Process:   Uses preformed sheets which are warmed and sucked (vacuum forming) or pushed into a mould. Neither high heat nor pressure is required so moulds can be made from cheap materials such as MDF or cast aluminium. Also used to shape rod and tube.

Introduced:   1890 for use with cellulose nitrate

Plastics:   Most sheet thermoplastic materials

Marks:   None

Tooling cost:   Low

Production volume:   Suitable for low quantities or even one offs, but can be mechanised to speed up process

Uses:   Shallow forms: baths and boat hulls, bowls, margarine and yogurt pots