Vacuum Former

by jonny Nov 23, 2012
Download All Files

Thing Apps Enabled

Please Login to Comment

What material did you make it out of abs,

I made it out of abs.

you should make a video of the assembly process and of it working.

A lot of time and work was put into this project, but, like some items I've seen on this site, this could be made larger and better if you made it out of wood. I built one 12 x 10" from a couple pieces of scrap wood I had lying around in about 30 minutes total, design and construction included. Use a piece of pegboard as the platten. 3D printers are awesome, but some things are easier to build and end up better if made by traditional means.


plastic sheets available here: http://www.warmplastic.com/

staple the plastic to the frame, pop in the oven to heat. works like a champ. I used it to form the oval-shaped piece that covers the skull between deer antlers.

but then you have to buy wood pieces and perf board or drill wood holes, cut them to shapes, glue an nail it together. what major pain compared to leting the 3d printer do the work.

Kind of zombie-ing here, but thanks for this. I'm just about to buy a full sheet of pegboard and will have a bunch of leftovers, so this is a great use for some of that.

Would an ordinary household vacuum cleaner provide enough suction for this?

 It should I haven't tried that but if you heat the plastic up enough it will probably work. A light will get the plastic hot enough to work but a heat gun will get the plastic really hot and therefore you won't need as much suction.

Most household vac cleaners employ the airstream that serves their main purpose to cool their motor too. If you block the airstream like with a vacuum former you risk overheating the motor - up to the risk of causing a fire. So, please be careful.

Okay, that's a good thing to keep in mind, I didn't know that. Luckily for vacuum forming the vacuum is on for a very short amount of time usually a few seconds, so that shouldn't be a problem I don't think.

A little bit late to the table here, but couldn't resist answering a question. A shop-vac will provide enough suck to capture small details, so I don't know how a house-hold vacuum will do.

so awesome!!  --- but too big to print on my ToM :(

 A vacuum former that could be printed on a 100x100 space would have a forming area of like 75x75 maybe or less probably so you couldn't vacuum form very many things. There is this http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:31581http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... that does almost the same thing as my vacuum former.

Parametric two-part mold generator for OpenSCAD

site gone

Jonny. Hi! I love this vacuum former that you made. My name is Roxanne and I am part of the community management team at Cubify. Are you interested in doing a guest posting on the Cubify blog? 

Sure would I write it or would you? I'm not the best at writing so you might want to write it, I'm only 14 too.

It is ok. :)  We think that your vacuum former is awesome. You can just throw together a few sentences on how you made this, why you made it, and tips for anyone that wants to make it. You can mention the Invent from Cubify and anything you found helpful. We only say your name is Jonny and can say you are 14 and there is no private info about you revealed. But your post would be edited here at Cubify and we would post it on the Cubify Blog which you can find on the website.  Write it all up and send it off to me at  -->   talktocubify@cubify.com

 Did you get my email?

I wonder how well this works with the printed Dremel turbine vacuum... 

Very cool. 

I'm not sure if you get the plastic fairly hot it won't need as much suction so it might work.

This is a cool idea.

It seems to me that you need a little gap between the "stand" and the shop vac mount.  Otherwise you would only get suction at the center (the diameter of the hose).  If you made a little lip between the two, it would form a pocket that would allow air to be pulled from the entire plate (stand).  You could also extend your perforations in the stand out closer to the edge.

This could be as simple as making a 'gasket' part that is nothing more than a ~3mm square tube that forms a square the same OD as the stand / vac mount.

Done, at first I made the "gasket" 1mm at first but I though it wouldn't be enough space for the air to move around so I made it the same thickness as the "stand" and the "shop-vac-mount" (2.5mm). I hope it works I haven't made one and probably won't because I already glued together the "stand" and the "shop-vac-mount" so I would have to print those again. If I need to have more suction room I will print them though.

Hey, could you please make me an stl with 53.5mm on the outer ring of the shop-vac-mount. I have a rigid 4.25hp

Done, the file is called: "shop-vac-53.5mm-outer" the stl right now is the second to last file. It may be tight depending on how you measured though.

Back in days of yore Mattel made a "toy" called Vac-u-form. It is a collectable.  Interestingly they probably were the first fab-lab device http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aat5m46RE1shttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

wow what a great little toy

That's a good vacuum former for being a toy, easy to use too you don't need a lighter or a heat gun and no loud vacuum just a hand pump.