When we last left our hero he had built the vacuum table for his plastic forming machine.

The next step was to make a frame to hold the plastic for heating and forming.


I cut out the middle of the print out from last time to mark both pieces of particle board for cutting.


I’m pretty sure the original design used a router to make a more even cut, but since I didn’t have one I did the best I could with a circular saw.

The next step was to add some neoprene tape to the inside, and some bolts to hold it all together.


Again I’m not the best of measuring before I cut so I updated my template to make it even all the way around.


This fits together perfectly, and will grip the plastic during the forces the vacuum creates no problem.

As you can see though, the center is the weakest part about my build. The square is uneven and ugly, but as long as I get a good seal a weird boarder around the plastic shouldn’t matter since I’ll be cutting it off anyway.


At some point I’ll either get a router or rebuild this frame with the help of someone more experienced but I should be fine for now.

The bolts are low profile but I found that the rubber strips I added to the table were not high enough seal it.


It’s overkill but I had a rubber mat I knew would do the job so cut it to size.


I had already cut this for another project years ago so was generous again with the silicone caulk to make sure I got a good seal.


It’s going to be a few weeks until I can build the heating unit and I wanted to test what I had done so far so I used a trash bag in place of heated polystyrene.


A hammer on the board should serve as a test mold.


Here it is before the vac is on. If I have a seal and strong enough suction I should get at least a basic shape.




That I can get this from a thin but unheated bag means I should be in great shape once I have the proper medium.

Total cost on the frame was about 15 dollars including the bolts, wingnuts, washers, and particle board.

Next step is to build the heater. It will be a few weeks before I can get to that, but I’m going to try hard to make that happen sooner.