Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A queer eye for the hound-guy

When I began this ("Houndeye") project I didn't know I'd be doing "thermoplastic vacuum forming". Learning new skills leads to other avenues of learning, exploring and creating; it never ends! I've wanted a VF setup for a long time and this was the perfect excuse to build it.

This vacuum former is basically a design I found on Instructables. It's not fancy but it gets the job done, and it's cheap! A birch platen was substituted for MDF to keep the costs down. There's no need for me to go into how to build your own vacuum forming setup since "drcrash" does such a fine job.

The platen
The setup
Fortunately for me it was close enough to Easter that the stores stocked plastic Easter eggs. I went all "Big-Endian" and hot-glued egg halves to a board for that multi-faceted eye look.

(I sure hope there is no "eggs-eyes" tax!)

The "buck" or form
That's not an empty frame; there is a sheet of .060" PETG stapled to it.

The VF setup with buck and frame
My wife is a wonderful cook. She had the oven all pre-heated for the plastic too.

The cookies
First attempt: it's a little hard to see the result of the vacuum "pull" because PETG is so wonderfully transparent. Not bad for a first try, but I need to build better frames. The plastic tended to pull away from the frame as it was heated thereby producing vacuum leaks. So I'll build new frames, plug some leaks, heat the plastic just a little bit more and try to get a deeper pull.

The eye!
Once I have a satisfactory eye, the next steps will be painting and trimming the plastic eye piece for the Houndeye project.

1 comment:

  1. Ooo! Nice! The possibilities are endless for this setup. :)


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