Instructables

How to Make Your Own Prototypes : How to make your own Plastic Vacuum Former

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Step 11: Building Bigger...

Get some more practice with it; see what you can do and how it all works.

If you would like to make a bigger vacuum forming machine, you will need the following:

--One 5 gallon plastic trash can with an approximately 8x12 inch rectangular top.

--One 8x12 inch metal baking pan

--One or two tubes of silicon caulk.

--One 20 ounce coke bottle or similar.

--Two picture frames about 8x10 inches.

Do basically the same thing as above on a larger scale. Drill a grid pattern of small holes in the baking sheet. Cut the bottom off the 20 ounce coke bottle. Cut a hole just large enough for the 20 ounce bottle near the bottom of the trash can. (Now here's where I have had a bit of a problem, you may need to reinforce or brace the inside of the trash can and/or the bottle with some wood or something before you go on, otherwise, it'll collapse under the vacuum some. It hasn't caused too many problems for me, but it could for you.)

Put the 20 ounce bottle in the hole in the trash can and caulk the seal between them pretty strongly to make sure that it is air tight. Then turn the baking sheet up side down and caulk it to the trash can. Let dry, and you are done.
 
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paqrat3 years ago
Thanks for a great instructable. Many years ago there was a "toy" vac-u-form, I believe made by Marx. I had one and played around with it. I think I will definitely be making one of these. I think this could be most useful (and inexpensive) to make molds from which one could make wax models for lost wax casting.
paqrat3 years ago
I wonder if using a cylindrical trash can instead of the rectangular one might make it less likely to be deformed by the vacuum? Seems like the large flat sides would make the rectangular trash can more vulnerable.
duck_tape_4 years ago
Would using screen (like for a screen door) work?
kudoskun7 years ago
Instead of the coke bottle...couldnt you use a vacuum attachment for easier hook up? Probably one of the lesser / if ever used ones.
thats right. and you avoir collapsing problems with the bottle...
Stanislaw7 years ago
This is a neet idea, I have used a similar design, except: The setup I used, used an old toster oven as an encloser, so the plastic could be heated within, and the internal vacum connection was a frankensteined vacume connection made from an old metal vacume extension...it worked quite well, but you had to be sure to watch the project closely lest the plastic ignite or brown.