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Vacuum Forming Box

by ProgressTH, published

Vacuum Forming Box by ProgressTH Jan 30, 2017
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This is a 300 x 190 mm vacuum forming box. Included is the SketchUp file so you can resize parts as needed as well as take a look at how it all fits together.

Also included is a joint you can use to create a heat box. If you're using a heat gun, the gun alone will not evenly heat up your plastic. With a heat box, you can heat up your plastic faster and more evenly.

We printed the main sections in halves and friction welded them together. We also added feet that you can add hot glue to in order to give it some grip on the table. There's also braces inside the box to give the table extra support.

The box section with the vacuum port is included in two files. The box bottom and the bed top are single files that you must print twice each. You must also print the support twice and place them so it divides the box's interior into thirds.

For the heat box, we used foil tape on art store 5mm thick MDF board, 22mm PVC pipes, and the 3D printed joints included in this project. The PVC pipes were hot glued into place. 3mm bolts were used to connect the boards and the joints (holes were drilled in the MDF board).

We have already tested it and it works great with our Panasonic 1600 W - 410 W vacuum cleaner. Heat was provided by a 2000 W Stanley heat gun.

We're using HDPE sheets made from milk containers.

Vacuum forming takes practice and patience to master. Do some reading before you dive into it. Making your own hobby rig is so easy, with or without 3D printing, you should definitely try it before purchasing a larger, more complex system.

Print Settings


ExtraBot 3020










Supports are needed for the box sections with the vacuum port to prevent drooping. All other parts can be printed without supports.

Extensive friction welding is required to seal the box, add the feet to the bottom, as well as the supports inside. You could probably glue it, but we prefer friction welding.

For more information, please see this Hackaday article: http://hackaday.com/2014/12/30/3d-printing-technique-friction-welding/

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