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  1. Teebo's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 2010
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    3
    Aug 20, 2010, 1:48 AM - Vacuum Forming Machine #1

    Does anybody know how to build a GOOD vacuum forming machine? I wanted to try my hand at it and was looking for guidance or just point me in the right direction.
  2. asok's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 2002
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    2,707
    Aug 20, 2010, 9:36 AM - Re: Vacuum Forming Machine #2

    I would build this one. http://www.build-stuff.com/1002plans_proto-form.htm I bought the plans and they are great.
  3. stormtrooperguy's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 2004
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    5,039
    Aug 21, 2010, 8:47 AM - Re: Vacuum Forming Machine #3

    ditto. mine is a protoform and it kicks butt. i can make a full suit of clone armor out of 1/8" HIPS in about an hour and a half.
  4. FettDad is offline FettDad
    Aug 21, 2010, 4:32 PM - Re: Vacuum Forming Machine #4

    how difficult are these to build? and the items that you vaccu-form, are they molds that you built?
  5. stormtrooperguy's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 2004
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    Aug 21, 2010, 10:51 PM - Re: Vacuum Forming Machine #5

    it's a pretty advanced build. you need welding, high volt/amp electricity, and plumbing. mine cost about $2K total to build and a few months to assemble.

    personally, i make clone wars animated series armor: clone and mandalorian.
  6. Member Since
    Aug 2008
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    607
    Aug 21, 2010, 11:00 PM - Re: Vacuum Forming Machine #6

    yeah Brian makes some kick-donkey gear

    I looked into making one, but got too concerned by the amount of DIY knowledge and space to store it - I was wanting to do a Thurston type former.

    another nice website to check out is - http://www.tk560.com/vactable4.html

    I guess, a big question would be - what do you want to vac form; as obviously a smaller table would be cheaper to get together, and you may want to check local colleges to see if you can rent time on one.
  7. stormtrooperguy's Avatar
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    Aug 22, 2010, 10:19 PM - Re: Vacuum Forming Machine #7

    the "flip flop" style, like the thurston james one, isn't good for big parts.

    the plastic nearest the hinge can hit the positive form and sticks. the rest of the plastic then stretches unevenly across it. to really make the flip/flop work, i'd say you'd need to have the hinge slide up in addition to flipping over.

    the other thing, which is the BIG reason i didn't go that way, is that the plastic sags as it heats, and the sagging gets faster the hotter you go.

    with the protoform style, your plastic is sagging away from the heater. with the thurston james one, it's sagging TOWARD the heat source, which has FIRE written all over it.
  8. Member Since
    Aug 2008
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    607
    Aug 23, 2010, 3:43 AM - Re: Vacuum Forming Machine #8

    oh I definaetly see the advantage of the proto-from up/downy former
    and I really wish we had a similiar company in the UK - esp.ly the oven elements. its the wiring and the ceremic posts that stressed me to the point of NOT doing it. Guess if I wait abt 10 years - as thats usualyl how long it takes the UK to catcvh up to the US, it will be avaailbe!

    thanks for info Brian

    Nate
  9. Member Since
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    164
    Aug 23, 2010, 11:08 AM - Re: Vacuum Forming Machine #9

    Here is the one that I built 7 years ago and still use today http://s14.photobucket.com/albums/a3...h/Vacuumtable/

    I had a more detailed build up that someone else has posted on their website i think it was beer keg vacuum table or something.

    quick google search: found it here http://www.tk386.com/beerkegvactable/

    I have modded it some since this build up was made though too.

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