ThermoFab Blog

Sample - How To Post

Posted by on Sat, May 03, 14 @ 02:26 PM


INTRODUCTION:

Your “how to” blog post should teach the reader how to do something by breaking it down into a series of steps.

Begin your blog post by explaining what problem you are going to solve through your explanation and be sure to include any relevant keywords. Add in a personal story to establish your credibility on this topic. And make sure to end your blog post with a summary of what your reader will gain by following your lead.

Need some inspiration? Check out these "How-To" examples from the HubSpot blog:



BODY:

Now deliver what you promised in the first section. This is the longest part of the post, so make it easy to read. Use short paragraphs, bullet lists, and bold headings to set different sections apart. 

Some common section headers include:

Step 1: Getting Started

Step 2: Do Your Background Research on…

Step 3: First Steps for…

Step 4: Analyze and Repeat

Step 5: Wrapping Up

You can use bulleted lists, numbered list, or multiple headings. Include as many steps, numbers, or bullets that will allow you to discuss your topic thoroughly.

Here are some pointers to make the best possible body of your blog:
  • Include visuals
  • Include short explanatory phrases in your headers
  • At the end, transition into your conclusion


CONCLUSION:

Now it’s time to say goodbye and wrap up your post. Remind your readers of your key takeaway, reiterate what your readers need to do to get the desired result, and ask a question about how they see the topic to encourage comments and conversation. Don't forget to add a Call-to-Action to turn your blog post into a marketing machine!

Congratulations! What a lovely how-to post you've created. 



 

Click here to see our sample offer!

Why ThermoFab?

Posted by on Wed, Feb 12, 14 @ 12:18 PM

  
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Sometimes you just have to say: WTF?

                                            
     

Interior Details ThermoFabInterior Detail

Custom Plastic Enclosures.

Revolutionary Process.

   

It's not the #WTF? you are
    thinking of -- THINK
    Why ThermoFab.

        

Why ThermoFab You Ask?  

1.  True manufacturing partner.

2.  Plastics thermoforming expert.

3.  Gets your product to market without headaches.

     

#WTF 

In this fast paced world of instantaneous everything - from tweets to hash tags to up to the millisecond news:  

 

Our #1 priority is our happy clients and their custom plastic enclosure projects.  We are
ready to assist you with your thermoforming project.  Contact us by
emailing [email protected]   

-We focus on:  Custom Plastic Enclosures and
    our revolutionary process using our lean manufacturing approach. 

Contact ThermoFab by emailing us at [email protected] or by calling 978-425-2311.      

ThermoFab can assist with engineering and any design for manufacturability challenges you face.   We offer the fastest time to market design to manufacturing options.                                            

   

      
 

Tags: thermoforming design, medical enclosure design, custom plastic enclosures, plastic forming, Thermoforming, plastic enclosure, vacuum forming, thick gauge thermoforming, ThermoFab, medical device enclosures, plastic bezel, computer bezel design, Why ThermoFab

Thermoforming Up Tick: Second Quarter Project Releases

Posted by on Tue, May 21, 13 @ 12:29 PM

Second Quarter Push: Up-tick in Project Releases 

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Protective Water Resistant Custom Plastic Enclosure

The 2nd quarter push is upon you.  Project releases have hit an up-tick. 

Contact ThermoFab by emailing us at [email protected]om or by calling 978-425-2311.   

ThermoFab can assist with engineering and any design for manufacturability challenges you face. 

We offer the fastest time to market design to manufacturing options.  

 describe the image

Custom Military Project Assembly

 

If your engineering department is swamped: The ThermoFab design and engineering experts will help you attain your project manager's timeline goals for project release. 

  

If you already have a design, we will update your 3D model files or if you need a designer we can create an eFile or hand drawn industrial design rendering of your part. 

  

  

  

We've collaborated with our visually oriented clients to created renderings and e-files from everything you could imagine, including sketches on cocktail napkins all the way to more sophisticated CAD files.

 

 PSI Assembled resized 600

Custom Military Enclosure

  

 

Memorial Day: A tribute to all fallen soldiers who have sacrificed for our freedom.


 

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Headquartered in Shirley, Massachusetts: ThermoFab's manufacturing facilities provide one stop shop for design, engineering, tooling and custom manufacturing.  With 37 years of thermoforming experience, ThermoFab is well known for our Design, Develop, Deliver Services. 

