T-SIM - Computer simulation of thermoforming

T-SIM is a software package for simulation of thermoforming. T-SIM predicts the final wall thickness distribution based on the specified processing parameters the pressure level, the speed of tools, the sheet temperature distribution, etc). T-SIM also can predict image distortion and pre-distortion.



T-SIM used in optimization of plug assisted thermoforming of a transportation tray
Plug assisted thermoforming
Courtesy of Manfred Jacob
Kunststofftechnik GmbH & Co., Germany


T-SIM as a web predicting tool
Web prediction
Courtesy of Vyvaplast,
Czech Republic

Why simulate a thermoforming process?

  • Reduce the design time for your products.
  • No need to perform expensive trial-and-error procedures.
  • Select an optimum design from many possible alternatives.
  • Get optimum thickness distribution on final product via temperature setup on the sheet.
  • Design pre-distorted images for in-mold decoration process.

(7 MBytes)

Verification analysis of a plug
assist thermoformed part
through computer simulation
Courtesy of Tom Bush,
Fabri-Kal Co., USA

Features of T-SIM
  • WLF temperature dependency.
  • Simulates positive / negative forming with / without plug assistance.
  • Time dependent deformation is described by viscoelastic K-BKZ model.
  • Three different damping functions for a better material data fit (strain hardening).
  • Material database containing PE, PP, PET, PC, PMMA, etc.
  • Imports general 3D molds from IGES, VDA-FS via stereolithographic STL file, DXF or Patran Neutral file.
  • All molds movable (up to 10 tools can be used in one simulation project)
  • Time dependent sheet sagging included.
  • Friction between stretched plastic material and tools.
  • Heat transfer between material / tools and material / air.
  • User-friendly setup of technological parameters with graphic.
  • Windows context sensitive help, tutorials and hands-on examples.
  • OpenGL included, allowing dynamic image rotation, zooming and panning. This enables fast shading or wireframes and contact visualization options.
  • Easy, completely editable setup of T-SIM project for solver. Tight connection between initial project and result files.
  • Many typical thermoforming problems solved and distributed on installation CD.


  • T-SIM uses time dependent, viscoelastic K-BKZ model.
  • Data of frequently used polymers are available in the T-SIM material database.
  • Any material can be tested (cooperation with IKP Stuttgart, Germany, or DatapointLabs, USA) and its data imported into T-SIM.


  • Very fast iterative multithreaded solver gets use of parallel processing on PC with more than one processor.
  • Upper limit of sheet elements or mold elements is limited only by PC memory available.
  • Fast contact analysis.
  • Solving a set of thermoforming problems in a batch mode. This enables automatic case study solution.


  • 3D cuts.
  • 3D color maps of thickness, temperature, stress, extension.
  • Investigate contact between plastic material and molds.
  • Easy refinement of the grid in 3D areas of interest from the post-processing window.
  • Export results for structural analysis to Ansys, IGES, DXF, Cosmos/M or Patran files.
  • Output to Patran format enables structural analysis and calculation of cooling.
  • Interactive thickness / temperature / position information with a simple mouse click.
  • Export animation file to Microsoft Video Player format.
  • Cooling calculation.

Pre-distortion of images (option)

  • Prediction of printed image deformation.
  • T-SIM is able to pre-distort images for printing them on the flat sheet, so that once thermoformed, the images appear true.
  • Image projection manager enables projection of multiple images using various projection methods (planar, cylindrical and spherical projection).
  • IGES polylines can be projected, distorted / pre-distorted and exported back to IGES.
  • 3D VRML models can be also used for image pre-distortion.
  • For more information about image pre-distortion, go to the reference manual.

Customer support

  • Support through Accuform representatives worldwide.
  • Export of internal T-SIM files for easy data exchange via Internet. This facilitates fast customer support worldwide.

Recommended hardware

  • T-SIM delivers peak performance on a multicore Intel or AMD based PC with 2 GB RAM.
  • T-SIM runs on Microsoft Windows 7/8/10 - 32/64 bit.

T-SIM users

  • T-SIM is used by industry leaders worldwide at Boeing, DOW, Eastman, GE, Mitsubishi, MIT, BMW, Delphi Automotive, Riley Medical, Marconi Communications, PCM, Fabri-Kal, American Standard, IPS Polymer, Illig, Kiefel, Gabler and many other thermoformers.

T-SIM tutorial online

  • Click here to open the T-SIM online tutorial with more information about T-SIM and with simulation examples.