Compression molding is a process in which soft, 3D shapes are created using heat and pressure.
Compression molding creates contoured shapes, such as padding for a helmet, backpack straps or support components for sewn products. Whether foam, fabric or plastic, compression molding can capture very precise details that may not be possible in sewing or vacuum forming. For some materials, you may be able to apply printed or sewn designs directly onto the material.
Using CAD data of the design, we cut out the profile of the part in aluminum, tooling board or another material depending on the mold shape. Then, we place the foam, fabric or plastic material in our heated 100-ton hydraulic press and then held for a set amount of time with specific heat and pressure. The material forms into the shape of the profile that was initially created. This newly shaped material can be assembled with hard or soft goods to create prototypes of mixed material.