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Membrane & Vacuum Presses:

Solutions for Thermofoil Components

The line of Black Bros. industrial Membrane Presses, now called the 3D-SmartPress, offers the highest quality in the thermolaminating/3D laminating industry. This line of positive pressure membrane presses have been a quality standard for almost twenty years.

The other line of Black Bros. thermofoil presses, known as the ThermoFormer, have proven themselves widely across several industries as a high quality Vacuum Press. We are confident in our thermofoil/3D laminating presses and believe you’ll agree. Click to see a comparison chart of the Black Bros. thermofoil membrane press versus others in the thermofoil industry.

Markets where manufacturers are taking advantage of our advanced 3D laminating technology include:

White Oak Door-0

  • Kitchen & Bath door and drawer fronts
  • Closet & Garage door and drawer fronts
  • Store Fixture and Display components
  • Office and Hospitality Furniture
  • Healthcare and Architectural components
  • Recreational Vehicle (RV) components
  • Aerospace and Transportation applications
  • Any application where paint can be replaced by 3DL

ThermoLaminator PDF
ThermoFormer PDF

Guide to Membrane -vs- Vacuum Presses

If you’re looking to purchase a Membrane Press, (or vacuum press) the process can be a bit overwhelming!  NEW Membrane presses typically start at $190,000 and can go up to as much as $600,000 depending on the features. Whereas Vacuum Presses range from $50,000 upwards to $90,000. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the difference between a membrane press and a vacuum press as you try to make your decision. But for now, we’ve tried to provide a few steps that we think you’ll appreciate.

Membrane Press Thermolaminator

Know what PRESS you need

  • How many pieces do you laminate per day? (cabinet doors, furniture and/or store fixture components). What is the degree of difficulty for the components you wish to manufacture?
  • The right press for you depends a lot on two main variables:
    • Your volume requirement
    • The amount of definition required for your laminated components
  • Many small businesses are surprised to discover that a vacuum press will meet their needs! Talk with a Black Bros. sales representative today to find out which press is best for your application.
  • Do you already have a laminating press?
  • Do you need a new press or will an upgrade be sufficient?
  • Black Bros. offers several upgrades that will retrofit onto other presses and increase your production, like adding a second tray!


Don’t compromise on quality or service

  • It has always been true in business – that “you get what you pay for.” We at Black Bros. pride ourselves in building the finest quality presses for the industry. We can refer you to several clients who would gladly recommend the Black Bros. press to you!

    • Furthermore, Black Bros. customers receive unparalleled service after the sale. New presses come with personal installation and training! Your manufacturing team will have all their questions answered before we leave. And whenever there’s a problem, you can count on Black Bros. for the best service in the industry.


Black Bros. 3D-SmartPress Advantages:


The 3D-SmartPress could be the last press you’ll own! It’s inherent design allows you to purchase a basic machine, and then later add state-of-the-art “SmartPin” technology to do away with needless hours of labor tied up in template/pedestal creation, storage, and retrieval.

Aerospace Technology

Black Bros. operates in four distinct industries – aerospace, textiles, rubber, and woodworking. By engineering presses for companies like Boeing and NASA, we have developed new aerospace technologies that are integrated into our membrane presses.

High Gloss Lamination

The Black Bros. 3D-SmartPress provides a top quality and highly efficient solution to the growing demand of high gloss laminate applications.

Pressure System

The Black Bros. membrane press does not have ANY hydraulic systems. The press is opened/closed using air pressure only.

      • NO hydraulic pistons, NO seals, and NO leaks
      • NO hydraulic oil or filters to change
      • NO motors, NO pumps, NO valves, No hoses, and NO leaks


Heating System

Electrically heated aluminum platen, with air chamber design, does not require any oil system to compensate for hot spots and cold spots, and it efficiently pre-heats the incoming air supply.

    • NO oil or filters to change
    • NO motors, NO pumps, NO valves, No hoses, and NO leaks


Heater Element

The Black Bros. ‘silicone rubber blanket heater’ uses variable wattage to eliminate hot spots and cold spots. Nichrome wire heaters provide fast heating, and temperatures up to 392°F (200°C).
NO tubular heaters or calrod heaters, which cause hot and cold spots