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Please contact ThermoFab today at 888-494-9777 or  978-425-2311 for assistance with your custom heavy gauge thermoforming project.

 

 

 

Tags: thermoforming design, custom plastic enclosures, plastic forming, Thermoforming, plastic enclosure, vacuum forming, thick gauge thermoforming, ThermoFab

Thermoforming: How to create a Star Tradeshow Product?

Posted by on Wed, Nov 14, 12 @ 03:44 PM

 

 Will Your Tradeshow Product be a Superstar or a Fright?
 

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To Market, To Market--Think Toward The Future
Don't think "cost savings" when attending a tradeshow. Take the time to perfect the design as much as possible. Why? Simple. The more accurate the design, the easier it will be to modify it after receiving feedback at the tradeshows. Putting the time and effort in up front will make for smoother and faster transitions from CAD-to finished parts. With a company like ThermoFab, you can go from completed design to finished parts in just 4-6 weeks.


Think "Touchy Feely"
Appealing to the senses is important from a marketing standpoint (did you hear about the billboard for chocolate chip cookies that gave off the scent of cookies baking?). Vibrant colors appeal to the eyes, sleek edges appeal to our sense of touch, and even the smell of a freshly thermoformed part adds a certain allure.

Bottom line?

Your prospects need to see and touch a real product--one that can withstand bending and prodding and holding. Because of this, avoid stereolithography (SLA). But why, you might ask, considering SLA models can be created from CAD files in a matter of hours? Sure, you might have a "real" three-dimensional object in hand, but problems with SLA models exist. They're costly (the liquid photopolymer used in the SLA machine can cost upwards of $800/gallon), and the process (which involves the layering of the liquid photopolymer) is not always structurally sound. Imagine having an SLA model at a tradeshow and it doesn't bend or flex the way it's supposed to or worse--it breaks in a prospective customer's hands. Wouldn't it be better to have the actual part instead of a raw piece? Even if you attend a tradeshow with a prototype, it should be made from materials similar to those that will be used in the final product, and it should have a production finish.

Show and Sell
It might be easy to rationalize that tradeshow product displays aren't that important in the grand scheme of things. After all, the people looking at these products realize these items are just examples, right, not fully rendered parts?

Well, not so fast. Think about it. In today's hectic world and crowded marketplace, a person has only so many chances to engage a prospective customer. The beauty of tradeshows is that they're filled with captive audiences. People attend for a reason, such as a vested interest in a particular industry. Many of these people are looking for products--perhaps products like yours. Where else besides a brick and mortar storefront will you have the opportunity to speak with a hot prospect face-to-face while showing your wares? When you look at it like this, suddenly those products displayed at tradeshow booths take on new meaning. This is your opportunity to show and sell. Don't skimp.

 

 

Tags: thermoforming design, medical enclosure design, custom plastic enclosures, plastic forming, Thermoforming, plastic enclosure, vacuum forming, thick gauge thermoforming, ThermoFab, medical device enclosures, plastic bezel

Summer Fun and Thermoforming Resources!

Posted by on Thu, Jul 12, 12 @ 12:06 PM

Ahhh Yes - Summer and The Email Inbox

We know how it goes: emails overwhelm your inbox and the next thing you know, you're deleting at will. Problem is, you know you might be missing some good stuff! That's the purpose - and only purpose - of this blog entry...to provide you with links to some of the resources that you might have missed. We want to arm you with benchmarks you should use when evaluating companies like ThermoFab so that you can select the best company to manufacture your product:

USA FLAG THERMOFAB





And please know that we'd love the opportunity to "wow" you with our thermoforming process. Contact us today to schedule a call to discuss your product's needs, or, better yet, set up a time to tour our plant. Telephone Lisa King or Michael Wahl at 888-494-9777.  We truly enjoy showing clients and prospective clients around our Massachusetts office and manufacturing facility.

 

Tags: thermoforming design, medical enclosure design, custom plastic enclosures, plastic forming, Thermoforming, plastic enclosure, vacuum forming, thick gauge thermoforming, ThermoFab, medical device enclosures, plastic bezel, computer bezel design

ThermoFab Thermoforming Design: It's in the Details

Posted by on Thu, Apr 19, 12 @ 11:21 AM

Design - Details, Details, Details

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Details, Details, Details
Design Services Designed Around Your Needs
Details - Interior Large Custom Plastic Thermoformed Enclosure
Design Services which concentrate on the details of your custom plastic enclosures. We're excited to announce an increased investment in ThermoFab's in-house design services. This investment will further ensure that our customers continue to receive the highest quality parts from a company that truly is a one-stop shop in the engineering, design, and manufacturing of thermoformed plastic enclosures.

