Workshop/Vacuum Former

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Vacuum Former
Heats sheets of plastic until soft, then conforms it to a mold using a vacuum pump.
Equipment Information
Status Unknown
Manufacturer Formech
Model 300X
Hackspace Information
Induction Required No
Card RFID Enabled No
Owner Katie Nicholls
[More Info]

The vacuum former is currently out of order and under restoration - it failed its past PAT test

This machine is used to form thin plastic shells around molds, or forms, held on the movable platten. A small vacuum pump is used to evacuate all the air from around the form and to suck the plastic tightly around it. After the plastic has cooled sufficiently the pump can be reversed to "blow" the plastic off the form.

The heating element has been replaced, but it still needs re-certifying as electrically safe.

It also needs a new vacpumnp/motor.

Ceramic heating elements

This flat element arrived with the machine already broken.

A number of heating elements are used to soften the plastic prior to forming. There are two different styles of elements - long thin rectangles used on the front and back edges and slight stubbier ones used in the centre. This allows the inner and outer sections to be turned on independently.

It is difficult to find long, flat heating elements with the correct dimensions (245 mm x 60 mm) but the companion element is of the curved style, readily available from eBay/AliExpress for use in terrariums and BGA soldering stations.

Mechanical Specifications

Max Material Size: 450mm x 300mm

Max Forming Area: 430mm x 280mm

Max Depth of Draw: 160mm

Overall Width: 650mm

Overall Height: 530mm

Overall Length: 970mm Weight: 75Kg

Electrical specifications

Standard voltage 220-240V

Standard frequency 50/60Hz