Vacuum Forming

Bobo

Active Hunter
Hey!
I'm putting together a vacuum forming table with a buddy.
We've got a 6.25HP Shop Vac, so that should suck pretty good! ;)

We're planning to make the one seen at StudioCreations, but I still need some practical input from you guys. Has anyone in here made one? If yes, please share your knowledge on what to do and what not to do, measurements and any other info like pics perhaps?

Thanks boys & gals!

Bobo
 

malcfett

Active Hunter
Here's the table I just built...



Most people use an oven but I wanted it to be all
one unit. I used two large hotplates that I bought
at Sears. They reach 400+ degrees. You need at least
that much heat to soften up the plastic. Also, if you
go with my kind of set-up...you need to make the heat
canopy completely enclosed. If you let any heat escape
the plastic won't get hot enough.

Hope this helps. :)
 

Bobo

Active Hunter
Very sexy! :D

What is the size of plastic you can form?
And what do you usually use to make the moulds?

Thanks,
Bobo
 

malcfett

Active Hunter
My table can fit up to an 18 inch square
plastic sheet. It can work on up to .100 gauge
styrene or .085 to .090 ABS.

I've used clay pots so far (still in the testing
fases), but I plan on using lots of Ultracal 30
based molds or carved wood.
 

Bobo

Active Hunter
Cool, so what do you think is the best plastic to use? I'm planning to make some gauntlets and maybe other things.

Do you have any pics of your test forms?
 

Jaster Mereel

Active Hunter
My goal this summer is to make one of these baby's, me & a friend are doing the same thing :D We are in the middle of planning the whole Vacc table out - so I'll just soak up as much info from this topic as possible
 

malcfett

Active Hunter
The advice I have received tends to lean towards
using HIPS (High Impact Poly Styrene) for most all
Fett costume parts. Use ABS for things like Stormtrooper
or Clonetrooper armor since it is more durable and
less likely to crack and split due to lots of wear
and stress on joints & such.
 

bobagoat

Well-Known Hunter
nice table dude! it looks really great.

i just finished a cheapo table to get some stuff rollin.

also check your pm's man. i dropped you a question about the hot plates.
 

malcfett

Active Hunter
Hydra-stone...I think I'll give it a try.
The Ultracal molds I've been toying with
have a tendancy to crumble a little bit
every time I use it.

Do you have a name of a distributer of that
Hydra-stone stuff?
 

batninja

Well-Known Hunter
I've never used Hydra-Stone (will have to try that), but we found that Fix-It-All works well, too. Although it takes a few days to dry good enough to sand, it dries hard as concrete and costs about $6 for a 25 lb bag. Get it at Home Depot, used for repairing holes in walls and such, green and yellow bag.
 
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