Whether you already have a designer or a design or you need a designer to turn that concept into reality, ThermoFab can help in both scenarios.

If you already have a designer or a design, we'd be happy to do the following:

  • Review your existing plastic design files.
  • If we decide that we can manufacture your product to our exceptionally high quality standards, we'll move your files into the design assessment stage.
  • From there, we'll get your design files ready for our expert engineering and plastics manufacturing.

If you need a designer, we'd be happy to do the following:

  • Discuss the idea you have in mind and determine if we're the right fit for engineering and manufacturing your part.
  • Create a rendering and e-file of your part (we've created renderings and e-files from everything you could imagine, including sketches on cocktail napkins all the way to more sophisticated CAD files).

We invite you to read about some of the design and manufacturing challenges we've solved for our customers.

 

Design: It's in the Details


DSC01124 resized 600DSC01127 resized 600Sometimes what is hidden behind a product - it's interior details - are the most crucial in the design process! These interior photos from a medical device highlight sophisticated attachment details and intricate design. Contact us today to learn more about our Custom Plastic Enclosures and Revolutionary Processes

Tags: thermoforming design, medical enclosure design, custom plastic enclosures, plastic forming, Thermoforming, plastic enclosure, vacuum forming, thick gauge thermoforming, ThermoFab, medical device enclosures, plastic bezel, computer bezel design

Reaching the Product FInish Line in Style

Posted by on Mon, Jan 30, 12 @ 08:44 PM

 

You've labored over your product: its design, its function, its manufacturing. But keep this in mind: it doesn't--and shouldn't--stop there. In fact, we're willing to say that product finishing is just as important (and maybe even more so, at least initially) as design, function, and manufacturing.

Why?

Simple. Your product's finishing touches are what prospective customers are going to see first. If your product doesn't garner attention (and quickly), it won't matter how innovative or how useful your product is because the prospect will have already walked on by.

Don't let that happen. Take the time to understand how to reach the product "finish line" in style.

 Reach the Finish Line in Style
 

Painting Process-2 When it comes to product finishing, you need to focus on three things: color, min/max chips, and logo artwork and design.

Color Me Brilliant:
We've talked about color psychology in past issues, but it bears repeating. The color you choose speaks to consumers on a subliminal level. White says "clean," bold purple suggests "fun," and soft blues and sea greens have calming effects. Think about what you want your product to say and what impression you want it to leave on people's minds. Don't randomly select a color. Make sure you have a reason (and a good one) for selecting it.

Of course, choosing the right color is only the first step. What comes next? Working with a thermoformer that makes certain your color translates well onto the product. At ThermoFab, we perform all painting in-house because this gives us maximum control over color, gloss, and texture. For the exterior color, we can color-match using your color sample chip or specification. To ensure the right color is applied every time, we use Dupont Spectramaster. Which brings us to our next important point.

Ensuring Color Consistency with Min/Max Chips
Think of it like this: min/max paint chips keep everyone "honest" because they provide the all-important color/texture/gloss level criteria. How does it work? We can only speak to our own process here at ThermoFab:
  • Each chip is divided in half.
  • One half is the minimum. The other half is the maximum.
  • Our clients keep these chips and we keep these chips (so that everyone is on the same color "page").
  • We use these chips to ensure that each lot falls within the acceptable min/max range. Nothing leaves our thermoforming plant unless this happens, which means you can rest assured knowing that your product's look is consistent from batch to batch.
Got Branding?
Everything about your product should reflect and reinforce your existing brand. Branding is not something that you should be thinking about after the product is designed and manufactured. It needs to be part of the custom thermoforming process. Questions to ask:
  • How and where will the logo appear?
  • What challenges to the manufacturing and product finishing will this create?
  • How do we work around these challenges?
Here are some other helpful artwork tips:
  • Line artis required for traditional screen printing. However, at ThermoFab, we have a machine that can print photographic images onto components, but the part must be no more than two inches thick.
  • We don't recommend gradientsbecause each color is screened individually onto a part. However, if your heart is set on the gradient "look," we can use dot patterns in the screens to mimic the look of a gradient. The result is a pixilated image that looks best when you view it from afar.
  • Vector Artwork: If you have vector-based artwork from any of the file types listed below, the DPI doesn't matter. But if's raster-based (i.e. graphics made up of pixels, like those captured from the web or from your digital camera), a higher DPI will produce a better look.
  • Preferred Files: Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Acrobat, and Distiller (.pdf, .eps, .ai, .ps, .psd), as well as AutoCad (.dwg, .dxf), Corel Draw (.cdr), and Corel Photo (.cpt).
Like what you read here? This is the type of info you'll get when you download our free thermoforming design guide.

