EUROTEC 2013 - Proceedings of the 2nd European Technical Conference & Exhibition pages:713-717
Eurotec edition:2 location:Lyon, France date:04-05 July 2013
Heavy gauge thermoforming on an industrial scale often involves small production series. The cost of the mold then constitutes a considerable part of the production cost. Besides this financial aspect, thermoforming is primarily an experience and trial and error based technology, resulting in suboptimal processes and lengthy optimization procedures. This paper presents a potential solution for both aspects. In the first place, the use of Single Point Incremental Forming (SPIF), as a technique to produce thermoforming molds based on mechanically deformed thin sheets of metal, is presented. Secondly, the use of Digital Image Correlation (DIC) as a technology to aid the thermoformer in reducing setup times and trial and error cycles is elaborated. A SPIF mold of a washing sink is produced and the deformation during thermoforming of a high impact polystyrene (HIPS) sheet is measured by a DIC setup, mounted on the machine, allowing for an in situ 3D reconstruction of the final product, and full field wall thickness measurements. It is concluded that both SPIF and DIC are two valuable techniques that can be used in heavy gauge thermoforming.