Rectangular Vacuum Former with legs

by chefmaki, published

Rectangular Vacuum Former with legs by chefmaki Dec 8, 2012
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Pretty much identical to the one here http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:35402
except rectangular, with legs and a bent vacuum connection..
I also added more holes and grid lines to allow for more detailed molding


Print with at least 2 layers and an infill of about 20% or more.
should print with out support.

glue the stand and the gasket and the base together. (Use hot glue or something to seal any gaps it needs to be air tight)
place a rubber band around the poles of the stand. to allow for a better seal between the mounts and the stand when forming.

I used Magnets in the Plastic mounts to hold them together.. but you can use screws and bolts or you can hinge them together if you want.

use the Platstic template to draw the shape on the bottom of a plastic plate then cut that shape out of the plates..
these will be the plastic sheets you use with this machine.

you will need a pretty good vacuum to connect this too, I used my small house vac but it needed an adapter to fit the shop vac sized hole. so I included that too. (you may need to alter it to match your vacuum)

Also you will need a heat gun. tempreture is everything.. if the plastic sheets don't get hot enough.. the final mold will not have enought detail.

To use Vacuum Former:
Turn on your vacuum,
Place the thing you want to make a mold of on the stand..
Then heat your plastic in the mounts.
when the plastic gets hot enough, press the mounts down on to the base and the vacuum will do the rest.

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If you want the best details drill small holes (with a dremel with the smallest bit you can find) into the actual piece you are molding.

I am looking to print this out and I was wondering how strong of a vacuum is needed to pull this off?

sorry for the major delay in reply... you don't need that strong a vacuum.. I was using a little shark vaccuum. any sort of standard house vac should work. though the connector may need modification.

What are the maximal dimensions for any object to be created in this vacuum former?

I haven't tested this but I believe you could mold anything up to 3.5inches x 2.5 inches.. depending on the thickness

Where can I purchase the plastic that I would make a mold from. The material that would go over my 3D printed item. I need to make a few candy molds for my wife.

Plastic plates work perfectly.

Nice derivative to Vacuum Former the legs and curved hose connection makes vacuum forming easy. I'm wondering how long it took you to print the vf stand? When I was designing the original stand I had a lot of holes like yours but it took hours to print because when it was printing really slow at the holes only, is that because of my firmware or my slicer?  

Thanks Jonny, I loved your Vacuum Former, I was just gonna print that.. but I needed something a little longer and I didn't have a vice to put it on, so that's why I changed it.

Yeah, I think it took me around one and a half to two hours to print the vf stand.  but I'm not sure cause I kinda got used to doing other stuff while the machine does long prints..  the vf base takes way longer.. i think around 6hrs.. not sure cause I fell asleep while that one printed.. but it was done by the time I woke up..

Do you print at 30mm/s perimeter and 60mm/s infill?
I think I was printing at 120mmm/s but it still took long. Also what did you need the extra length for?

 I'm not sure, I use RepG to create my Gcode. set it at a layer height of .20mm and 20% infill don't know what that equals in mm..
but I think actually shells are better at making this air tight then infill  it would probably work fine at 15% infill with like 4 shells...

I have a chocolate bar mold I wanted to make needed the extra length for that..  Also I didn't want to waste too much of the plastic plates.

I'm thinking about maybe even making a round stand to use the entire bottom of the plate, maybe even use the uncut plates directly.. save the step of having to cut them up.. but that's kind of hard cause I can't print 7x7 circles on the replicator..

Ok cool, that would be neat to make a 7x7 inch circle but I can't print that either. I have a solidoodle with binder clips holding glass so i can print around 120x120 square.