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Hobby Vacuum Formers

Our Hobby Vacuum Formers are perfect for inventors, small businesses, and DIY hobbyists who want to make custom vacuum formed plastic parts. Use our Hobby Vacuum Formers along with your kitchen oven and a Shop-Vac vacuum cleaner to thermoform homemade plastic parts with results that rival expensive commercial machines. Make your own plastic prototypes, clamshell / blister packaging, custom molds, scale model parts, and movie props.

Thermoform plastic sheets and other accessories for this product
are available in our Vacuum Forming section.
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12"x12" Hobby Vacuum Former - Make Your Own Thermoform Plastic Prototypes, Clamshell Packaging, Custom Molds, Scale Model Parts, and Movie Props - WidgetWorks Unlimited
12" x 12" Hobby Vacuum Former
Our Price: $149.95
Sale Price: $129.95
You save $20.00!

Vacuum form plastic prototypes, packaging, molds, and scale models using your kitchen oven and a Shop-Vac vacuum cleaner.  Parts produced with our Hobby Vacuum Formers rival expensive commercial machines in their incredible accuracy and detail.
12"x18" Hobby Vacuum Former - Make Your Own Thermoform Plastic Prototypes, Clamshell Packaging, Custom Molds, Scale Model Parts, and Movie Props - WidgetWorks Unlimited
12" x 18" Hobby Vacuum Former
Our Price: $199.95
Sale Price: $179.95
You save $20.00!

Vacuum form plastic prototypes, packaging, molds, and scale models using your kitchen oven and a Shop-Vac vacuum cleaner.  Parts produced with our Hobby Vacuum Formers rival expensive commercial machines in their incredible accuracy and detail.
18"x18" Hobby Vacuum Former - Make Your Own Thermoform Plastic Prototypes, Clamshell Packaging, Custom Molds, Scale Model Parts, and Movie Props - WidgetWorks Unlimited
18" x 18" Hobby Vacuum Former
Our Price: $249.95
Sale Price: $229.95
You save $20.00!

Vacuum form plastic prototypes, packaging, molds, and scale models using your kitchen oven and a Shop-Vac vacuum cleaner.  Parts produced with our Hobby Vacuum Formers rival expensive commercial machines in their incredible accuracy and detail.
24"x24" Hobby Vacuum Former - Make Your Own Thermoform Plastic Prototypes, Clamshell Packaging, Custom Molds, Scale Model Parts, and Movie Props - WidgetWorks Unlimited
24" x 24" Hobby Vacuum Former
Our Price: $329.95
Sale Price: $289.95
You save $40.00!

Vacuum form plastic prototypes, packaging, molds, and scale models using a Shop-Vac vacuum cleaner.  Parts produced with our Hobby Vacuum Formers rival expensive commercial machines in their incredible accuracy and detail.
   
 
How To Vacuum Form Plastic At Home in 3 Easy Steps
  1. STEP 1:  Secure your thermoform plastic between the Hobby Vacuum Former's metal clamping frames with the provided spring clips.  Attach your Shop-Vac (not included) to the vacuum former.  Place your model on top of the vacuum formers perforated aluminum platen.
  2. STEP 2:  Place the thermoform plastic in your kitchen oven and watch as it begins to sag.  When the plastic becomes soft, remove it from the oven.  Align the metal clamping frames with the Hobby Vacuum Former's guides and lower the plastic over your model.
  3. STEP 3:  The hot thermoform plastic forms an air tight seal around the edges of the aluminum vacuum platen.  Vacuum pressure pulls the hot plastic down around the model.  After cooling for a few seconds the thermoform plastic part hardens and is ready to be removed.


Vacuum Forming for
Inventors / Small Businesses
  • Prototypes for Testing
  • Clamshell / Blister Packaging
  • Custom Plastic Parts
  • Small Production Runs
Vacuum Forming
Custom Molds for Casting
  • Candy Molds / Chocolate Molds
  • Soap Molds, Candle Molds, Crafts
  • Concrete Molds / Plaster Molds
  • Casting Molds and Mother Molds
Vacuum Forming for
Scale Model Hobbies
  • RC Car Body
  • Slot Car Body
  • Model Airplane Canopy / Turret
  • Model Rocket Nose Cone
Vacuum Forming
Movie Props / Theater Props
  • Custom Masks
  • Costumes and Accessories
  • Weapons and Armor
  • Prosthesis for Special Effects


Common Vacuum Forming Questions & Answers

What's Included with Our Hobby Vacuum Former:
  • Detailed step-by-step instructions on how to design your mold, how to setup your oven for heating thermoform plastic, and how to operate the vacuum former to make your own high quality homemade plastic parts
  • Aluminum clamping frames and spring clips to hold your thermoform plastic while heating and forming
  • Aluminum guides to align the clamping frames with the vacuum former base while you lower the hot plastic over your mold


What Else Do You Need To Get Started Vacuum Forming:
  • Kitchen oven
  • Shop-Vac style vacuum cleaner with 1 1/4" hose (or larger vacuum with 1 1/4" adapter)
  • Leather gloves to protect your hands while holding the hot plastic / metal clamping frames
  • Model or mold to form the hot plastic around
  • thermoform plastic sheets - sold separately


What Kinds of Plastic Are Compatible With Our Hobby Vacuum Former?
  • Our Hobby Vacuum Formers are compatible with all thermoform plastics, including: ABS, Acrylic (also known as Plexiglas), Butyrate, PET-G, Polycarbonate (also known as Lexan), Polyethylene, PVC, Styrene, and Vinyl.

  • We recommend that customers who are new to vacuum forming start by molding a few practice pieces in Styrene.  This type of thermoform plastic is "extra stretchy" when hot, which makes it easier to form around tight corners and into small details.  It also has a large forming temperature window, giving beginners a little more time to handle it and form it before it cools and becomes hard again.


Will Your Kitchen Oven Work With Our Hobby Vacuum Former?
  • Thermoform plastics become soft and formable when heated to 250-350º F.  Most kitchen ovens are perfectly suited for the job.  Both electric and gas ovens can be used with good results.  If you have an "efficiency" kitchen or live outside the USA, we recommend that you measure the inside of your oven to verify that the clamping frames can fit inside.


Will Your Shop-Vac Vacuum Work With Our Hobby Vacuum Former?
  • Our vacuum formers are designed to accept standard 1 1/4” diameter Shop-Vac style vacuum hoses.  Larger Shop-Vacs with 2 1/2" diameter vacuum hoses can also be attached using an adapter (available at your local hardware store.)

  • Most vacuum cleaner motors produce 4 to 5 in Hg (inches of Mercury) vacuum pressure, which means that most vacuums are equally suited for vacuum forming, regardless of their size.  Larger vacuums with higher horse power will remove air from the former a fraction of a second faster than small vacuums, but their forming pressure (the force that pulls the plastic tight against the mold) will basically be the same.

  • Our High-Pressure Hand Pump Accessory provides 5x’s more forming pressure than a standard Shop-Vac. If you plan to work with thick plastics or highly detailed parts, check out our Vacuum Forming Accessories section for full details.


What Materials Can You Use to Make Vacuum Forming Molds / Models?
  • Molds can be made out of any material that will not deform under vacuum pressure: wood, metal, plastic, plaster, and clay are all good choices.  Choose a material that is easy to work with using the tools at your disposal.