Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming

  1. #1
    ShocKWavE's Avatar
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    Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming

    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.

    vacform_table_shockwave-jpg

  2. #2

    Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming

    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. #3

    Member Since
    May 2011
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    Temple City, CA, USA
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    Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming

    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. #4
    XRobots's Avatar
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    Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming

    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. #5
    Triple-d's Avatar
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    Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming

    Nice Video!

  6. #6
    SEEKER's Avatar
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    Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming

    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. #7

    Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming

    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. #8
    Account Deactivated
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    Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming

    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. #9
    XRobots's Avatar
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    Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming

    Thanks, those Dysons are pretty sucky though.

  10. #10

    Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming

    I so completely have a new weekend project. This was brilliant! Have you tried larger pieces of plastic with the same heating method?

  11. #11
    XRobots's Avatar
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    Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming

    No, I don't have a bigger table to try it with, but I'd image it would work ok.

  12. #12

    Member Since
    Sep 2011
    From
    Tyler, Texas
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    Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming

    That's awesome...nicely done. So where do you get the molds (i.e. like the C3-PO mold you used)?

  13. #13

    Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming

    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. #14

    Member Since
    Feb 2012
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    Bakersfield CA
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    Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming

    Awesome video.

  15. #15
    divisionstreet0's Avatar
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    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
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    Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming

    Just found a styrene supplier here in Vancouver, I think I have a weekend build project... Well, another weekend build project.

  16. #16
    dynamic1's Avatar
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    Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming

    Awesome video! I'll stick to my painting

  17. #17

    Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming


  18. #18

    Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming

    My old vacumtable


  19. #19

    Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming

    What does your new one look like?

  20. #20

    Member Since
    Apr 2012
    From
    Fort Stewart, GA
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    Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming

    Good thread! found it really helpful

  21. #21
    AlanClabaugh's Avatar
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    Re: Do-it-Yourself Vacuumforming

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

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


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