Pricing Structure for Custom Thermoformed Packaging

Posted by Chandler Slavin on Feb 5, 2018 1:44:26 PM

Dordan is a full-service thermoform designer and manufacturer of custom packaging solutions like plastic clamshells, blisters, insert trays, dunnage trays, and medical packaging. Therefore, all pricing is based on specific project requirements. There are, however, shared pricing indicators that are implicit in all thermoforming quotes. These include: material type and thickness, run quantity, part size/design, tooling, and quality control requirements.


Material for Thermoforming

Recycled polyethylene terephthalate (RPET) is an affordable, quality material that is used for transparent thermoformed packaging, like clamshells and blisters. It is a recycled material and is recyclable. Black or white recycled high impact polystyrene (RHIPS) is a popular material for non-transparent packaging, like thermoformed dunnage trays. For direct-food contact packaging, FDA certified virgin PET is appropriate; for medical device packaging, FDA-certified medical-grade materials, like APET and PETG, are required. The more exotic the material requirement, like color matching or flocked, generally the more expensive the part from which it’s formed.

Production Run / Order Quantity

As custom thermoformers, we buy material per job. This allows us to maintain our own rigid standards for material acceptability, while facilitating a lean warehouse. Each material has its own minimum buy requirements, which means that if the thermoform order quantity does not consume the material minimum, the cost of the scrap is applied towards the thermoform part price. Thus, too small of orders may not make economic sense if they don’t meet the specific material minimum. Standard materials, like RPET and RHIPS, have lower minimums thank more specialty materials. Also, we amortize the cost of machine set-up over the run quantity, so as the order quantities increase, the price decreases.

Package Size

The part price is also based on the size and thermoform design.The more material consumed in its production, the more expensive the part. If the part has a deep draw, then a thicker material is needed to allow adequate material distribution throughout the form. Selecting the appropriate material type and thickness for a thermoformed part depends on the part requirements; Dordan is capable of making this determination on behalf of its clients.

Custom Thermoform Tooling


Thermoform tooling is required for the production of thermoformed products and packaging. Tooling includes thermoform design, prototyping, and NX CAM/CNC produced aluminum tooling. Dordan has three thermoforming formats: small, large, and medical, with different associated tooling costs. Our small thermoformers have a press that can form parts up to 20” x 20” x 2.5”; our large thermoformers have a press that can form parts up to 36’ x 30’ x 6”; our Kiefel Speedformers are dedicated to cleanroom medical thermoforming. The appropriate tooling format is based on the part design and requirements, run quantity, material thickness, and quality control requirements.

Thermoformed Packaging Products

Dordan is a custom thermoformer of plastic clamshells, blisters, insert trays, dunnage trays, and medical packaging.

Thermoform Design and Manufacturing


Dordan is a full-service thermoform designer and manufacturer, offering: In-house Solid Model NX thermoform design, NX CAM/CNC produced tooling, plastics thermoforming, ISO Class 8 Cleanroom thermoforming, and an ISO 9001:2015 certified Quality Management System. 

About Dordan Manufacturing

Dordan is a 60-year old, family owned and operated custom thermoformer. Based in Woodstock, IL, Dordan prides itself on thermoform design and manufacturing excellence. CEO &President Daniel Slavin is joined by is son, daughter, son-in-law, and grandson, pushing the company into 4th generation operation.


Topics: custom thermoformed packaging, Thermoforming, thermoform design