A discussion taking place on the boards strikes an interesting material challenge for Core77 readers. Discussion board member, mrcry wonders how to find cheap alternative materials for compression molded products with a similar visual effect and level of reliability:
I've been making our products with compression molded EVA for years, but am looking for an alternative. EVA seems expensive and I am hoping to find a cheaper or comparable material to (at least) test out.
- soft finish, or laminate-able with fabric pre molding (or post, if possible to get a clean lamination or even tight fabric cover fit) - size is about 25"x20"8" - current cost is about $8-12, so lower would be better
- I've seen some amazing molded PET felt furniture that might work for us, but have no experience or connections to people doing this. - molded car interior panels - what material is this? the truck cover on a hatchback seems similar to PET with a fabric lamination. - vacuum formed sheet goods with some kind of flocking? - I usually produce 1000-3000 units at a time.
Do any of you have experience or ideas?
Our reader also shared a video to further illuminate the process of compression molding—a process film by Benjamin Hubert for his eco-friendly Pod chair, covered several years ago on Core77:
We're curious to hear your material and process ideas for this particular question—also, how can someone look around for the best materials for a particular manufacturing process? Any advice for testing before committing to a material for mass manufacture?