Thermoforming Plastic Products

The Plastic Thermoforming Process

Plastic thermoforming can be performed with a variety of materials. Our most common material is acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) which is available in a variety of colors and textures. Another popular option is an ABS sheet with an acrylic cap, which provides outstanding colors and patterns which can emulate woodgrain, metallic paint, or carbon fiber weave. In addition to ABS, thermopolyolefin (TPO) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) are popular choices for high volume runs.

The thermoforming process inludes:

  • Heating a thermoplastic sheet to a temperature that softens it for molding purposes - sheets come in a wide range of thicknesses depending on the desired product, i.e. thin gauge for small packaging containers
  • Stretching the sheet to conform to a custom mold’s contours
  • Cooling the formed part until it becomes rigid and maintains the desired shape
  • Trimming the plastic part to eliminate edges
  • Fabricating it into its final configuration by drilling and routing 

MEP designs, develops and delivers custom plastic enclosures with superior quality and fast turnaround for marine, RV,  industrial, automotive, and display manufacturers. 

Request information or a customized quote.

Engineering and Design

By keeping all of the associated departments on one campus, we streamline the go-to-market time. Our engineering department and tooling departments can produce a fully function control console with associated gauge and switch panels, from concept to finished product, in as little as two weeks.

Our engineering and design departments are here to serve you. We work with our customers from design conception through final build specifications and schematic layouts. Have a rough sketch of a dashboard concept? Send us a copy and our engineering department can craft a 3D rendering of your ideas to help solidify your visions. Once approved, our tooling department can make your concept a reality.

Don't have a design in mind? Our helpful sales representatives will be glad to show you examples of designs that we have created for all types of application. Mix and match colors, textures, and components to get just the right look and feel of the control centers and interior panels that you want.

Real World Example

This is a picture of an actual hand-drawn sketch that was used to create one of our newest pontoon boat consoles. The resulting console was color matched to the interior components of the boat so that the design integrated seamlessly into the new model.

This is the finished console that was interpreted by our Engineering and Tooling departments. Each department was involved with the customer throughout the prototype process to ensure that the final product met the needs of this specific boat.

Some unique features that were incorporated into this design include: a universal base with cantilevered design, hidden seams between top and bottom pieces that were achieved through a edge rolling process, increased structural rigidity resulting from style line placement, and reduced requirement for secondary bracing to reinforce wall stiffness.

By starting the design phase with the concept of interchanging bases and tops, MEP is able to quickly and efficiently alter the product based upon customer requirements.