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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 is head of wearable electronics at Adafruit Industries. Her personal site:



  1. John says:

    Love this idea!

  2. Brian says:

    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!

  3. sordnay says:

    which materials are those plastic sheets?

  4. Kevin says:

    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.

  5. DAVE says:

    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?

  6. Chris says:

    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.

  7. We vac form pvc sheet quite easily

  8. Chris says:

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

    Good tutorial otherwise.

  9. signal7 says:

    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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  11. gr0wlithe says:

    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?