 


  Finished Product. "Wow" Result.

Read how ThermoFab helped transform this industrial box housing into a sleek platform, complete with product finishing that really makes the product "pop." (Note: link opens a PDF.)

Then browse through our complete list of thermoforming case studies here.


Tags: medical enclosure design, custom plastic enclosures, Thermoforming, plastic enclosure, vacuum forming, thick gauge thermoforming, ThermoFab, medical device enclosures

Show and Sell:TradeShow Season is here. Will your trade show product be a superstar or a fright?

Posted by on Wed, Oct 26, 11 @ 10:15 AM

 

 

Boo! Tradeshow season is here. Will your tradeshow product be a superstar or a fright? Here are three things to keep in mind.

 Boo! Will Your Tradeshow Product be a Superstar or a Fright?
 

Tradeshow display To Market, To Market--Think Toward The Future
Don't think cheap when attending a tradeshow. Take the time to perfect the design as much as possible. Why? Simple. The more accurate the design, the easier it will be to modify it after receiving feedback at the tradeshows. Putting the time and effort in up front will make for smoother and faster transitions from CAD to finished parts. With a company like ThermoFab, you can go from completed design to finished parts in just 4-6 weeks.

Think "Touchy Feely"
Appealing to the senses is important from a marketing standpoint (did you hear about the billboard for chocolate chip cookies that gave off the scent of cookies baking?). Vibrant colors appeal to the eyes, sleek edges appeal to our sense of touch, and even the smell of a freshly thermoformed part adds a certain allure.

Bottom line?

Your prospects need to see and touch a real product--one that can withstand bending and prodding and holding. Because of this, avoid stereolithography (SLA). But why, you might ask, considering SLA models can be created from CAD files in a matter of hours? Sure, you might have a "real" three-dimensional object in hand, but problems with SLA models exist. They're costly (the liquid photopolymer used in the SLA machine can cost upwards of $800/gallon), and the process (which involves the layering of the liquid photopolymer) is not always structurally sound. Imagine having an SLA model at a tradeshow and it doesn't bend or flex the way it's supposed to or worse--it breaks in a prospective customer's hands. Wouldn't it be better to have the actual part instead of a raw piece? Even if you attend a tradeshow with a prototype, it should be made from materials similar to those that will be used in the final product, and it should have a production finish.

Show and Sell
It might be easy to rationalize that tradeshow product displays aren't that important in the grand scheme of things. After all, the people looking at these products realize these items are just examples, right, not fully rendered parts?

Well, not so fast. Think about it. In today's hectic world and crowded marketplace, a person has only so many chances to engage a prospective customer. The beauty of tradeshows is that they're filled with captive audiences. People attend for a reason, such as a vested interest in a particular industry. Many of these people are looking for products--perhaps products like yours. Where else besides a brick and mortar storefront will you have the opportunity to speak with a hot prospect face-to-face while showing your wares? When you look at it like this, suddenly those products displayed at tradeshow booths take on new meaning. This is your opportunity to show and sell. Don't skimp.



 


 Case in Point--Tradeshow Superstar: Particle Insight
 

The Particle Insight is a Particle Shape analyzer capable of capturing images and measuring numerous shape parameters of particles as small as 1 micron (about 100 times smaller than a human hair). The instrument is used by very well known companies for measurement of numerous raw materials that go into the making of final products used in many common applications. Peter Bouza worked extensively with the ThermoFab team. He summarizes the description of the process: "When this instrument was developed it was important that form and function be maximized to the full potential. This is why the development of a well designed and very attractive exterior was critical. In a sea of instruments used in industrial labs, the Particle Insight has stood out not only because of its performance but also because of its look. The sleek and curved design of the Particle Insight is a definite eye catcher not to mention that the covers were designed and produced in such a way that they are functional. In fact, the design of the covers of the Particle Insight play a significant role in the structural integrity of the instrument and also ensure compliance to all EMI shielding requirements. The covers were also designed for easy access to the instrument. In the case of the Particle Insight, the design and use of the covers that ThermoFab produces plays a significant role in the functionality of the instrument as well as the sale-ability due to its look."

