Single Station Thermoforming Machines

Machines Made for Making Polymer Products using Vacuum & Pressure Forming for applications in Automotive - Interiors / Exteriors, Sanitation, Construction and Material Handling Applications


PF1 Series

5th Generation VACUUM FORMING MACHINE 2018, the Polymer Forming 1 (PF1®) Series is Machinecraft’s proprietary design of thermoforming machine for processing large sheets of thermoplastic materials. The 5th generation machine design, launched in 2018 has evolved since 1998.

The machine includes features that reduce overall cycle time & increase the machine efficiency:

  • sheet loading: manual, roll fed or servo driven automatic sheet loading unit

  • bottom frame system: individual or universal servo driven motorized bottom frame adjustment system

  • top frame system: individual or servo driven motorized top frame adjustment system

  • table one T1: pneumatic driven or servo driven with pneumatic clamping & cooling base plate

  • table two T2 for plug assist : pneumatic driven or servo driven with motorized height adjustment

  • sandwich (dual) heater banks: pneumatic driven or electric driven using telescopic rail design

  • heater control using IR, quartz or halogen elements

  • preblow, sag, IR sheet temperature probes, proportional vacuum, and other such features.



Sheet Loading System

sheet feeding.jpg

Manual Sheet Loading 

The Vacuum forming process starts as the operator loads a thermoplastic sheet made from materials such as ABS, HIPS, PMMA, PP, HDPE, PC, PETG, LDPE etc. onto the machine. 

Automatic Sheet Loading Option

The machine features electrically driven automatic sheet loading system. This variant loads a stack of cut sheets into an additional unit. At this stage,  vacuum pad picks the sheet and transports the sheet inside the forming unit. Once the part is formed, the formed part is also automatically extracted out of the machine and dropped into the exit chute. The 2nd generation Automatic Sheet Loading Unit (ASL) has been redesigned in 2018. The design includes a servo driven chain mechanism which drives a vacuum-pad based end-effector to transfer the thermoplastic sheets into the main machine using the telescopic rail. The system can hold thermoplastic sheets in cut-sheet format ranging from 2 mm upto 12 mm. The autoloader has a pneumatic push-off that pushes the part off the machine into collection area.

Roll Feeder Option

The Roll Feeder add-on is a handy feature that is used for thin sheet materials that come in rolls. The sheet can be cut to a required length either before it is fed into the system, or after it is rolled out. The roll feeder unwinds the sheet into the main unit where it is cut and conveyed into the forming station automatically. Once the part is formed, the chain transport mechanism moves the formed part out of the machine and drops it into the exit chute.

Frame Systems

Universal Motorized Bottom Frame System

The machine features servo driven motorised window plate adjustment - this allows the operator to adjust the frame in both axes by mentioning the widow size on the touch screen HMI. The window plate system consists of 4 individual plates that move against each other independently. The 2nd generation Universal Frame Adjustment System has been redesigned in 2018. The design includes four servo motors working in synchronization to change the sheet clamp sizes as per the product. The pneumatic cylinders at the bottom of the plates lift the plates and the plates roll on ball-roller bearings to infinitely adjust with each other while maintaining absolute seal in the area required for the vacuum forming process. This feature reduces the frame change-over time and eliminates the need to store different frames for every product size.


Motorized Top Frame System

he machine features servo driven motorised top frame adjustment - this allows the operator to adjust the frame in both axes by mentioning the frame size on the touch screen HMI. The motorised frame system consists of 2 individual driven servo motors that adjust the frame as per the size mentioned on the HMI. The 4th generation Automatic Frame Adjust has been redesigned in 2018. The Top Frame also consists of pneumatic mechanism that can hold the part and then release it over the automatic sheet loader upon completion. The system contains holders that can be adjusted as per the part size.

Mould Platen System - Table 1

Pneumatic Mould Platen System

In this option, four cylinders, synchronised by four rack and pinions, drive the movement of the mould units. The area at the bottom of the machine where the bottom tool to be used for vacuum forming of the component is kept has been called Table 1. The tool which can be made of MDF, Epoxy, Machined Aluminium or Cast Aluminium using material like ALWA is kept on Table 1.


Servo Driven Mould Platen System Option

This add on facilitates faster mould movement by reducing the distance between the tool and the sheet. Not only does this function bring down cycle time but also plays a vital role in improving the forming quality.

Quick Mould Change System

The option for Quick Mould Change technology is available on select models. Quick Mould Change technology reduces the mould load time to less than 5 minutes. This is well suited for industries that have quick mould changeovers. These machines come with an automatic frame clamping mechanism that automatically clamps the frame on the machine. 

Plug Platen System - Table 2

All machines are equipped with Pneumatic Plug Platen Movement  with Stroke Adjustment. 


Plug Platen with Motorised Stroke Adjustment option

Plug Assist can be provided with a Motorised Stroke Adjustment Plate so that you can use the HMI to set the height of the plug with Motor. 

Servo Driven Plug Platen System is also available as option.

Heating System

Sandwich Heating

The PF1 series features both, single and sandwich heating systems (with top-bottom heating) for varying requirements. This gives the operator the flexibility to choose different configurations for varying results.  

Similarly, the heating system also features zone settings that enables even heat distribution and flexibility to handle multiple job orders on the same forming bed. All machines have zonal heater control with each zone of two elements. 

Heating Elements 

The system features Infrared Ceramic Heating Elements by default. The  machines also come with optional Quartz Heating Elements

Infrared Sheet Temperature Reader Option

Where exact sheet temperature is required to be measured optional infrared sheet temperature reader can be provided in the top heater. 



The photo sensor senses the height of the pre-blow sheet and regulates the air in the chamber to provide pre-blow control. The Preblow is essential for an better distribution of sheet thickness and to prevent excessive sagging of sheet during heating.  

Sag Control

During the heating of sheet the sagging of sheet is controlled by photocells mounted below the sheet. This allows to maintain proper sheet to heater distance during heating. 

Sheet Cooling

All Machines are equipped with high speed cooling blowers for efficient cooling of formed parts. The machines also come with optional water mist spray for faster cooling.

Where there is a requirement of ejecting the parts at specific temperature infrared sheet temperature reader is also provided for measuring the temperature of the formed part during cooling. 


All machines come with a touchscreen Human Machine Interface with a friendly and simple to use interface. The screens are designed to suit a thermoforming operator’s mind and help him to easily use the machines, view important parameters assess machine performance. Machines also come with alarms and messages for preventive maintenance and diagnostics. All the parameters can be stored in recipes in the HMI.  

Technical Specifications

PF1 machines are available in a variety forming area and stroke options. These machines can also be designed to achieve special forming areas and depths as required.

What can you make with PF1 ?

The PF1 Series caters to a wide variety of industries such as Automotive Components, Transportation Pallets, Industrial Applications, Sanitary, Skylights, Refrigerator Parts, Bus Body Parts, Bathtubs, Roofing Sheets, Machine Covers, Point of Purchase, Agricultural Products, Signages, etc.

Machinecraft's PF1 Series with Quick Mould Change & Servo Driven Mould Platen System at K2016 Show, Germany

Watch ABS Material being Thermoformed using Thick Sheet Thermoforming Machine at Machinecraft

How to Make Bathtubs on Machinecraft's PF1 Series. 

Video showcases Vacuum Forming of Polycarbonate Material using PF1 Series