I guess I can consider this a part of my…
Let’s show off this blog business!
I created a vacuum forming table. I finally tried it out last night – went much better than I expected. I intend to use this on my pinball build but needed to start with a low-risk project. I’m building a controller stand for all my console controllers, right now they take up an entire shelf, I can consolidate them to a single vertical stand. I’ll use the vacuum forming table to make shells that hold the lower part of the controller, and that will mount to the vertical portion of the stand… anyways here’s some photos of the process.
I drew a 1″ spaced grid on some high-density MDF and drilled through at the intersections
After that I routed along the grid, about half the depth of the MDF – so each hole that I drilled goes through the channel intersections. This is where the vacuum (the suction, not the actual device that creates the suction) is able to draw air through.
In an identically sized piece of MDF, I drilled a hole where the vacuum hose will go…
Then glued the two pieces together tightly. I trimmed it to be only as big as it needs to be. The overall dimensions are about 14″ x 20″, very compact! The vacuum area is about 12″ x 12″. The styrene I got first is only about 7.5″ x 11″ so I taped off the areas that wouldn’t be covered. I built a frame to fit the styrene and got to work.
You can see the frame at the left and right of this picture. I placed the controller upside down on the vacuum platform and then stuck the styrene sheet in the oven to heat up.. once it got soft and started to droop, I pulled the frame out and laid it down on top of the controller with the vacuum on.