Thursday, April 10, 2014

My Vacuum Forming Table Really Sucks

A few weeks ago I built a cheap vacuum forming table to test out with two other designs built for a Tekbots project developing a smart helmet. The idea is to create a plastic shell that fits over the helmet, giving the electronics a safe place to live while maintaining the integrity of the helmet. The table top is just pegboard and wooden stakes (I wanted to minimize the amount of woodworking required since my wood tools are all back home in Bend). The plastic we tested with is white ABS plastic cut from a large sheet normally used in showers, and it was heated in a standard kitchen oven at about 300 degrees Fahrenheit until the plastic started drooping. Ran into a bit of a problem with making a good seal with the top frame and the table top, which I attribute to forgetting to attach the cut bicycle tube I was planning on using to create a better seal. But after four tries we ended up with fairly decent results, although it was difficult to get the helmet out of the plastic and the details aren't as fine as they could be with a thinner plastic. One of the guys working on the project experimented with using plastic milk jugs and had great success with some smaller items.

No comments:

Post a Comment