Engraving steel using DATRON CNC Engraving Machine with up to 60,000 RPM spindles as well as vacuum table workholding and pneumatic clamping systems

Thermoforming Mold Making


Thermoforming mold making is a process used by manufacturers to produce products and product packaging. Thermoforming of blister packaging is extremely popular within the pharmaceutical packaging industry and thermoformed plastic is used to package virtually any type of consumer product. Many of the molds for thermoforming are machined from aluminum and require a CNC milling machine capable of producing very smooth surface finishes. For achieving a smooth surface finish and milling aluminum thermoforming molds DATRON high speed CNC machining centers offer the following advantages:


  • High Speed Spindles (up to 60,000 RPM) - The high spindle speed reduces the chip load which reduces the forces between the tool and the material. High-speed/low-force machining yields less heat, reduces tool deflection, and allows machining of thinner walled work pieces. This all results in cooler machining, superior surface quality and better accuracy.
  • Spray-Mist Coolant System - The spray-mist coolant system minimizes the time consuming and expensive maintenance issues associated with flood-type coolant systems. It is a highly-effective method of cooling and can reduce or even eliminate degreasing and disposal costs.
  • Probing / Surface Scanning - scans surface, recognizes irregular work-piece topography and compensates for it dynamically
  • Automatic Tool Changer - up to 45 tool stations depending on machine model, includes tool-length and breakage detection
  • Vacuum Table Workholding - vacuum tables from 12" x 18" up to 24" x 36" provide quick setup of sheet material
  • Pneumatic Clamping Systems - pneumatic, shortstroke clamps that minimize setup times for redundant processes
  • 5-Axis Capability - integrated trunnion-style rotary axis for multisided milling of aluminum (watch video)


LEARN MORE: View our Thermoforming Mold Making Showcase (at the bottom of the page) and download our Thermoforming Case Study (below):


Aerospace component application notes including machining strategies, tooling, fees and speeds.


Download the Application Notes for this Aerospace Component.


Milling machines for thermoforming mold making - While all DATRON machines can be utilized for thermoforming mold making, here are a few specific models that you may want to look at: M8Cube, M10Pro and MLCube (see page bottom for reasons).


Do you have an thermoforming application?

Part of our sales process is to qualify our equipment for your application. We have a staff of product specialists and application engineers who can help to address your specific challenges.


Use the FORM (right) to initiate a conversation.


Or call us at 888.262.2833

Thermoform Mold Milling Case Study Download from DATRONThermoforming Mold Making Case Study (Ren 5169 / Plastic)

Contact Us About Thermoform Mold Milling:

DATRON Dynamics is the North American distributor of DATRON CNC equipment. We are responsible for selling, maintaining and servicing our fleet of milling machines. We are not a contract manufacturer for these applications you are reviewing.

Thermoforming Mold Making Parts Showcase (Sample Photos):

Click on thumbnail to enlarge and then scroll through gallery:



Milling Machines for Thermoforming:
While all DATRON milling machines are designed for precise machining of aluminum and plastics used for thermoforming molds, there are some differentiators that may help you to narrow your search. The M8Cube offers an ample 40" x 32" work area for milling aluminum thermoforming molds. Using our PerfectCut filter this machine will produce molds with exceptional surface finish.

For milling thermoforming molds that are a bit larger or require the highest quality surface finish, the M10Pro is best suited. This is our fastest and most precise CNC machining center. It features a 41" x 35" bed with a +/- 5 micron position accuracy across the entire work envelope. Its solid granite machining table adds rigidity and accuracy. HSK-25E tool holders yield less than 1 micron runout. All of this adds up to mirror-like surface finishes.

Now, if an extremely large work area is required, as is the case when milling large thermoforming molds, the MLCube features a 60" x 40" work area. This can also benefit manufacturers who wish to batch machine aluminum thermoforming molds (either several of the same mold or a number of different molds). Due to features like automatic tool change, batch machining can be run unattended or during lights-out production as a means of cost reduction.