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  1. ShocKWavE's Avatar
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    Aug 17, 2011, 11:20 PM - Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming #1

    Disclaimer: I assume no responsibility if you choose to build and use this . High temperatures and warm sagging plastic (polystyrene) can be dangerous if mishandled. Please use caution and be prepared when using materials next to a heating element.

    I was going through some old files and found this image and figured I should throw it up. I actually built this several years ago and it served me well with all kinds of miscellaneous parts. The image is somewhat basic, sorry I don't have exact measurements. It all is based off the size of the frame that fits in an oven. This is a basic table that uses a shop-vac for vacuum. Cheers.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. stormtrooperguy's Avatar
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    Aug 18, 2011, 12:40 AM - Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming #2

    I built my first 25 sets of clone armor on a similar rig. It's nice having super fancy toys but you can do a lot with things you have readily available around the house!
  3. Member Since
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    Aug 21, 2011, 7:19 PM - Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming #3

    hey, im new to prop building and want to do some vac forming. I know the basics of how it works but what kind of plastic do you use and where can I get it?
  4. XRobots's Avatar
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    Aug 31, 2011, 7:39 AM - Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming #4

    Hi all, I built a vacuum forming table some time ago which I've used for various projects. I'd never actually shown any pictures of the table before, so I decided to make a YouTube video all about it.

    Of specific interest is probably the way I heat the plastic, which is quite easy to reproduce safely and cheaply.

    Here's the video: XRobots - How to build a vacuum forming machine including my easy heating solution - YouTube

    Skip to about 3:35 if you just want to know about the heater part - I also demo the table at the end.
  5. Triple-d's Avatar
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    Aug 31, 2011, 11:16 AM - Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming #5

    Nice Video!
  6. SEEKER's Avatar
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    Aug 31, 2011, 11:22 AM - Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming #6

    Awesome guys!

    Xrobots - do have a tutorial on how you made your vac forming table. I saw the heating process which is excellent. I love the setup.

    Thanks for an awesome video.
  7. stormtrooperguy's Avatar
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    Aug 31, 2011, 11:49 AM - Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming #7

    Quote MofDSB1 said: View Post
    hey, im new to prop building and want to do some vac forming. I know the basics of how it works but what kind of plastic do you use and where can I get it?
    Most people use HIPS (high impact polystyrene) or abs (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene). I found it best to track down a local source, since shipping is quite expensive unless you are buying a lot of it.

    Volume also helps. You'll pay a lot more per sheet if you buy 1 sheet vs. 50


    Very cool guide! I agree that the home built wire heaters are a bit scary. I ended up spending quite a lot on the heating elelements for mine, bought from someone smarter than me who figured out all the materials, measurements and electrical requirements for me
    Last edited by stormtrooperguy; Aug 31, 2011 at 11:58 AM.
  8. playford is offline playford
    Aug 31, 2011, 11:53 AM - Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming #8

    Nice video - clear and concise! I was surprised to see that you used such a relatively week vacuum (as opposed to an industrial shop-vac) and yet it came out so well. You inspired me to make my own instead of renting. By the way, you would make an excellent C3PO!
  9. XRobots's Avatar
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    Aug 31, 2011, 12:05 PM - Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming #9

    Thanks, those Dysons are pretty sucky though.
  10. Member Since
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    Sep 19, 2011, 8:49 AM - Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming #10

    I so completely have a new weekend project. This was brilliant! Have you tried larger pieces of plastic with the same heating method?
  11. XRobots's Avatar
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    Sep 21, 2011, 12:13 PM - Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming #11

    No, I don't have a bigger table to try it with, but I'd image it would work ok.
  12. Member Since
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    Sep 28, 2011, 2:21 AM - Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming #12

    That's awesome...nicely done. So where do you get the molds (i.e. like the C3-PO mold you used)?
  13. Member Since
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    Dec 30, 2011, 1:47 AM - Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming #13

    I've only recently started building various replica props, (I've completed a full size 'Portal' companion cube, a full height, half depth 50's style British police box, {T.A.R.D.I.S.}, a flux capacitor, & I'm starting on a replica of Han's ESB blaster), but - if I ever wanna' make somethin' more than a one-off - I think that I might have to put somethin' together like this pretty soon.
  14. Member Since
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    Feb 14, 2012, 12:57 PM - Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming #14

    Awesome video.
  15. Mar 16, 2012, 10:57 PM - Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming #15

    Just found a styrene supplier here in Vancouver, I think I have a weekend build project... Well, another weekend build project.
  16. dynamic1's Avatar
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    Mar 17, 2012, 10:19 PM - Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming #16

    Awesome video! I'll stick to my painting
  17. bojaGun's Avatar
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    Mar 21, 2012, 1:01 AM - Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming #17

  18. TD-7614's Avatar
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    Mar 27, 2012, 4:41 AM - Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming #18

    My old vacumtable

  19. Member Since
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    Apr 29, 2012, 4:20 AM - Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming #19

    What does your new one look like?
  20. Member Since
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    Apr 29, 2012, 6:46 AM - Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming #20

    Good thread! found it really helpful
  21. AlanClabaugh's Avatar
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    Apr 29, 2012, 8:39 PM - Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming #21

    Here is a helpful link if you are serious about vacuum forming

    ByYourCommand.net • View topic - Basic Vacuum Forming and Vacuum Machine Building