Vacuum Forming Acrylic

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Panisa Khunpraset of Products of Design tested the limits of the VFL's vacuum former last week! For her Affirming Artifacts project, she designed these beautiful vases for storing vegetables in water called Bio Vessels. According to sources, this is the first time anyone has tried acrylic on our vacuum former.

To make this prototype, she first modeled her vase in Rhino and used the CNC router to create solid form. Her positive was placed in the bed of the vacuum former.

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Then we started heating up a 1/8" piece of acrylic. Because the acrylic was so thick, we ended up heating it for around 30 minutes. We checked the acrylic multiple times during the heating process and waited for it to feel soft and bouncy. But it was so thick and just kept getting hotter.

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After 6 timer rounds of heating we made the executive decision to go for the vacuum. And we learned that 1/8" acrylic needs a lot of heating. We tried to save it with a heat gun, but the acrylic was just too thick.

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But that's not the end! Panisa went back for day two in the VFL and vacuum formed some thinner pieces of acrylic. She successfully created her beautiful Bio Vessels! Beautiful job Panisa!

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