Plastic molds coming out of the thermoforming machine

Thermoforming Explained (Everything You Need to Know)

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Thermoforming represents a sturdy type of packaging used widely in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry.

Whether you manufacture car parts, home improvement items, cosmetics, or food products, thermoforms can make your products more secure on store shelves while standing out from the competition.

In today’s blog from Complete Packaging Solutions, we discuss how thermoforming works.

A Conversation

Complete Packaging Solutions begins the thermoforming process by talking to your team. We listen to your requirements and specifications. We’ll also talk about what options you have for materials and the possible timeframes for the rest of the process.


Then we continue the thermoforming process with CAD, or computer-aided design. We take your specifics, input them into our CAD software, and get the measurements precisely as we need.


Once we come up with a design, we help you select the right materials for your packaging. For the majority of cases involving plastic thermoforming, the most common type of plastic is polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

It’s rigid, recyclable, comes in many thicknesses, and can be colored any way you want, including transparent.


Before mass production, we go through a prototyping process to ensure a precise fit. Aside from CAD, prototyping is probably the most crucial step in thermoforming because it affects the entire process.

We then test the prototypes with your products to make sure they fit perfectly.


Tooling refers to creating a physical mold that forms your packaging during the manufacturing process. Thermoformed plastic is heated to just the right temperature, and the mold creates every nook and cranny for your packaging. 


Now the actual thermoforming process begins. We take rolls of plastic, heat them to the correct temperature, and form them around the molds we made earlier. Then our machine cools the plastic, removes it from the mold, and the packaging cools at room temperature. 

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Trimming & Die-Cutting

Once the thermoformed pieces reach the end of the production line, we trim them precisely. Then we package them in a box before shipping them to your facility. Your products should arrive on time so you can fulfill orders for your customers.

Complete Packaging Solutions: Your Trusted Source for Custom Packaging

We’ve been in business a long time, and we have the expertise to make just about any thermoformed plastic packaging for your products. Contact Complete Packaging Solutions today or call (765) 547-1300 for more information.