Vacuum forming tools are a perfect application for Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology. FDM has the unique capability of creating sparse fills that allow for a vacuum to be pulled through the part. Because of this built in porosity, the benefit for vacuum forming is that it eliminates the need for vacuum holes; the small vents in the tool that are normally created as secondary operation.
The other added benefit of sparse fills is build speed. And since thermoform tools are simpler in shape, not requiring any support, we can often turn these around in a day; Build on the day of the order, and ready to ship the next day.
Read how one customer was able to make the statement; "High quality prototype molds for custom thermoform packaging made 60% faster."