vacuum forming/thermoforming flexible material?

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  1. #1
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    Default vacuum forming/thermoforming flexible material?

    I need to create some domes/hemispheres of various sizes from 80cm to 120cm.
    The shape is pretty basic, example:
    http://www.cmspinning.com/images/hem...ding_large.jpg

    The domes have to be foldable into smaller pieces for easy transportation and storage. Think heavy duty rubber gloves but just dome shape. Would like to know if there are flexible sheet materials available to create these domes I could vacuum form like we vacuum form rigid objects. I can create the form for the vacuum forming process easily.

    I understand there might be rubber domes available for sale so I wont waste time making my own but I'm going to make slight changes to the perfect dome shape so I need to make my own.

    Thanks in advance.

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    Default Re: vacuum forming/thermoforming flexible material?

    Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO), Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE), or Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR) maybe? I could only find info on whether these can be vacuum formed in one place, a Stratasys document, where it says it is possible. But cant find actual examples anywhere. http://usglobalimages.stratasys.com/...35020100933346 (check the "VACUUM FORMING MATERIALS" table)

    Quote from above document: "Virtually any thermoplastic that is available as extruded sheet stock may be used (see figure 1). And unlike injection or blow molding processes, wall thicknesses can range from foils to thick-gauge stock—thicknesses ranging from 0.0005 to 0.50 inch (0.0127 to 12.7 mm)"

    Still, found zero examples or videos on the internet actually doing it with an ordinary vacuum forming machine, or where one of the above 3 materials can be sourced.



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    Default Re: vacuum forming/thermoforming flexible material?

    I tried to find the above materials in sheets (specifically TPE, thermoplastic elastomer) to test myself, but couldnt find anywhere for sale. Can someone help me source these? Ill post my results here after i get and test them



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vacuum forming/thermoforming flexible material?
vacuum forming/thermoforming flexible material?