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Switching to FDM to Build Thermoforming Molds Reduces Cost from $1200 to $100

With sales of $22 billion, Xerox is the world’s leading business process and document management enterprise. The company is a leader in the green packaging technology eld. Last year the company won two of the 13 annual Earth Awards, including one for a solid ink package that uses 100 percent post-consumer recycled materials for the tray and lid and a 43 percent recycled content shipping box.

Many Xerox packages are made with the thermoforming process, which involves heating a plastic sheet to a pliable temperature, forming it to the final shape against a mold and trimming the sheet to create a usable product. “It’s very difficult to get the mold exactly right the first time around so we typically build and test three different designs before we are satis ed,” said Duane Byerley, senior model maker for Xerox.


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Xerox experimented with various levels of porosity in its thermoforming molds, as shown in this trial  fixture.

Xerox experimented with various levels of porosity in its thermoforming molds, as shown in this trial fixture.

“So far we have not found anything we cannot do with FDM.”

Duane Byerley, Xerox