DESIGN AND ENGINEERING
Our state of the art CAD systems along with our experienced engineering team can help you realize your vision and get it right the first time.
Click on any one of the topics below to learn more about FLOE’s value-added capabilities.
Thermoformed products usually start out as a CAD model or drawing, but can certainly be brought to FLOE Thermoforming “on a paper napkin”. The key for our combined success is that FLOE Thermoforming is brought into the OEM’s design loop as early as possible so that we can maximize the design for forming on FLOE’s vacuum forming systems. Both the part and the mold are best designed with FLOE Thermoforming machine specifications in mind. As a team, FLOE and our OEM partner will want to ensure that we maximize machine efficiency and the parts conformance to our OEM partner’s specification. FLOE Thermoforming utilizes SolidWorks as our CAD platform and can convert most CAD files into our highly integrated CAD environment. When OEMs come to us with a CAD file, our engineers work to refine their CAD model such that it will work well with our thermoforming systems and plastics manufacturing processes as discussed above.
Mold design is one of the most important aspects of the vacuum forming process! The efficiency and adherence to an OEM’s part specifications will be determined primarily by how well the mold is designed along with the material used, both in relationship with the thermoforming machine used. FLOE Thermoforming has extensive in-house part and mold prototyping capabilities, with our integrated CAD and CNC systems. FLOE Thermoforming’s integrated CAD and CNC systems allow for rapid prototyping of parts as well as mold pattern and prototype mold building. Production aluminum molds are highly designed with proper heating and cooling plumbing, surfaces and overall form. A mold’s internal vacuum system is another critical component to the parts production efficiency and adherence to the part’s specifications. FLOE Thermoforming will want to be intimately involved in the mold design if not manage that process for our OEM partners. FLOE Thermoforming engages with multiple tooling manufacturers to ensure the best route for building our partner’s molds. FLOE Thermoforming’s OEM partners can ensure their part and mold designs are proven prior to production and the final production mold will efficiently and correctly build their parts.
The starting point is a design. At FLOE Thermoforming we want to work with our OEM partners as early as possible in the design loop; therefore, we offer both in-house design expertise and the use of external independent design partners. These combined engineering services can provide, but are not limited to the following: “design- for-thermoforming expertise”, CAD design of part, pattern and mold, material selection expertise, fixture design, post-forming operations layout and design, packaging design, design of “accessory components”, and completed product design and layout. We at FLOE Thermoforming are happy to work with you to determine best use of these resources, we welcome you to contact us and find out more about FLOE Thermoforming and what we can build for you.
Republished from Plastics Technology Magazine. FLOE International got started making products for boaters. It still does. But now it also thermoforms extremely large parts, both for captive products and to support other thermoformers who need big-part capabilities. READ MORE