Drape Forming

Drape forming is a profoundly specialised process, typically used for moulding plastic components into a gentle curve or desired shape by draping a hot plastic sheet over a mandrel mould and holding it there with several layers of soft mould cloth until it has cooled. Slightly more force is applied during the drape forming process than in other thermoforming methods.

Our factory has the facilities to provide drape forming services to various requirements including plastics varying in degrees of thicknesses and with the general sheet size being 3050mm x 2050mm (depending on material). However larger sheets can be sourced if required. One of the most commonly used materials for this process is acrylic.

Unique methods of drape forming make the Pentapatterns products outstanding in the market

Unique methods

The unique methods that we use here at Penta, allow us to form parts in more than one direction and also to combine male and female forms in the same piece of material.

If you don’t already have the moulds for your drape forming project, we have the tooling materials and ability to make moulds in house with our 5-axis CNC machining capabilities.

The equipment we have available:

  • A large oven measuring 2.5W x 2H x 2.1D to heat plastics to a certain temperature to allow it to become pliable.
  • Four full 5-axis CNC machines ranging in size from 500x500x500mm to 3600x1800x1200mm.
  • Soft mould cloths to protect the plastic from surface marking.
  • Clamps for securing the edges to complete the shape.

Advantage of drape forming

One of the biggest advantages of drape forming is that the plastic is not typically stretched during the process and therefore the thickness of the material can be maintained. This means that no weaknesses arise as it curves around the mould.

You can trust our dedicated team to help you choose the most effective method for your project and to deliver you the best possible results.

If you’d like to find out more about how drape forming could help you or if you have any questions then please reach out to us. You can contact us by calling 01455 890 571 or by emailing sales@pentapatterns.co.uk.

Drape forming is a versatile process that can be applied to various materials, with plastics being the most commonly used. Some of the plastics suitable for drape forming include acrylic, polycarbonate, PETG (polyethylene terephthalate glycol), PVC (polyvinyl chloride), and ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene). The choice of material depends on factors such as the desired aesthetic, functional properties, and thickness requirements. Acrylic, in particular, is a popular choice due to its transparency, durability, and ease of drape forming.


    Established in 1985, we have built a strong reputation for manufacturing excellent products within tight timescales and to extremely high tolerances. In order to achieve this, we use state of the art equipment and traditional, time honoured processes and skills.

    Call us on:
    01455 890 571