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Vacuforming

RELATED TOPICS: VACUUM-FORMED
Q: Do you know of any books on the subject of vacuforming? How do you do it? What type of plastic should I use?

- Mike Alvarez
via E-mail

Our first stop is a great website at www.warmplastic.com. This cool site will tell you all you need to know about the technique, the required materials, and buying or building your own vacuforming machine.

To oversimplify the vacuforming procedure, a sheet of heated plastic is literally sucked over a three-dimensional master, also known as a "buck," with a mild vacuum. The plastic assumes the shape of the buck, and after the plastic cools, the piece can be cut and trimmed to suit your application.

A useful low-tech variation on this technique is to attach a sheet of plastic to a small open frame and heat the plastic with either a heat gun or in a warm oven set at about 150-175 degrees. Heat the plastic until it becomes pliable and begins to sag in the frame to a point where it begins to sag, and manually stretch it over the buck.

Vacuforming is ideal for creating curved window glass and some body components. Good luck, Mike, and send us some pictures of your results.


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