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'[EE]: custom plastic enclosures'
2002\05\09@110401 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Sound interesting !  Really keen to try this.  Any good URL to share?

Cheers, Ling SM
> Well depending on how you want to go about it, if you wish to start by
> having a an enclosure to visualise with, carve a wooden block to the
desired
> internal dimensions. The get a piece of perspex or similar suitable
plastic

No I do not have any URL's, but an uncle of mine used to do it at home.
There probably are some pages out there if you go looking.

Essentially you need a suitable metal (or some other stable material that
will withstand the heat) container such as a tray, of greater depth than the
vacuum cleaner hose diameter, and probably also deeper than the maximum
height of the mold. You then have a hole in the side of the tray for the
cleaner hose, and clamp the plastic sheet to the top, so the joint with the
plastic sheet is air tight. Put the whole lot in the oven, and after a few
minutes the plastic should be soft enough to suck down onto the mold. This
should not be too much warmer than hot to touch for most plastics that are
practical for this process.

If you wanted to make something reasonably representative of what you expect
your finished item to be, i.e. mounting pillars on the inside which create
dents on the outside with this process, then it would probably be OK to fill
the outside dents with car body putty or similar stuff and file it off to
shape. A coat of suitable paint could have quite a reasonable finish then.

It is like using a vacuum cleaner to suck all the air out of an air bed when
you want to put it away :)

For those in the UK there was a demonstration of this process on "Tomorrows
World" last Wednesday night.

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2002\05\09@111047 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>http://www.studiocreations.com/stormtrooper/vacuumforming/

>A pretty good low-cost intro to vac forming.

Came in while I was writing the previous mail.

Yeah, illustrates the steps pretty nicely, except I would have the thing in
the oven with the vacuum hole towards the door, and leave it in the oven
while I vacuumed it down I think. Minimises the cooling down as it vacuum
forms.

Also gives a good hint about how to get the vacuum under the mould, which
would be a useful way to do it.

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2002\05\09@131604 by Bond, Peter

flavicon
face
> Yeah, illustrates the steps pretty nicely, except I would
> have the thing in
> the oven with the vacuum hole towards the door, and leave it
> in the oven
> while I vacuumed it down I think. Minimises the cooling down
> as it vacuum
> forms.

...and wasn't the link I meant to post.
www.studiocreations.com/stormtrooper/main.shtml
includes making a vacuum table.

I like the idea of just leaving the frame in the oven, but that could
possibly cause problems with having the vacuum table & master suffering the
heating cycle.  Depends entirely upon the materials and construction, of
course.  Judicious use of a hot air gun could also reduce the cooling.

IIRC, Dave Gingery did a book on building a vac forming machine - I think
that included heater elements.

> Also gives a good hint about how to get the vacuum under the
> mould, which
> would be a useful way to do it.

Other designs I've seen involve a pegboard (perfboard?) topped box so that
the vacuum is distributed across the frame.

Peter
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