My German pal Aram Bartholl shows you the principles of vacuum forming with his homemade rig for churning out Guy Fawkes masks. The video takes you to 28C3 and other public venues where visitors customized their masks while learning the process. Aram’s machine uses a bike pump to suck out the air from the mold.

Becky Stern

Becky Stern

Becky Stern ( is a DIY guru and director of wearable electronics at Adafruit. She publishes a new project video every week and hosts a live show on YouTube. Formerly Becky was Senior Video Producer for MAKE. Becky lives in Brooklyn, NY and belongs to art groups Free Art & Technology (“release early, often, and with rap music”) and Madagascar Institute (“fear is never boring”).

  • John

    Love this idea!

  • Brian

    If I’m not mistaken, his heater has both exposed heating coils and (even worse) exposed 220V? And he set it up in a public place where anyone could accidentally touch it? That’s insane! Why doesn’t he form a cover for that thing? That’s a lawsuit (and possibly a manslaughter conviction) just waiting to happen!

  • sordnay

    which materials are those plastic sheets?

  • Kevin

    I think it’s just sheet styrene. They cut it with box cutters pretty easily, and I’ve seen it used for vacuum forming in the past. Google results show that Styrene and ABS are the most commonly used sheets for vacuum forming.

  • DAVE

    Funny, I like the idea of that small rig. But I thought it was interesting that he wants us to steal other peoples ideas and copy them. The mask from ” V for Venditta” for instance. but show him going through many locks to get to his shop. Maybe he don’t want any body stealing his stuff?

  • Chris

    Dave, Guy Fawkes masks existed before V for Vendetta. They were used for celebrating Guy Fawkes day and usually placed on a dummy to be burned in effigy. That’s what made Moore and Lloyd’s character so interesting, instead of being vilified he held up the idea of Guy Fawkes as a symbol for the power of people over the power of the government.

  • Matt Silvestro

    We vac form pvc sheet quite easily

  • Chris

    Music really isn’t Make Magazine blog style with kids around…

    Good tutorial otherwise.

  • signal7

    Nice idea and execution. Though, in the future, please try to balance the volume levels between spoken instructions and the (useless) background music. I was constantly ramping the volume up and down so I could hear what he was saying without having the music blasting at top notch volume.

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  • gr0wlithe

    Dennis Roodbol, a fellow user of the Oude LTS studios near me is using vacuum forming to create the faces of his children. He also showed me the mirror kind of polystyrene, which is even more awesome than the transparent variant. You can see a picture of it at:!/Dennis_Roodbol/media/slideshow?

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