Been slowly building a machine for thermo forming plastics using a mold, heat and plastics based on a set of plans available to purchase on the internet. Called a ProtoForm this machine will use either 24" x24" or 24" x 36" sheets of plastic. And has 20 gallons of vacuum holding tanks for a strong deep pull. Depending on what you can scrounge beg or borrow to build this machine will determine the total cost . I figure I will invest about $1500 to complete, I had a vacuum pump already but spent extra for nice oak trim and a solid electrical system. The end result though will be a professional quality machine capable of doing good work and it should pay for itself quickly!
Very nice! Your Thermo-Forming Machine is the 'Tool of the Week'!
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An updated picture of the completed woodwork and the start of the electrical. Machine will plug into a 50AMP range block. The 2 zones of heating will be controlled by Solid State Relays (SSR) which are visible at the top either side of the breaker panel. They are mounted on large heat sinks as they dissipate a goo amount of heat dependent on load. These are 40A SSR and should be well up to the task of switching the heater elements. The use of SSR means I only need low amperage switches on the control panel to send a DC voltage to the SSR to control the ON/OFF stae of each heat zone.I have yet to select a powersuplly for this but likely either 12 or 24Vdc depending on what I have in my parts stash!
Last edited by backyard_cnc; 04-17-2015 at 02:59 PM.
Plans for this machine can be purchased on the internet and are well worth the price. They are complete and comprehensive and the heater kits can also be purchased directly from the author. I am in no way affiliated with the website that offers these plans. Just a happy customer.
Plans for building a personal and/or production ready vacuum forming machine
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