The idea of joining the thermoformed plastic products together with a shared-edge, during manufacturing process, is not completely new, and was introduced years ago for tools running on contact-heat technology, where sheet of plastic is heated up by direct contact with a cutting-plate. Shared-Edge is widely used in many industries as a very simple technique to reduce the quantity of raw material.
Shared-Edge-Thermoforming means that two adjacent parts with straight sides, are not separated by a web like we normally see on a conventional tool, but they are connected together during thermoforming process. The goal is to reduce the size of the web to zero, therefore reduce the material usage. For toolings running on radiant-heat machines, there are limitations caused by increased complexity, cooling restrictions in decreased space, reduced mechanical support for extreme cutting forces, stability over tens of millions of cycles, and Shared-Edge-Thermoforming seems IMPOSSIBLE.