CastcraftHobbyist Vacuum Forming Machine Plans

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Hobby Vac vacuum forming machine
Hobby Vac vacuum forming machine

Finally - an affordable solution for the thousands of Hobbyists and Small Businesses that need vacuum formed parts: Mold Makers, Model Makers, Inventors, Design Studios, Theaters, Specials Effects companies, etc. The Hobby-Vac machine is perfect for molds, prototype parts and packaging, models, sign letters, and even volume production of high quality parts. The only limitation is the 12x18 inch plastic sheet size - if you need to make parts larger than about 10x16 inches, see the Professional Vacuum Forming Machine Plans.

Now the alternative to buying a high priced machine is to build your own. The concept is very simple and the parts and materials don't cost much. Heating element kits are available through the machine designer - information is included with the plans.

Specifications and features:

Plastic sheet size

12 x 18 in. or smaller

Platen Size (usable area)

10 x 16 in.

Depth of draw

6 in.

Max. plastic thickness

1/4 in.

Max. Vacuum (in. of mercury)

25 - 28

Electrical requirements for oven

110 volts, 14 amps

Machine size

21" wide x 38" long x 8" high

40 lbs. (without pump)

Est. Cost to build

$250 to $350 depending on pump

Oven -
Uses both convection and infrared radiation. Proven design concentrates the heat around the perimeter and in the corners where it is needed. Oven operates on standard 110 volt house current. Optional 220 volt elements are available.

Sturdy Wood Cabinet - Easy to make from standard size lumber. All straight cuts with no fancy joints. Can be built without power tools. Vented design stays cool when operating.

Vacuum System - Plans show several methods to choose from - 1 or 2 stage systems with manual, air powered, or electric pumps. Budget to performance systems to fit your needs are explained. Plans include sources for low cost pumps.

Clamp Frame - Easy to use "flip style" clamp frame holds plastic securely with minimal waste. Simple two piece design uses spring clips to hold plastic sheets up to 1/4 inch thick.

Platen - Airtight sandwich construction with a solid wood base. Super low internal volume for fast response. Perforated aluminum top for durability and reliable sealing. No gaskets or seals to wear out or replace. Platen is removable and you can make any size you need.

Ten chapters cover all details of construction. Helpful "Tips" throughout the manual give practical information on building, using and customizing each area. Options are offered wherever possible to let you make substitutions. Clear explanations, photos and diagrams will guide you through it. Not only will you learn HOW, but you will also learn WHY it works. Finally, the section on operation will have you up and running fast with useful tips on troubleshooting common problems.

Plans are supplied as .pdf files on a CD. You can view 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.

By Doug Walsh.

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

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