Vacuum Formers & Plastics?

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    • #1595
      Madonna
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      http://www.etsy.com/listing/120049056/flexible-resin-mold-love?I am part of a local crafting group that meets 1-2 times a month.  I have been playing around with making small resin items and have been really wanting to learn how to make my own plastic molds so more of my items come out more shiny from the beginning.  We are using some silicone molds and some plastic ones by Yaley.  

       
      We want to purchase a machine to do it but it seems most of the vacuum formers dont come with a heating element. (Im worried about using our oven and then baking food in the same one. I have a small toaster oven for my polymer clay but was told they are not large enough to work with the vacuum mold plastic because of the holders. But thats all I know) 

       
       I have been searching all over online and finding very little info. Since Ive now gotten all my friends interested, we just want to buy one for our own group and plan to share the cost and keep it at the home of the lady where we always meet. 
       

      May I ask what type of machine people use? I want one with a built in heating element, I think.  I almost bought a homemade one from a Facebook Resin group but the lady wouldnt answer any questions and kept saying the instruction sheet would answer all my questions.  Her formers cost up to $200.  I dont want to pay just to read the instructions.  
       
      Ive also found things online about dental vacuum formers and am wondering if that would work for small molds.  I dont even know what is the best kind of plastic to use? There always seem to be about 3-5 types that are discussed.  I want something like the Yaley molds on Amazon or at Hobby Lobby but maybe even a little shinier inside.  I will definitely use them mostly for resin but maybe also polymer clay. I just dont know what type of plastic that is?  Is it ABS? or something like that? Who can help this rookie?
    • #4875
      Chrisnz
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      Hi Madonna

      It’s been a long gap for any replies (April)! Have you found something? Please update us here to help others.

      We have just acquired our first thermo vacuum machine! 🙂
      It was used for moulding all the touristy stuff here in NZ but was left aside when owner got out of the biz.

      Some Genious DIY’d it from bits in his garage! Just like “Stark enterprises” and ironman! Lol
      He used Toaster elements on a slider above the vaccum plate (this looks professionally drilled). Manually timing each formi or add a little time as required. Wonderful. Vacuum pump and huge tank undernieth.

      The Plastic stock he used was a 0.9mm Acetate roll form. Comes out lovely but mold is no good after. No “release” used at this stage.
      However we are currently looking at alternatives in NZ.
      The molds get used once so high consumption!!
      It all depends on what type of Resin you use and mould plastics. Not all the same.

      1st is Styrene to try
      2nd is P.E.T.G
      Most common in Industrial use.

      As for machines UK have great range under Formmech.com

      This help for starters.:)

      Cheers Chris. A newbie still.

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