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Hi !

Let me introduce ourselves

We are a group of Industrial Design Engineering students from Belgium. For our product engineering course we had to make a tool that can embed a pattern in a sheet of PMMA. After looking for the best method we came up with a home made thermoforming machine.

In this instructable we will show how we did it.

If you have any suggestions to improve our design or you have any questions
please let us know in comments bellow

Have fun building it !

Step 1: MATERIALS & TOOLS

MATERIALS

- Brich Plywood 5mm

- Birch Plywood 8mm

- 4 x Aluminium rails (500mm)

- Heat unit ( one ceramic cooking plate or three quartz lamps)

- Adjustable resistance (2000 W)

- Wood glue

- Screws

- Ductape

- Aluminum sheet (thickness 0.8mm)

- Sandpaper

- 18 x Neodymium magnets ( Ø5 x 5)

- Zip ties

- Rubber sealing

- Silicone

TOOLS

- Screwdriver

- Lasercutter

- 3D-printer

- Soldering iron

- Hot glue gun

FILES

- VACUUM BOX.pdf

- HEATING BOX_1.pdf

- HEATING BOX_2.pdf

- HEATING BOX_3 + VACUUM SUPPORT.pdf

- PLATE HOLDER.pdf

- STAR.stl
- INDUSTRIAL DESIGN CENTER LOGO.stl

- POSITION PART (ABS)

