Formech 508DT Vacuum Forming Workshop with Tak (and Max)!


Tak and Max did an awesome workshop on how to use the Formech 508DT (Vacuum Forming Machine) in the VFL.  While this machine has a lot of trial and error involved, there are some key details to remember when trying it out and getting the shape you are looking for.  Since this was simply a workshop, there wasn't a right or wrong. Here is an example of an intricate shape that can be created (and recreated over and over) on the Vacuum Forming tool.


When one is Vacuum Forming (as a beginner), there are a few details to remember. First, make sure you are using shapes that don't have any 90 degree angles.  If you could imagine, sucking all the air from around the edges of a 90-degree-angled shape wouldn't allow for it to 'pop' out of new plastic creation.  Here are some examples of shapes you could Vacuum form (some more successfully than others).

Vacuum Forming ExamplesHere is an example of a shape that didn't do so well int he Vacuum forming machine.

Square_Vacuum Forming

As you can see, this didn't go that well!  Couple things went wrong here, for one, the platform was too small. Secondly, the surface wasn't hot enough and wasn't able to fully wrap around the object before the Vacuum function was turned on.

This is a simpler shape, this an angled edge, and the success here is obvious!

Crater_Vacuum Forming

When working with the Vacuum Forming Machine, there is a level of finesse that will be needed.  Creating the object is a dual-action, similar to changing gears in a manual car.  You'll need to find the right combination of timing between pulling the lever to raise the bed with the object on it, and turning on the vacuum function.  In the case below, we made the heat too high and turned on the vacuum function too quickly, rather than allowing the plastic to cool.  As we mentioned earlier, there is a little trial and error (and patience) needed with this tool.

Fail on Block

Lastly, when stepping up to the machine, make sure you are well acquainted with the software and interface.  You could read through this Manual from Formech, check out this awesome video or come in and give it a try and be ready to experiment!


Front View

The next Formech 508DT Workshop will be on the September 22nd at 2PM! See you there!