White Paper

Low-Volume Rapid Thermoforming With 3D Printed Molds

This white paper provides methods and guidelines for using 3D printed thermoforming molds.

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  • Introduction
  • Method
  • Case Studies
    • IPC Thermoformed Thick PS and ABS Sheets for Automotive Parts
    • Glassboard Thermoformed Thick PC Sheets for Consumer Goods Parts
    • Formech Thermoformed Thin Sheets of ABS and HIPS for Packaging
    • Thermoforming Thin Sheets of PETG, PE, PP for Packaging


Thermoforming is a set of manufacturing processes that heat and form sheets of plastics onto a tool. It is used extensively to produce disposable food and medical packaging, consumer goods and appliances, but also for heavy-duty applications such as automotive components and train interior parts. Thermoforming processes are versatile: depending on the technique, they can be employed from one-off to batch production with low to moderate unit costs.


When designing a thermoforming tool for 3D printing, it is good practice to adhere to the rules of design for additive manufacturing as well as the general rules for thermoforming mold design.

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