Deep draw forming is a sign-making method which is used to create large, deep, unbroken plastic structures. Most commonly used in the creation of large 3D signs and symbols, deep draw forming makes use of heat and vacuum action to mould exact copies of a design quickly and effectively.
This makes it ideal for mass-production of signage and plastic components, and is suited to large chain business and long-running projectsboth for the replicability of the process and the size of the signage which can be created. The costs involved in the deep draw forming process also angle it towards use in these niches, as the equipment may be relatively expensive to set up and prepare for use, making it expensive per unit at low volumes, but the cost does not increase proportionally with the number of units formed, making it less expensive at higher volumes.
What is Deep Draw Forming?
“Deep draw forming” can refer to a number of manufacturing and fabrication techniques across a range of industries. For example, the paperboard trays used in American TV dinners and penal system are made via a technique known as “deep draw forming”, and many metal components are shaped and fabricated by a process also known as “deep draw forming.” However, in the case of metal component manufacture, the process is more akin to drawing out a wire than it is to vacuum forming, pulling metal blanks through a mould to achieve a certain result.
The deep draw forming which is relevant to the sign making industry, and which is offered by SignTrade Letters to our customers, is a form of vacuum forming involving high-quality plastics, which are softened and then pulled down over a mould by vacuum action, creating a smooth, unbroken 3D item.
The plastic used is commonly acrylic, but other plastics and polymers are available based on requirements, to provide other characteristics to your sign.
What Materials can be Used for Deep Draw Forming?
Deep draw forming can be used with many plastics and polymers, including acrylic, which is usually the most common choice due to its ready availability, its durability and resistance to the elements, and its versatility, with a phenomenal range of colours available to suit the designs used in the drawing process.
Other plastics can also be used where specific requirements must be met – for example, polymers chosen for their resistance to varying temperatures, ultraviolet light, strength or cost, among other things. This range of materials make deep draw forming a versatile fabrication technique which can be adapted to a range of conditions, producing an end result that suits your needs – whatever those needs are!
Are Deep Draw Forming and Vacuum Forming the Same?
Deep draw forming is a type of vacuum forming – a process which uses vacuum action to pull a softened plastic film against a mould to create shapes – but that does not mean that the two processes are one and the same.
Vacuum forming is simply the name of the greater class of fabrication techniques, while deep draw forming is a particular type of vacuum forming, specialised to draw the plastic further over the mould, with deeper, more three-dimensional designs possible. Outside of sign making, this is a useful process for the creation of draw-formed plastic cups and vessels, decorative items and components for larger, more complex final products.
What are the Advantages of a Deep Draw Formed Sign?
When you use deep draw forming to make a sign, you are able to take advantage of a process capable of producing exact dimensions, in a material which is almost infinitely versatile.
This combination of traits makes deep draw forming perfect for the creation of large, 3D letters for signs, and the use of moulds means that even though this process may be expensive and time consuming in its initial setup, continued production is much cheaper, quicker, and produces exactly the same result every time – perfect for large orders or making signs for chain businesses, franchises, branches and other branded entities.
Are There Any Disadvantages to Deep Draw Forming?
When making a sign, you should take into account how many copies of the sign you will need. Signage for a chain of restaurants or all of a bank’s branches are ideal for deep draw forming, but a single independent store is unlikely to find this method of sign making cost-effective, as it becomes less expensive per unit when larger unit numbers are bought. In these conditions, you may find it more financially viable to use an alternative fabrication technique, like flat-cut letters or chromaform letters.
You may also need to take into account the depth of the sign which you need – or the available space! Deep draw lettering is, by its nature, particularly deep for signage letters, making it more space-intensive and suiting it best to large spaces.
Contact SignTrade Letters for Deep Draw Forming Letters Today!
If you are interested in deep draw forming or the use of the deep draw forming technique to create 3D signage letters, you can get in touch with Signtrade Letters using our head office contact phone number, 08085 456700, or using the contact form on our website, linked throughout this blog post!
Alternatively, you can use the same information to get in touch with SignTrade Letters to request a quote, to ask questions concerning the range and capabilities of deep draw forming and its suitability for your needs, or to place an order. Whatever you need, the experts at Signtrade will be able to help you!