Thermoforming Simulations

Engineering Simulations uses non-linear finite element simulations of the thermoforming process to accurately predict material distribution in the product. The results of the thermoforming simulation can be used directly in a structural FEA of the product loading conditions. Modifying the forming process to optimize the strength and stiffness of the product allows thinner initial sheet thickness, saving material costs. Potential areas of webbing are identified and process changes can be made early in the product development process.

Forming Option Assessment:

An assessment of the various forming options can be conducted prior to making the first prototype.

  • Vacuum forming 
  • Plug assist with vacuum and pressure
  • Pressure forming 
  • Drape
  • Billow Drape
  • Billow vacuum
  • Vacuum snap-back

Plug Assist Design / Optimization:

The optimum plug assist geometry is developed using a series of simulations systematically exploring the matrix of geometric variables. The following are optimized:

  • Depth of plug penetration.
  • Distance between plug and mold.
  • Radius at the edge of the plug.