Start you direct thermoforming transformation today.

Lauren Blais | Sr. Global Product Marketing Manager, EFI Inkjet

Like so many aspects of print, the thermoforming industry stands to benefit greatly from the analog-to-digital transformation. As we’ve seen with many other applications across the printing and packaging industries, this transformation presents opportunities for new players to add profitable revenue streams.

A thing or two about thermoforming.

Thermoforming is a manufacturing process where a plastic sheet is heated until it is pliable, formed to a specific 3D shape on a mold, cooled, trimmed and finished to create a usable product. This process is used to create both industrial and consumer products, including outdoor signs, point-of-purchase displays, promotional products, packaging, beverage lights, vending and gaming panels, automotive and industrial products, and much more. It’s big business. So big, in fact, the Society of Plastic Engineers (SPE) has an entire Thermoforming Division and annual conference specifically for the thermoforming industry.

So, umm, what’s this have to do with print?

Thermoformed applications have to be decorated either pre- or post-forming, and conventional decoration processes have rather large limitations—that is, they’re not so efficient nor are they always profitable.

Why not?

Pre-formed plastic sheets are traditionally screen-printed, which requires make ready, dialing in color, waste, etc. Some companies outsource the printing and make little to no profit on those jobs.

Post-formed parts are decorated with decals, self-adhesive labels, laminating vinyl to plastic sheets, airbrushing, etc. It’s all pretty costly, very labor-intensive and wasteful.

Have no fear, direct to substrate digital imaging is here!

The unique combination of digital inkjet imaging and production capabilities combined with super stretchy UV ink removes the time-consuming, manual steps required in those traditional decoration processes, and eliminates the need to outsource. Direct to substrate printing is helping printers widen their margin opportunity and shorten their time to market. It’s fast. It allows for customization. It’s profitable. And the near-photographic image quality really stands out.

Download our 5 REASONS to start your direct thermoforming transformation today infographic. It will show you how this profitable capability can have a direct impact on your bottom line!


Want to get into the direct thermoforming market fast?

The EFI™ VUTEk® GS Pro-TF Series and EFI™ H1625-SD printers allow you to produce custom thermoforming applications by printing direct to formable substrates. Turn out high-impact 3D signs, packaging, POP and more – super fast and super efficient.

Leave a Reply