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Pairing pressure forming with 3D printing in education

Discover how 3D printing complements desktop pressure forming.

Pressure forming integrates smoothly with educational environments already equipped with existing lab technologies, such as 3D printers. These technologies work hand in hand, boosting students’ creative potential.

Students can use 3D printing for intricate designs, and achieve quick results with high-quality end products using pressure forming. Together, these technologies offer students a comprehensive toolkit for their projects.

Multiplier Education Brochure

Explore the benefits of pressure forming in education

3D printing is ideal for creating templates for thermoforming, and a technology we recommend for this. These templates, sometimes called bucks, formers, or tools, are placed inside a thermoforming machine to give shape to a plastic sheet. When this sheet is heated, it becomes flexible and takes on the template’s shape, resulting in the desired part or mold.

Popular 3D printing methods such as filament (FDM), resin (SLA), and powder (SLS) can all be used to create these templates when combined with temperature-resistant materials.

Learn more: Thermoforming and 3D printing

Thermoforming template (left) and Multiplier-made HIPS packaging prototype (right)

3D printing can be more than just producing a final object; it can be a vital stage in a broader process. By combining it with pressure forming, 3D printed pieces become tools in a more sophisticated workflow.

3D printing excels at fabricating intricate designs. Various 3D printing methods can be used to create tools for pressure forming. Instead of 3D printing being the endpoint, it becomes the starting line. Your 3D printed piece acts as a master template, setting the stage for pressure forming to replicate the design in various materials.

SLA 3D printed thermoforming template placed in the Mayku Multiplier forming area

While 3D printing has its own set of material choices, pressure forming opens up a whole new world. Whether you’re aiming for a transparent finish or a robust exterior, pressure forming can achieve it. Detailed designs can be fabricated in everyday plastics, giving them special textures or finishes. It’s also a great way to make clear and see-through items, something other manufacturing methods struggle with.

Combining technologies expands possibilities: This transparent object is impossible to fabricate with 3D printing alone, but using a 3D printed template and pressure forming together makes it possible

Need multiple copies of your design? With a 3D printed template, pressure forming can quickly churn out duplicates. You only need one 3D printed template to produce lots of pieces rapidly. It’s much simpler and more economical to store 3D printed templates than to have a large inventory.

The Multiplier complements other tools like 3D printing, and even has process advantages, particularly in terms of speed and ease of use, which is a huge benefit when you have 600 students working on their final year projects.

— Dr. Yazdi Far - Coventry University

Pressure formed pieces retain their material’s inherent characteristics and isotropic properties, ensuring final products that adhere to their design and are strong and functional.

Pressure formers and 3D printers can operate side by side. This setup creates an efficient workflow with quick turnaround times: 3D printers produce the templates, and pressure formers rapidly produce the final pieces. The combined approach is like having an assembly line right in your workspace. Start with a 3D printer and finish with a pressure former. It’s streamlined, efficient, and tailored for rapid results.

Pressure forming is undeniably impactful, with its benefits already evident across industries. Educators who integrate pressure forming into their curriculum equip students with knowledge of a transformative technology that is shaping their world.

If you’d like to explore more about integrating the Multiplier in education, visit our Education page, and download the Multiplier Education brochure.

Multiplier Education Brochure

Explore the benefits of pressure forming in education

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