CastcraftVacuum Forming Machine Plans

Detailed plans for building two sizes of vacuum forming machines with built-in ovens.

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"Hobbyist" Vacuum Forming Machine Plans

Hobby Vac vacuum forming machine
Hobby Vac vacuum forming machine

Plans for a tabletop vacuum forming machine that can mold flat plastic sheets into complex shapes using heat and vacuum. This versatile machine was designed to be an easy 2 or 3 weekend project using ordinary parts and a wood cabinet. It features a built in 110 volt oven and powerful vacuum system. This is the largest size you can run on a residential house circuit.

This little powerhouse can form up to 1/4 inch thick plastic sheets. The sheet size is 12 x18 inches or smaller and depth of draw is up to 6 inches. You get Industrial strength performance and a perfect size for the hobbyist or small business.

110 Volt Heating Elements are used. There are no comparable small machines currently being produced with this level of performance. Estimated cost to build this machine is $250 to $350 depending on the vacuum system chosen. Perfect for the serious hobbyist or small business. Sources of supply for all parts included.

Plans are supplied as .pdf files on a CD, and include a 100 page illustrated assembly manual, 2 large photo pages, 32 drawings, sources and a large cut away drawing.

You can use the plans as supplied on the CD by using the free Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer, or you can take the plans CD to a copy shop such as "FedEx Office" and they can produce printouts from the CD files for you. Or you can print out any section of the plans you wish on your own computer printer.

Use this link for detailed specs: Hobbyist Vacuum Forming Machine

By Doug Walsh.

Hobbyist Vacuum Forming Machine Plans on CD $40.00 +S&H

Order Policy:U.S. addresses only - Credit Cards and PayPal Accepted


"Professional" Vacuum Forming Machine Plans

Proto Form vacuum forming machine
Proto Form vacuum forming machine

Plans for a larger vacuum forming machine, used to mold flat plastic sheets into complex shapes by using heat and vacuum. This machine can be built in three sizes, 2x2, 2x3, and 2x4 ft. (sheet sizes). The plans cover building all three sizes. These machines are ideal for prototyping, packaging and short run production of larger parts. Form up to 1/4 inch thick plastic sheets with a 12 inch depth of draw. The 220 volt oven is mounted overhead so it takes up minimal floor space, and a rugged manual lift linkage transfers the plastic sheet between the oven and the platen. Removable platens let you change sizes easily. Build this machine for 80% less than a new unit with the same performance. A steel chassis with wood exterior panels make it both rugged and attractive. Easy to build with no machined parts.

Plans are supplied as .pdf files on a CD, and include a 100 page assembly manual, parts and material cut lists, 27 parts drawings, 3 full size cut-away blueprints and 36 color photographs. Complete parts list and sources of supply are included.

You can use the plans as supplied on the CD by using the free Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer, or you can take the plans CD to a copy shop such as "FedEx Office" and they can produce printouts from the CD files for you. Or you can print out any section of the plans you wish on your own computer printer.

These plans formerly sold for over $120 in printed form - you save over $45 with the new CD version.

Use this link for detailed specs: Professional Vacuum Forming Machine

By Doug Walsh.

Professional Vacuum Forming Machine Plans on CD$75.00 +S&H

Order Policy:U.S. addresses only - Credit Cards and PayPal Accepted


How to decide between these two plans:

Both of these sets of plans give detailed, step by step instructions so you can build complete vacuum forming machines, with built-in ovens for heating the plastic. Both sets of plans give complete sources of supply for all special parts, including heating elements and controls.

Both plans are provided as .pdf files on a CD, which you can view on your computer with Adobe Acrobat Reader and/or print out if you wish.

The main differences are:

  1. The Hobbyist machine has a smaller plastic sheet size, 12" x 18". If you want to form from sheets up to 2 feet by 4 feet (for larger parts or faster production of smaller parts), build the Professional machine.
  2. The Hobbyist machine heating element runs from a standard 110v wall outlet. The larger Professional machine heating element requires 220v. A typical house may have 220v outlets near an electric water heater, an electric oven, or an electric dryer, or an electrician can add a 220v circuit for you.

Tip - Both of these plans are all about building the machines, with very little information about vacuum forming itself. If you are new to vacuum forming and want to know how to make vacuum forming patterns or which plastics to use, please see the book "Do-It Yourself Vacuum Forming", by the same author as these plans.

 

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