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New Tool: Vacuum Forming Machine

posted Aug 22, 2016, 4:41 AM by William Farren
This year we are fortunate to have a new piece of equipment in our design tech lab. It is a vacuum forming machine from Formech, a UK company. This new piece of technology will extend our creative abilities in exciting new ways. It should nicely complement our 3D printing and 3D routing tools, as those can be used to create molds (tools).  Vacuum forming technology is used widely in many different industries. If you watch the video below, you'll notice that this is how many toys are made. These machines are also used for the creation of Halloween masks, medical devices, chocolate molds and gelatin molds, to name just a few.

The video below explains what a vacuum former is and how it operates.  The challenging (and interesting!) process will be in the creation of original molds. These can be made with traditional tools or with computer aided design (CAD) tools which output to a CNC device like a router.