Formech & Pratt Institute

Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, NY) is a specialized Institution primarily known for its highly ranked programs in architecture, interior design, and industrial design.

Experimental Tooling on the Formech 508DT
Professor Aqtash in action
Experimental piece thermoformed on the Formech 508DT

The Formech Inc. team has worked closely with Professor Ajmal Aqtash, who is the Associate Director of the Center for Experimental Structures to help Pratt Institute realize a number of exciting projects on their Formech 508DT thermoforming machine.

Prof. Aqtash – “Pratt Institute, School of Architecture develops a series of molds to explore methods of manipulating 1/32″ styrene to be formed into stronger morphological structures.  We selected a type of minimal surface to test for use as a mold.  All molded shapes are cnc-milled to remove excess material, to produce a combination of smooth and dimpled surfaces. High-density-wood is the chosen material for the molds, which are manually sanded and polished followed by a final clear coat of polyurethane. Massing and draft angles of the molds are designed for easy forming, release, replication and consistency.”

Formech’s 508DT is unique in its class with extensive capabilities for a desktop machine to realize a wide range of challenging student projects. From the initial consultation and needs analysis we were confident the Formech 508DT would meet our requirements and we are delighted with the excellent ongoing advice and support we have received.” – Prof. Aqtash

Jordan Kessel of Formech Inc explains: “The starting point was to understand the heat distribution required to materialize a number of complex shapes.  The 508DT allows us to apply accurate heat profiling and timings via the touch-screen in order to optimize the forming process for the molds.  Memory presets makes it easy to recall the various optimized programs. With accurate heat profiling and vacuum settings, we were able to develop a procedure to achieve consistent results which can be easily replicated.  The vacuum forming’s are subsequently trimmed by a programmed robot to achieve a finished part.”

 “Touch-screen control with accurate heat profiling and saved programs help our students to easily configure and recall their project settings. We have a great deal of experience working with thermoformers, but we’ve had the level of control and ease of production that we enjoy with our Formech 508DT. It’s great to see the students really push the boundaries for thermoforming and see their exciting projects take shape” – Prof. Aqtash

Ajmal I. Aqtash, Center for Experimental Structures,
Associate Director, Pratt Institute, School of Architecture