Thermoform Tooling

Dordan is equipped with an in house tool and die shop with three 2019 VF Series Hass CNC machining centers.

CNC machining thermoform tooling

CNC machine in Dordan's in house tool room

All thermoform tools, prototype and production, are NX CAM/CNC produced out of aircraft-quality aluminum by the same team of packaging engineers that develop the Solid Model NX thermoform packaging design. This integration between thermoform design and tooling allows for the manufacture of consistently high quality thermoformed packaging in short turnaround at competitive pricing. 


Thermoform Tooling Process and Capabilities:

  • We prove out the NX CAM/CNC tool paths during the prototyping stage, replicating them (step and repeat) for the machining of the production tooling. This means that the thermoform production tooling is a multiple-up clone of the approved prototype tool. The benefit to utilizing the same CNC tool paths of the approved-prototype for the machining of the production tooling is more intelligent quality control because the tool paths have already been proved out; thus, production issues can be identified and remedied quickly, as we are able to eliminate the thermoform tool as the generator of the production issue.

  • We machine and build all thermoform production tooling and ancillary components, like assist plugs, die build-ups, locators, trim headers, etc., in-house, utilizing the same machining centers and NX CAM programming as the form tool.

  • All prototype and production tooling is measured and checked for quality before coming off the CNC by the same team of engineers that develop the Solid Model NX thermoform design. 

  • All potential thermoforming challenges like flow lines, material distribution, draw-ratios, form-to-cut tolerances, etc., are mitigated through keen insight by our packaging engineers into the interaction between thermoform design and tooling.

  • Material shrinkage is calculated into all thermoform tooling development, allowing for the production of consistently on-spec thermoformed packaging.

  • Dordan develops movable tooling components to allow for the forming and stripping of thermoformed packaging that requires aggressive undercuts.

  • Dordan offers standard steel-rule dies, matched-metal tooling, and modified steel rule dies that are designed for complex cutting operations.

  • All thermoform tooling is inventoried in our temperature-controlled warehouse and maintained to full working condition. If the die needs to be replaced, we do so at no cost to the customer.


Machining thermoform tooling

CNC machines thermoform tooling at Dordan Manufacturing