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
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