Vacuum forming and thermoforming are techniques in which a plastic plate or foil is heated and then formed in a plastic state by means of a mold into an end product.

In the thermoforming process, a distinction is made between forming with a thin (0.2 – 1.5 mm) and with a thick foil. When thin films are used, these are usually supplied on a large roll as a semi-finished product. The thick foils are used as separate sheets. With the thinner films, the different phases of the process are usually integrated in one machine. With thick films, the various process steps are usually carried out one after the other.