Most people are consumers. But there is a small section of us that proudly call ourselves creators. We desire to build beautiful things, not just own them.
Roughly 5 years ago, the maker revolution began with desktop 3D printing. While 3D printing is great, as a designer, it’s more of a mock-up tool, more fit for prototyping than actual production. We designers rely on other procedures for quality production. Like CNC Machining, Injection Molding, Laser Cutting, and Vacuum Forming. There’s a long way to go for most of these procedures before they shift from large-scale industries to households, but Vaquform has done something pretty spectacular. This desktop mounted vacuum forming machine only downsizes without compromising on quality.
More rapid than rapid prototyping, vacuum forming is one of the industry’s most important processes. A lot of plastic packaging for products (blister packs, for example) relies on this technique. Vacuum forming is also used to make products in itself. 3D signboards, food trays, ice-trays, toys, masks, coffee cups/lids, and planting pots to name a few. Depending on the material used, vacuum formed parts can be made transparent, colored, impact-resistant, and food-grade just by using the same setup but switching plastic sheets. Vacuum forming is also known to use only sheet materials, making products incredibly lightweight and cheap.
Vaquform fits an entire industry onto your desktop. Occupying just 1.5 sq.ft. of space, this thing can sit on your desk, taking up as much space as your inkjet printer. It works with a 9in X 12in forming area, allowing you to form not just singular big parts, but also multiple tiny parts together. Vaquform is designed to work with multiple types of plastic sheets, allowing you to set heating presets based on material. An infrared probe senses the heat of the plastic and activates the vacuum only when needed, saving on resources like electricity. Vacuum forming is incredibly fast, and with Vaquform’s hybrid vacuum machine, you can virtually make one round of prototypes every 5 minutes!
Vaquform is a great product (and soon to become a common household item) for makers and DIY enthusiasts. If you already own a 3D printer or have access to printing or CNC machining, the Vaquform really helps ramp up product development. Competitively priced at virtually a fraction of the cost of a 3D printer (Ultimaker), the Vaquform is definitely the paving the path for a domestic design industry. What’s next, a desktop injection molding machine?!
Designer: John Tan
BUY IT HERE: $645.00