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DitaiPlastic Vacuum Forming - Tooling/Mold

As a leading vacuum forming supplier in Guangdong, DitaiPlastic also specializes in in-house mold production. We extensively use aluminum molds in vacuum forming because of their robustness, superior thermal conductivity, and ability to yield high-quality components. There are several types of molds we will use in vacuum forming process:

  • For transparent products or surface effects are very demanding, we employ block aluminum mold
  • For solid color products and products with textured surfaces, we employ casting aluminum mold
  • For intricate part geometries, we employ sliding block aluminum molds
  • We also provide all international standard texture codes of texture acid-etched mold, also known as texture mold or pattern mold

We specialize in an array of mold types essential for vacuum forming, including block aluminum, casting aluminum, fiberglass, wooden, sliding block aluminum, and texture acid-etched aluminum molds. Upon receiving your design or sample, our experts swiftly assess its vacuum forming suitability, offering specialized advice. Once the design is approved, our engineers transform it into mold-specific blueprints, factoring in the material’s unique shrinkage rates – a step requiring material pre-selection.

The molds then go through a CNC machining process, followed by polishing and vacuum hole drilling. During the plastic-forming stage, these molds are seamlessly integrated into our vacuum forming machines. As the plastic sheet melts, the mold ascends to achieve full adhesion, aided by a vacuum pump that removes any residual air, thus ensuring a flawless final product. After cooling, the mold is disengaged.

We primarily use aluminum 6061 for our aluminum-based molds. Tailoring to your specific requirements, we offer a lifetime guarantee: in the event of mold wear, damage, or deformation, a free replacement is guaranteed.

We own our two sets of  CNC machines, which can control the quality, price, sample time, and delivery date. We will provide the best service if you have any needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Mail: amy@ditaiplastic.com  WhatsApp:+86 13825780422

Introduction To Mold Types

Block Aluminum Mold

Block aluminum molds are highly recommended for specific vacuum forming needs such as crafting transparent items, products with heights not exceeding 100mm, and smaller dimensioned objects. These molds are CNC-engraved from a solid block of aluminum, commonly aluminum 6061, owing to their excellent machinability and durability.

One of the standout features of block aluminum molds is their thickness, which typically ranges between 15-20 mm. This substantial thickness offers several advantages: it enhances the mold’s durability, makes it easier to heat uniformly, and makes it more suitable for drilling vacuum holes or adding intricate details. Unlike thinner molds, the robustness of these thick block aluminum molds allows for precise drilling without compromising structural integrity.

For transparent products, block aluminum molds offer an unparalleled surface finish. The CNC engraving process yields an ultra-smooth surface, eliminating imperfections and blemishes that could compromise transparency. This is especially crucial where high visual clarity is a priority. The mold’s thickness and heat uniformity further minimize the introduction of stresses of deformities in the plastic, preserving the optical properties of the finished product. When an even higher level of transparency is required, we offer mirror polishing to minimize the impact of dust spots during the vacuum forming process.

Furthermore, when it comes to smaller sized products, the material cost difference between block and casting aluminum is minimal, making block aluminum a cost-effective and high-quality choice.

For projects demanding clarity, dimensional stability, or specialized details, block aluminum molds, with their thicker profile and inherent benefits, are often the preferred option.

ditaiplastic vacuum forming
ditaiplastic vacuum forming

Casting Aluminum Mold

Casting aluminum molds is a cost-effective and versatile choice for vacuum forming applications, especially when the end products are made from solid-color or textured materials. One of the primary advantages of these molds is their cost efficiency; the casting process often requires fewer machining steps and less time compared to CNC-engraved block aluminum molds, thus reducing production costs.

While it’s true that casting aluminum molds may introduce minor surface imperfections – like small holes or blemishes – the impact of these is minimal when working with opaque or textured materials. These materials effectively conceal such minor flow, leading to a final product that meets high aesthetic standards, despite the lower cost of the mold.

Moreover, casting aluminum is renowned for its ability to facilitate complex and intricate designs. The material’s ductility allows for the mold to capture detailed textures or patterns, making it an ideal choice for projects that require a high degree of design complexity.

Additionally, casting aluminum molds are generally more forgiving when it comes to changes in temperature displaying lower thermal expansion rates compared to other materials. This makes them more stable during the vacuum forming process, potentially resulting in fewer defects in the final product.

In conclusion, casting aluminum molds serves as a practical, cost-efficient alternative to block aluminum molds for projects involving solid-color or textured materials. Their affordability, combined with their ability to accommodate complex designs and maintain thermal stability, make them a widely applicable choice for various vacuum forming needs.

 

ditaiplastic vacuum forming
ditaiplastic vacuum forming

Texture Acid-Etched Molds

Texture acid-etched molds in vacuum forming: Leveraging DitaiPlastic’s extensive expertise in mold making, our texture acid-etched molds offer a unique advantage in the vacuum forming process. As the process inherently stretches flat plastic sheets to create three-dimensional shapes, surface texture can be affected. Our meticulously engineered texture acid-etched molds, etched directly onto the mold surface, ensure consistent and uniform texture distribution on the formed product, mitigating distortions caused by stretching.

