Computers & Mobile Craft & Design
How-To:  Large Homemade Vacuum Forming Machine

From James Bruton of James’s take on the familiar vacuum forming machine uses a three-layer MDF sandwich for the vacuum box and forming table, with a vacuum cleaner hose connected at the bottom. His heating system is novel, in my experience, using an off-the-shelf quartz room heater at the bottom of an MDF “chimney” lined with aluminum foil reflectors. Sorry, aluminium foil reflectors. [via Hack a Day]

11 thoughts on “How-To: Large Homemade Vacuum Forming Machine

  1. To hell with the classicists. Both Hall and Davy spelled it “aluminum” at various times, and without their work nobody would be able to afford enough of it to wrap a sandwich, let alone build engine blocks and aircraft from it.

  2. best vacuum forming method I’ve seen yet.  I really dig that heater idea.  I would definately make sure that was WELL ventillated (perhaps in a garage), but this is encouraging.  I might finally build one of these someday

  3. I’m building one now, I’ve done a 35″ x 35″ table with two vacuums and have the picture frame done as well; just have to complete the heater box next :) Thanks to James for this awesome video!

    1. You’re very talented, young man and I enjoyed that idea. I’m 70 and wondered why I hadn’t thought of that. Good job, your talented and I bet a lot of guys enjoyed that.

  4. How many BTUs does that heater put out?
    can you list the make and model?
    Do you think a propane heater would work? they are much cheaper and I already own one.

Comments are closed.


I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

View more articles by Sean Michael Ragan