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Plastic vacuum formers are an important part of the prototyping process. If you need a nice plastic robot body or custom case for a project you are doing, get your tools, ’cause this project is easy to build and fun to play with.

Vacuum formers are based on a simple concept. They use the power of a vacuum to suck heated, gooey plastic sheets very tightly around an object you place in them, making a 3D copy of pretty much whatever you want.

Plastic vacuum formers are usually big, expensive machines, however many of us don’t always need to make huge pieces for our projects, so these machines would be pointless to have—or at least that’s what I tell myself so I won’t be tempted to buy one. Our vacuum molder will be a good size for most projects you’re likely to deal with.