FormBox: A Desktop Vacuum Former

By on May 14, 2016
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Vacuum forming is a large industrial process traditionally found in factories. With the FormBox, we’ve made it simple and small enough to fit on your tabletop. From concrete plant pots to customised chocolates, the FormBox has a whole host of different applications. Here’s some things we’ve been working on…

With the FormBox, create simple forms from everyday items such as potatoes and plasticine, or create more complex creations using other maker machines like 3D printers, laser cutters and CNC machines.

This is not an open source project and an atypical one on open-electronics.org. But it can easily and efficiently answer to a need every maker has: to make also a case or some plastic parts to enclose or enrich the original hardware project.

How does it work? With your own vacuum cleaner! Features and workflow is detailed in the image below:

Compatible Materials 

The FormBox works best with sheet thermo-plastics (plastics that go soft when warmed up). Every FormBox will ship with enough materials to get started. Here’s the technical terms :

  • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene ABS (the stuff Lego is made from)
  • Polystyrene PS (Commonly found in: Product packaging)
  • Polycarbonate PC (Commonly found in: Drinks bottles)
  • Polypropylene PP (Commonly found in: Buckets, spades, chairs, everything!)
  • Polyethylene (Commonly found in: sheet and foamed sheet)
  • PE (Commonly found in: Insulating cases, bottles)
  • Polyvinyl Chloride PVC (Commonly found in: straws, plastic pipes)
  • Acrylic PMMA (Commonly found in: Light up signs)
  • PETg (Commonly found in: Food safe molds)

What Materials can I cast with?

We’ve had a lot of fun casting objects in molds made with the FormBox.

Find out materials and examples on the official Kickstarter page.

About Luca Ruggeri

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