<p>Could you provide the pdf files in SVG or EPS formats?</p><p>Or recommend a laser cutting service in europe that accepts pdf files... :)</p>
<p>Nice design and very adaptable. Just wonder why go to trouble of laser cutting plywood when already perforated plastic or metal is easily available at reasonable price. Available from many sources online.</p>
<p>Hi GeoForce </p><p>I've chose to lasercut everything because I can adjust everything quickly<br>the first version was a little box of 100 x 100mm to test if our idea worked</p><p>Then I increased it to 300 x 200mm<br>During testing I came to the conclusion that the holes were too big and the material was sucked into the holes and then I reduce the holes </p><p>and so on...</p>
<p>Bravo! How thick acrylic sheet may be treated? At higher forms after cooling thickness of the product is very different?</p>
<p>i've tried it with acrlic of 2.5mm thick but i'm sure it wil work with thicker material too</p>
<p>WOW. This is amazing. I've never seen one of these before. Great job.</p>
<p>thank you ! ;)</p>
<p>Hi Dajo M,</p><p>like this very much,it's great...</p><p>someone from Belgium...</p>
<p>thanks !</p>
Hi. I work with 3D printing for a while now and I would love to try and make a thermoformer machine. Could you give me some information about the plastic sheet use to make the molds? Is there a specific kind of plastic sheet? Or should I buy any plastic sheet with the right dimensions? What are the right dimensions btw?
<p>you should be able to use any kind of thermoplastic. You will just have to adjust the temperature and time you leave it to warm up</p>
<p>Hi, BrenoJ</p><p>My apologies for the late reply</p><p>as Artur says you can use any thermoplastic material.<br>I've tried it with 3 different materials<br>Polystyrene<br>polycarbonate<br>polymethylmethacrylate<br>the thickest I've tried with these three materials is 2.5mm<br>but I am sure that thicker material will also succeed</p><p>The dimensions that fits in the thermoformer are 300 x 240 mm</p><p>I am now working on a larger version (600x500mm) and maybe I'll put it online too </p><p>if you any other questions feel free to ask them</p>
<p>Looks super,</p><p>Is it possible to add dxf files instead of pdf</p>
<p>Beautiful job guys! love this.</p>
<p>thank you ;)</p>
<p>interesting. </p>
<p>Interesting</p>
<p>I forgot to ask how come only one contest?</p><p>You can enter 3 contests.</p>
<p>Can you tell me which contests I can still enter? <br>It's the first time I use instructables and I'm figuring out how everything works here</p>
<p>Epilog, and if you reference other vacuum forming Instructables in the Intro, Remix. </p>
<p>Congratulations on this awesome intractable! Thanks for the link to eBay for the heating plate. Could you do the same with the Adjustable resistance (2000 W)?</p>
<p>this is a link where you can buy a adjustable resistor </p><p><a href="http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2053587.m570.l1313.TR4.TRC0.A0.H0.Xoven+switch.TRS0&_nkw=oven+switch&_sacat=0">http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&amp;_trksid=p...</a></p>
<p>Thanks for you fast reply, it was very helpful. It might help others to put the links to heating unit and resistance in the intractable? Maybe even a schematic how to connect them? Thanks again, hoping to see more instructables by you guys.</p>
<p>I have exams at the moment but if you have a little patience, I would put an electric scheme online ;)</p>
Very polished design...I really hope we are lucky enough to see more from you guys. <br>Cheers
<p>Thank you for the good comment</p><p>you will definitely see more of our work in the future ;)</p>
Really great Instructable! I've been wanting to build one for a while, and I love your design here!
<p>If you have any questions about our design feel free to ask</p><p>if you want to send me some photos of the result when you have made it ? </p>
<p>would you setup work with kydex?</p>
<p>I've never tried this but I want to try this out for you<br>if you have a little patience I wil post a video in a few days</p>
<p>This is a winner!</p>
<p> thanks ! i hope i win the contest ;) </p><p>do you want to vote for my project?</p>
<p>It looks nice !! Good design :-) I think to build one for my self ;-)</p>
<p>thanks ! and nice just build one and after its ready send me some pictures ;)</p>
<p>Great instructable! Awesome photos and lots of good info :)</p>
<p>thanks ! ;)</p>
<p>Great, but why don't you enter the epilog contest ? It is mainly llasercutting ;)</p>
<p>This content has been completed , so I can not enter it anymore </p>
<p>Just go on the contest page, and click enter.</p><p>rules are : <strong>&quot;Entry with Previously Published Instructable</strong>. If<br> you published a project to the Sponsor Site after the Start Date, but <br>you did not already enter that project in the Contest, you can enter it <br>in the Contest by following these steps</p><p>Go to the <a href="https://www.instructables.com/contest/epilog8/?show=ENTER">&quot;How to Enter&quot;</a> page for the Contest, and review the requirements for entering a project in the Contest</p><p>Click on the &quot;How to Enter&quot; link to review a list of projects you published after the Start Date<strong>.</strong></p><p>If<br> you believe a project in the list meets the entry requirements for the <br>Contest and want to enter it in the Contest, select it for entry in the <br>Contest and click Enter This Instructable.</p><p>Projects <br>published prior to the Start Date are not eligible for entry. You may <br>not register the same Instructables project in more than three (3) <br>Instructables contests in total. Further information about entry can be <br>found in Section B below.&quot;</p><p>Maybe we could met one day if you come to Rijsel ;) </p><p>I'll try to make your design with Lille Makers !</p>
<p>I made one for small parts.</p><p>I used a 250 watt lamp to heat the plastic.</p>
<p>Cool ! Our assignment was to melt PMMA (acrylic) in a fast way so if it was for us a 250 watt lamp would be too little ;) </p>
<p>I can see that.</p>
<p>realy cool project!!</p>
<p>it was indeed a really cool project ! </p>
<p>ah ma das mooi gemaakt hoor jongens</p>
<p>dankje febe ! </p>
<p>Awesome! Can you say a bit more about the &quot;Heat unit (one ceramic cooking plate...). I'm not quite sure where/how to source one and I'd love to make this. Thanks!</p>
<p>I think you mean where can you get a ceramic hob element?<br>This is a link where you can buy it ;)<br><a href="http://www.ebay.co.uk/bhp/ceramic-hob-element">http://www.ebay.co.uk/bhp/ceramic-hob-element</a></p><p>Meanwhile, I'm working on larger versions of the thermoformer (500 x 600mm and 1000 x 1200mm) in those versions, I use quartz lamps. It is as good as a ceramic hob element.</p><p>The cheapest way to have these lamps is to remove the from patio heaters. If you buy the lamps separately it will cost 90 euros a piece. </p><p>If you have any other questions feel free to ask</p><p>If you've made it and let me know and if you would then send me some pictures of it </p>
<p>Elaba</p>
<p>good job!!!</p>

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