Vacuum Forming Machine

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To provide the members of i3Detroit with another fabrication tool tool to build their projects.


Hard to guess on this one. Factors include builder availability, acquiring parts quickly, communication between builders. I would guess several months will go by before we can do some forming. Build started on 4-4-12


While I have been a member for nearly 1.5 years, I have not yet worked on a team build. This will be my first team build and also my first time leading a team build. So far about 4 members and myself are builders. I hope to add a few more in order to add high quality welding and knowledgable electrical skills. Brian W. has volunteered to work on the vacuum pump, tanks and the control panel. We also have talented members Glen M and Demetrios.


After meeting with a few of the project builders, it was decided to build a larger machine than I had planned to build alone. We looked at different designs and decided to purchase the "Proto-Form" plans online. I have bought these plans and printed them out. Builders are welcome to write notes and comments on the plans as they need to.


Sure it going to cost a few bucks and a few calories but all the tools to build a vacuum forming machine are already at i3Detroit. Several members have pledged donations for purchasing materials. Most of these members are also on the build team. The oven/heating unit is a bit expensive and I'm not sure about the pricing for the metal frame (it was about $200) and electrical connections (around $250).


Here's a short list of parts already available (or almost available)

Electrical. Vacuum system parts

Parts that need to be purchased

Oven kit should arrive on 7-19-12.

Platen parts.

Completed Work

Wooden mobile cart. Most of the steel frame has been welded. Sheet metal oven holder ready for oven.


The plans for the Proto-Form were created by Doug from Workshop Publishing in Lake Orion. Doug will be stopping by for a tour on 7-19-12 and he will be bringing the oven kit with him.

Maker Faire: Although not yet completed, the VacuumFormer will be shown at MakerFaire 2012. There will be samples of formed plastics made on vacuumformers.


John Sugg

sugg3d@comcast.n e t