Most materials need specialist tools and equipment to shape and form them. Casing and housing for electronic and mechanical products is shaped and formed to fit and protect products, making them more practical and aesthetically pleasing.
Vacuum forming - plastic casings can be vacuum formed over a form giving a thin casing that an electronic circuit can be hidden in
Injection moulding - molten plastic is injected into a mould giving an accurate form that can vary in thickness, ensures pieces fit together accurately, and can encase the electrical or mechanical parts, such as in children’s toys
Casting - mechanical products, such as engine parts, can be made from metal and are formed by pouring molten metal into a mould to make a solid, strong and accurate shape
Bending - simple shapes can be formed by bending sheet metal or heating and bending plastic to provide a casing for products such as fuse boxes
Wastage is the process of cutting away material with tools and equipment. Good design can minimise the amount of wastage produced. For electronic and mechanical systems, there are several wastage processes available.
Guillotine - printed circuit boards (PCBs) should be cut into shape before any components are added, and the most accurate way to do this is with a guillotine, which uses a sharp blade to chop through the sheet