My first vacuum forming and mold making project! (Lots of large pics)

Mynock, i am very glad you posted this, and put up your site. They both have helped me move my vac table project forward. The heating unit was my biggest issue, and you, with the help of xrobot, helped me realize i can get this work, so i am moving forward with my machine. I actually got a vacuum pump for it as well. 11CFM, hoping to make a 2X3 table..just not sure if i need another heater..hoping i can get the 2 to do the job!

I also wanna thank you for answering my questions via PM, you were very helpful and i thank you very much for your time in answering my newbie questions!
No trouble at all, and I'm very glad I could help! With the help of forums like TDH, RPF, FISD, I was able to finally take the leap and start myself down the maker path. The hobby is a TON of fun, and keeps me out of trouble ;)
I started the Sith Acolyte Mask project from scratch, strictly as a challenge to myself to see if I could do it. Since I've put up my production notes and photos, I've had many people asking whether I would be willing to make them a mask. At first, I was making each one by hand; vacuum forming two layers of the mask, drawing and cutting the details out of one layer, and gluing them onto the second; then painting, etc etc. Each mask took close to 8 hours of work. Since then, I've made a master mask and cast it in resin (photos below), which gave me the opportunity to make them a little quicker and actually spend time with my family lol.

So to answer your question, yes I do make the Sith Acolyte Masks for those that want them. They are available in both kit and completed, ready to wear forms.









Wow, those are some great masks. I might be hitting you up for one in the future.
well, I'm back out of the vac-forming game. Didn't realize the pegboard wasn't gonna hold up to the strength of my vacuum. I put a 2x4 in the middle for support, but it wasn't enough and after a few pulls, the pegboard is now deformed and starting to break in places. I've gotta take the whole thing apart, replace the pegboard, and this time, support it better.
Yikes. I considered using pegboard at first, but given the size of the table I was doing and how fragile MDF is I decided against it. It's hard to believe how much suction and consequently stress is present during vacforming until you actually try it. I can lift the whole setup off the ground by the handles on my frame once the vacuum is on and the plastic comes in contact with the table - table, buck, and everything.

For the next one, go with plywood for sure and just drill the holes out yourself using an 11/64 bit (or thereabouts).
first off, great job on the masks. as for your vacuum forming problem, have you considered replacing the pegboard with mdf and just drilling holes every inch? its much more rigid but still relatively light weight and should be able to support the force of the vacuum.
I'm back in business. I really wanna build a heater box so I can get bigger than what will fit in the oven. I gotta build more molds first, though. Right now, cod pieces and Cyclops (xmen) visors are my only good molds that work almost every time.

One question, what are people doing with the leftover styrene and abs? I know that's not #1 or #2 plastic, so it can't go into the regular recycling bin. I've got a little in a jar with acetone to make putty for filler. The rest is in a pile in the corner of the garage. It seems like a waste to just throw it in the trash (especially where I live and most of the trash is incinerated).
Finally completed my Version 4 Sith Acolyte Mask using a variety of means; from sculpting in Sculpey to vacuum forming to casting, after a month of work I'm pretty happy with the results! For those interested in the complete step-by-step scratch build diary, check out this section on my website.





Now I can finally get around to finishing Asok's Fett lid I got months ago that's still sitting on the shelf!
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