Vacuum form tooling

Revolutionary design of catering trolley, for which two complete fully functional prototypes were made by AP Hollings & Sons Ltd, had a feature that required a vacuum formed assembly. Within the trolley was a hot water urn, which had access via locked door to refill with water and recharge the integral battery. The door was designed by APH to be a two part construction, front facia forming was in principle a tray, behind which a ‘top hat’ panel for stiffness was bonded.

The vacuum form tooling was produced from APH CAD design on our CNC machines from resin tooling board. The finished tools were mounted onto MDF boards and vented.

The boards were sized and drilled to fit one of our vacuum form machines and using white gloss HIPS, two sets of parts were formed. After finish trimming the parts were bonded together, a piano hinge 600mm long was bonded to one edge using Plexus adhesive, also a locking latch was fitted through the vacuum formed assy.  The resulting performance showed that vacuum forming parts in plastic, was the most weight and cost effective method of manufacture.