Vacuum Forming and Tooling

Case study 1: Manufacture of a prototype rear Bumper for a luxury car manufacturer

We were approached by a renowned luxury car manufacturer to make the rear bumper for a prototype car.

The design of the rear bumper was provided by the client but as it was for injection moulding, the first step was to re-design the bumper to suit the vacuum forming process.

We designed the tool using our VISI modelling software.

The patterns were cut on our 5 axis machine and we used a local foundry to manufacture the cast aluminium tools.

The tools were then cleaned and vented.

We also CNC machined the holding fixtures in-house.

Our vacuum forming partner produced the plastics and we used our 5 axis machine to trim the plastics, we then assembled the prototype bumper.

The whole process took 6 weeks from start to finish.

Cast ali tools for rear bumper cover

CNC machined fixtures for trimming plastics

Vacuum formed plasctic and assembled rear bumper

Case study 2: Manufacture Front Bumper protection Panel tooling

The project was to manufacture tooling for a front bumper assembly line protection panel.

We were given CAD data of the car’s bumper and the vacuum forming company briefed us the area that they would like to protect.

Using our Visi modelling software, we designed the cover and we refined the design until the end user was happy. We got it right in 2 iterations.

Upon approval, we designed the vacuum forming tool and we manufactured it out of model board using our Rye 5 axis CNC.

The tools were cleaned, vented, mounted on ply base and thoroughly checked before delivering to the vacuum forming company.

The panels were formed without any issues and trialled on the car. The fit was perfect and the customer was very happy with the results.

We then manufactured a GRP holding fixture for this customer to enable them to trim the panels on their CNC machines.

The tools were then used for production and the end customer was very happy with the results.

The process took 6 weeks from start to finish.

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