Custom Vacuum Former

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FluxNZ
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Re: Custom Vacuum Former

Post by FluxNZ » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:27 pm

Depends on the design of the buck but most sizes can be done.
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Post by FluxNZ » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:45 pm

Polycarb is very hard to work with and had problems with it in 2mm size.  PETG is very easy to work with as it forms at a low temp.
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Post by Racinss03 » Tue May 01, 2012 12:43 am

Hey FLUXNZ is the PETG as durable as regular Lexan? Im almost ready to start assembly on my own vacuum former. Im waiting for a local Dental Lab to get back to me on prices of there plasters and hardness. Then i should almost be set any other advise on assembly or buck making. I did start on my forming base using 2x4 and 1/2" plywood and used chaulking on the joint to seal them. And Thanks for Your Help and write up

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Post by FluxNZ » Tue May 01, 2012 2:20 am

PETG is not as strong as Lexan but pretty close if you compare the same thickness of the 2. My bodies will be min of 1mm thick and the 1.5mm I've been testing is more than strong enough for the RC cars/trucks. PETG will paint as well as Lexan using the same paints. PETG UV protection isn't as good as Ploycarb unless it's added to the plastic but from what I've heard you have to have it direct sunlight for ages before you see the effects of the suns rays on it.

Lexan/Polycarb is hard to work with as the Polycarb needs to be dryed to get the moisture out (say for 1-10hrs at 90degs depending on thickness) before you form it or you'll get bubbles in the plastic. PETG you can form it straight away but it needs to be heated slowly or you can get bubbles in it as well (pre heat the plastic at a low temp to dry it then up the heat later). I'm still testing the heating at the moment to get it right.

Have a good read of this as it explains about vacuum forming and types of plastics, good reading:

http://support.knowlton.ohio-state.edu/ ... mGuide.pdf

I've found more info on the material needed to cast the molds/buck which is 'Dental Stone'. Drys really hard from what I've been told (dentist said so
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Post by Racinss03 » Thu May 03, 2012 8:32 pm

Did you put anything on the inside of the body before pouring you're plaster in or don't you really need anything.

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Post by FluxNZ » Thu May 03, 2012 9:28 pm

With plaster of paris no.  Haven't tried dental stone but shouldn't bond.
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Post by dodgedude » Fri May 04, 2012 7:59 pm

I cant wait to have the time and space to try this for myself,
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Post by FluxNZ » Fri May 04, 2012 8:06 pm

It's not hard to build the required gear to do this. I'm waiting on the dental stone to come in so I can mold the new buck for the VE8 and then the Raptor body for the 1/8 Flux. Next would be the 5T which this former was built for in the first place. Not shelling $150USD for body each time! 8O
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Post by dodgedude » Fri May 04, 2012 8:16 pm

lol, No kidding. If bodies weren't so expensive I would have many more.

With the setup you have, do you think it would be possible to sandwich Weights in between layers? To give the body more weight for certain applications? :wink:
I would imagine it is, but I obviously don't have the system in front of me to really have a good look.

Or even add things to the body, My mind is going crazy with ideas for custom body projects :D Imagine putting pictures right into the body itself  8O
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Post by FluxNZ » Fri May 04, 2012 8:22 pm

You could create an negative draft on the weight which is on the buck when you form the plastic would lock the weight into the body. Sticking objects to the buck will create whatever effect you would like to come through in the plastic. The amount of detail you get depends how thick you are going, 1.5mm looses a bit of detail, 1mm I think should be pretty good for details and strength.
Last edited by FluxNZ on Fri May 04, 2012 11:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by FluxNZ » Fri May 04, 2012 8:23 pm

I'm on Skype by the way Dodge.

BrushlessNZ if anyone wants to add me. I'm in New Zealand so it depends on time zones if you get me online.
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Post by FluxNZ » Fri May 11, 2012 12:48 am

Did a couple of tests with white ABS plastic. Still working on the heating time for this plastic which is 2mm thick. Plastic has a little bit of an orange peel look to it after forming so I'm guess it's too much heat or been left in too long. Will did a bit more research on it to check.

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Post by messiah1 » Fri May 11, 2012 5:34 am

Everytime I come to this thread, I'm like "this is so awesome!".  More, more, more!

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Post by FluxNZ » Fri May 11, 2012 6:49 am

Cheers man.  Still working out the fine points of process and refine them as I go. That last pull worked spot on getting the plastic to pull hard into the corners just got to watch the temps and the time.
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Post by dodgedude » Sat May 12, 2012 8:52 pm

Man that looks Awesome! It seems like it does a really good job on those molds.
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Post by Racinss03 » Sun May 13, 2012 6:59 pm

I think im almost ready to do my first pull I will post in my own topic I also have pics i will post to. If anyone sees something i should change before i do the first pull please let me know.

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Post by FluxNZ » Sun May 13, 2012 7:40 pm

I'll try to comment if I see your thread before you do first pull.
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Post by FluxNZ » Tue May 15, 2012 12:59 am

Did a test on the Baja body I want to use for my build out of the same 2mm ABS I used on the 1/8 body. I did a rough cut out of the body lines.

Didn't pull down as well as it should around the base of the mold and some of the details in the body but it will do for a bash testing. This pull was formed over the Polycarb body I got in from over seas which I filled with foam for support. It's appears the larger area of plastic needed for this 1/5 pull requires more time in the oven for more stretch than the smaller 1/8 bodies.

With my oven/heater setup I need about 5:30mins for the 1/8 buggy body and it looks like I need about 7:30 - 8mins (6:30mins fo this test) for the 1/5 bodies (2mm ABS, PETG is different). The amount of vacuum could also play apart of how well the plastic forms around the mold (something I'll have look into if heating the plastic more doesn't help).

At the moment I'm working out the time the plastic needs in the oven to be formed without breaking down the plastic's strength (over heating it, texture appears in the plastic like the skin of an orange peel, thinning out). The side body thickness of the plastic thinned out to about 1.5mm which is still pretty good (sometimes you have to increase the thickness of the plastic to allow for the plastic thinning when stretched from forming).

Found out too that I had to climb up onto the frame to push it down enough to create the seal for the vacuum because the plastic had tighten over the roof of the mold just enough keeping it above the rubber seal. A lot more effort needed than the 1/8 bodies  :D

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Post by messiah1 » Tue May 15, 2012 5:32 am

I say, even if the details are sketchy on some of them, it doesn't matter as much because you're just going to bash with it.

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Post by GSGA » Tue May 15, 2012 6:16 am

Haven't been to this thread for a while.

Monumental.

Just brilliant.
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