To further customize your project, we offer molds that adhere to international standard texture codes, providing an unparalleled level of customization in both texture and color. At Ditaiplastic, we have the capability to match any standard hue to meet your specific project requirements.

While both block aluminum and casting aluminum are viable options for texture acid-etched molds, our professional recommendation leans towards the use of block aluminum. This is due to the ability to produce fewer points and achieve a superior surface effect. The refined surface quality to block aluminum molds is particularly beneficial when a high level of texture uniformity and visual appeal is required, ensuring that the final product is both functionally excellent and aesthetically pleasing.

By choosing Ditaiplastic’s texture acid-etched molds, you not only benefit from enhanced visual aesthetics but also from functional excellence, leading to a professional and polished end product.

ditaiplastic vacuum forming
ditaiplastic vacuum forming

Auxiliary Molding Mold

At DitaiPlastic, we offer more than just standard mold solutions; we specialize in advanced auxiliary molding options such as sliding block aluminum molds and upper molds/top-press molds to meet specialized vacuum forming requirements. Designed to enhance functionality and greater design flexibility, these advanced molding solutions are tailored to the specific needs of each project. Our auxiliary tools include features like sliding blocks and pressure points, which can be pneumatically or hydraulically activated during the forming process. These specialized tools serve a dual purpose: they not only strengthen the structural integrity of the formed products but also elevate their aesthetic qualities by ensuring a smoother, more uniform surface finish.

Sliding Block Aluminum Molds

Sliding block aluminum molds are multi-component structures designed to move in relation to each other. They feature a primary forming surface and supplementary sliding blocks that facilitate the creation of complex elements such as undercuts, side features, or recessed areas- something a basic one-piece mold can’t achieve.

At Ditaiplastic, we employ a meticulous operational workflow when using auxiliary molding options such as sliding block aluminum molds in vacuum forming. The process starts with the preparation phase, where the aluminum mold, complete with its sliding block is positioned in the ‘close’ setting within the vacuum forming machine. This is followed by the heating stage, where the plastic sheet is elevated to a pliable temperature, making it ready for forming. Once adequately heated, the sheet is aligned over the mold, and a vacuum is applied to ensure it adheres closely to the mold’s surface while the sliding blocks remain in their initial, ‘close’ position. After the initial forming, the sliding blocks are activated-either manually, pneumatically, or hydraulically- to shift to their ‘open’ position. This action modifies the part’s geometry or creates openings as required. Subsequently, the plastic is allowed to cool and solidify while in intimate contact with the mold, ensuring process shaping. Finally, after sufficient cooling, the vacuum is released, and the formed part is demolded, resetting the sliding blocks to prepare for the next production cycle.

Upper Molds/Top-Press Molds

At DitaiPlastic, we specialize in addressing the intricate challenges inherent in vacuum forming, particularly for products that demand high vertical dimensions or extensive stretching. To accomplish this, we utilize advanced molding techniques that include both auxiliary molding tools and top-press molds. Where conventional molding methods fall short, our top-press molds intervene to provide an additional layer of support and precision. Designed to descend onto the pliable plastic sheet, the molds work in tandem with base molds to capture intricate details and promote a more uniform distribution of material, effectively reducing problems such as material thinning or tearing in areas that require significant stretching.

To further optimize the process, our wooden top-press molds feature a surface covered in dust-free fiber. This innovation serves a dual purpose: it enhances the aesthetic quality of the final product, resulting in a beautifully smooth and visually pleasing surface, while also increasing the contact area between the mold and the material. This additional contact helps to prevent product tearing, thereby improving both the structural integrity and visual appeal of the finished item.

By incorporating these specialized molding solutions, DitaiPlastic consistently meets and often exceeds challenging mold specifications, delivering products that are functionally excellent and aesthetically stunning.

Fiberglass Mold & Wooden Mold

While DitaiPlastic specializes in aluminum molds, we also offer fiberglass and wooden molds as alternative options for vacuum forming. Though these materials are more cost-effective than aluminum, they involve a similar processing time and workflow. It’s important to note that we typically recommend these molds for prototype or sample production only, as they are not designed for prolonged or continuous use. If you plan to transition to full-scale production in the future, we advise opting for our more durable aluminum mold solutions.

ditaiplastic vacuum forming fiberglass mold
ditaiplastic.com

In summary, at DitaiPlastic, we pride ourselves on our expertise in vacuum forming and mold production. Whether you require advanced solutions like sliding block aluminum molds, top-press molds with dust-free fiber finishes, or more conventional aluminum molds, we have the technology and experience to meet your needs. While we do offer alternative options like fiberglass and wooden mold for prototyping, we typically recommend our robust aluminum solutions for long-term, high-quality results.

If you’re looking for unparalleled quality and customized molding solutions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Let’s discuss your project’s specific requirements and explore how we can exceed your expectations in both functionality and aesthetic appeal.

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