Tuesday, 29 March 2011

This sucks

I tried my homemade vacforming machine last night with disappointing levels of success.

I drilled a 32mm hole in the side of the box and attached my DeWalt shop vacuum.

I then clamped a sheet of 4mm acrylic into the holding frame

and placed an inverted ceramic pot on the vac bed as a test pattern:

And placed the sheet in the oven at gas mark 8 for 10mins. I was hoping to observe the sheet and, when it started to sag, remove it. The problem I had was that the sheet was too thick and didn't get hot enough before the MDF mount I was using started to char.

As the kitchen filled with the smell of cooking MDF I decided to give it a try anyway:

The thick, partially heated sheet was sucked down by the bed but was not hot enough to be pulled down onto the sides of the pattern. As a result I got this:

I also noted that the MDF mount had shrunk and was no longer gripping the sheet.

Next time I am going to:

1. Use thinner 2mm acrylic.
2. Make a metal mounting frame which will neither shrink nor smell.
3. Drill some more holes in the bed.

Going to be a while before attempt 2, my RepRap bits turned up today ;o)

1 comment:

Q-TAG Liam, Capt. Tuna said...

4mm acrylic, to quote Mythbusters "Well theres your problem right there!"

Sounds like it will be fine with a thinner sheet.

I reckon I may go out and get some wood and make one now.