Plasma arc forming is a new technique of metal sheet forming without moulds and external forces. This paper developed a mathematical model to study the variations of temperature field during the forming process which was validated by experiments. The results indicated that: the temperature near to the inlet of metal sheet was lower than that in the vicinity of outlet. The peak temperature increased with the increasing of plasma arc power, but decreased with the increasing of scanning speed or plasma arc diameter. For specified metal sheet, the forming efficiency can be improved by properly increasing plasma arc power, decreasing plasma arc diameter or scanning speed under the condition that the material properties are not destructed.