and consistent parts without having to invest in expensive tooling. This is very appealing to crafters and hobbyists to produce smaller custom parts. It's another form of 3D printing. The following are examples of commercial applications as well as for crafts and art.