Vacuum Forming Machine
What for ? You can form stuff manually, but the chance to miss a part is not to neglect. With the machine, it's really rare to miss parts ! And you can even form not only 1 canopy or else at the time, but as many parts that your machine can take (depend of the size of the machine... Mine have a workable area of around 20cm x 20cm ...).
Materials : wood, silicone, wood screw and a hover. Mine is a 1500 Watts and that's enough for this size.
This machine is really easy to build and don't require specific tooling or capacities. If you know how to screw, that's enough !
Let's go !
First, you have to cut all the parts for the box. You can use his plan to give you an idea of mine... Really basic, but waaayyyy enough ! :
All dimensions are in centimetres / millimetres
So, cut all the parts, sides, front, back and so on. The first thing to do is to cut a hole to the dimension of your hover "exit". This hole will allow you to "plug" your vacuum, so the hole must be the exact size to connect the hover in force. like that, that will be "air proof"
Then, you have to assemble the box. This box must be air proof ! For that, I use silicone on each edge of the wood :
Prepare all your sheets with screws, that will be easier to assemble later ! :
And don't forget to put more silicone inside ! :
So, easy.. you have your box !
Now, you have to drill holes on the top. Mine are 2.5mm holes. Note that the hole are not from a edge to another ! Don't forget that you have a frame coming on the top !! So, take your frame measurements and draw that on the box. Then, draw lines every 2cms. Where the lines crossed each others, you can drill a hole here ! Enjoy !
And that's it !
Now, the problem was to find a way to make the junction between the frame and the box air tight... I found the solution by using Blu Tack ! Simple and cheap ! And re-usable (and easy to change as well !)
And hop, with the frame !
And that's it ! Job done, you can go to the pub now !
So, you have your master... Let's say for a canopy or a gun turret (see below..) The master must not be put on the box like this. you need something underneath ! That will allow the plastic, during the process to go all over the master !
So How to use the machine ? Really simple ! The best is to have a look at this video (only 1 Mo !) to see the principle. as you can see, that's very easy and quick !
And perfect for the first shot !
Right Click and Save As...
Note that with this machine, you can form canopies, but you can form ABS parts as well ! Same principle, same machine !