Justifying the Jump from Metal to Plastic

Posted by on Thu, Jul 01, 10 @ 12:19 PM

Justifying the Jump from Metal to Plastic

We all know that the eye gravitates toward curves versus boring straight lines! If money was no object - would you choose a Corvette or a Pinto? The challenge faced today by most product managers and designers is bringing a product to market within budget and justifying the external enclosure as 'curvy and swerve"y" ' vs. a ho-hum metal box. Some distinct projects come to mind where redesigns and upgrades have paid off for our clients!



When should a company consider making the Jump
to Plastic?

Redesigns from metal housings to plastic are easily justified by marketing and engineering teams. Curves along with creating a signature shape or look brand the product line and create buzz in the marketplace. Simply put: Buzz sells more product!

Is it more expensive to produce something in plastic or metal?
Short answer - yes! (If we are talking about easily bent sheet metal.) There are two choices - create curves with a tooling investment or keep the design angular and most likely boring with a basic sheet metal shape. An investment is needed - but with discussion and want lists - an upgraded look is easily achievable within budget!

If the company decides to make the jump, what costs will the company need to consider (design, materials, etc.?)
Companies have to consider their user, their market when working the budgets to analyze the overall cost of the enclosure. If you spend 10%-20% of the total product cost on the exterior enclosure - - the so-called first impression "view" will you sell 100% more product? Yes - we've seen product redesigns and branding efforts pay off immediately for clients. The ROI is amazing to witness!

When is it not a good idea to manufacture in metal?

  • The product enclosure is an essential aesthetic design element.
  • When the product design in metal is too complicated for the metal house to manufacture and drives cost.
  • An angular simple box design makes the enclosure look flimsy and doesn't promote the sophisticated product line.

Did you find this information helpful? Great! You should download our free Design Guide, because these are the sort of quality tips and explanations we provide.

Tags: thermoforming design, custom plastic enclosures, plastic forming, Thermoforming, plastic enclosure, vacuum forming, thick gauge thermoforming

The QA Conundrum: Understanding Quality Assurance in Thermoforming

Posted by on Thu, May 20, 10 @ 11:32 AM

ThermoFab QA CMMAh, yes. "Quality Assurance." QA. It's a term you no doubt have heard bantered about in the marketplace, by your vendors, and in your own hallways. But what does it really mean? Has it become a meaningless phrase, a term that all product manufacturers talk about--or at least talk around--but that has become overused, much like the terms "robust solution" or "teachable moment"?

We're going to talk about what QA really is, how to look for it and what questions to ask your thermoforming vendor, and what, exactly, our quality assurance promise is to our customers.

Ultimately, the customer (the true end user) decides if a product is "quality" or not. For us at ThermoFab and for you, that means your customers (end users) determine whether the part we thermoformed is quality.

Still, we can all takes steps to assure that what we're putting out there--from the custom thermoformed plastic enclosures to the final product itself--is the right quality. Which brings us to the next point.

What is a quality product?
A quality product meets a specific market's needs. It doesn't necessarily have to be expensive or even "high quality" to be a quality product. The market and the people in that market determine quality.

What's the difference between quality assurance and quality control?
We imagine you'll probably get different definitions depending on the source, but here's how we view it: QA and QC are different. We think this explanation from the Wikipedia page on quality assurance is accurate:

"Quality control emphasizes testing of products to uncover defects, and reporting to management who make the decision to allow or deny the release, whereas quality assurance attempts to improve and stabilize production, and associated processes, to avoid, or at least minimize, issues that led to the defects in the first place."

What's something that can hamper the production of a quality product that no one ever talks about?
What we're going to say might sound simple--even too simple--but the biggest thing that can hamper the production of a quality product is an unrealistic vision.

For example, perhaps you or someone in your company has sketched out or designed how you expect the product to look and function. Now what if you begin to talk it up and market this idea to people--upper management, marketing, sales, even potential customers--only to realize once you sit down with your manufacturing vendor that your original vision (i.e. your design) needs to be adjusted or tweaked?

Read more in our May eNewsletter: http://www.thermofab.com/newsletters/may-2010-thermoforming-quality-assurance/

 

Tags: Thermoforming, vacuum forming, ThermoFab, Quality Assurance