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View Full Version : I've got the machine! Now what... lol



Robot Dude
03-25-2010, 05:20 PM
I purchased this machine. Centroform EZForm SV 1217.

http://www.robotshop.ca/Images/xbig/en/centroform-ezform-sv-1217-tabletop-vacuum-forming-machine-B.jpg

I have some sheets of 0.04" PET.

I want to make a body for this robot.

http://www.lynxmotion.net/download/file.php?id=507&t=1

The body would cover the chassis from the legs brackets up. The chassis is almost 10.00" long, 2.00" wide, but 2.75" tall. I'm hoping to be able to make this body without any wrinkles. :cool: The bot is a hexapod that is designed as a 1:24th scale mech. At 1:24th scale the pilot would be 3" tall. The front of the bot is the cock-pit. I want the windshield to be smooth. I have a 45w laser I can use to make parts for the mold.

Should I try and make the body first, then worry about the windshield being smooth?

Should I carve the mold from a plaster brick, or what is the best material to make the mold from?

I want to make a lot of these bodies.

Robot Dude
03-29-2010, 11:36 AM
Wow this vacuum forming section is dead. I'll figure it out...

dustin1706
03-29-2010, 07:24 PM
Cool looking robot dude! Is it from a kit or totally homebrew?

Anyway, I'm no expert on vacuum forming, but a friend of mine made some Remote control car bodies using a home made vacuum former. He basically had a shop vac hooked up to a wooden box with a bunch of holes in the top like an air hockey table. Then he would put a sheet of plastic on a wood "frame" and put that in the oven for a few minutes. Then, he would put his positive mold on the box, press the melty plastic over the object, turn on the shop vac, and in like 2 seconds he would have a perfect formed mold.

If you just make a model out of artists clay/plaster, then let it dry, that should work perfect. Just make sure that it is very smooth. I would use clear plastic, PET or better yet lexan, and then just mask off the windshield and paint the inside of the body like an RC car. That way, even if you scratch the outside of the body, the paint job is protected.

If you have access to a CNC, just make a positive out of hardwood, mdf, or even signmaking foam. Anything that will be reasonably smooth.


The only other thing to figure out is how to mount the body, rather than letting it flail about. again, look at some pics of rc cars. You can get those style of mounts for less than $5 on ebay and adapt them to fit your bot.

Robot Dude
03-30-2010, 10:14 AM
Cool looking robot dude! Is it from a kit or totally homebrew?

Hey Dustin, thanks for the reply. We make these robot kits and sell them. This is the T-Hex, a new robot we are working on. It's the 3DOF version, but we are also working on a 4DOF version. Check out the website www.lynxmotion.com for more information.

My post here was really premature. I have a lot more work to do before I can even make the mold.

This machine is really nice. It has ports for both high volume low pressure and low volume high pressure vacuums. I am still setting them up. I hope to pull something in the next few weeks.

spektr
03-31-2010, 01:33 PM
youre a lot better off logging into tk560.com for the vac form discussions there.
this place is quite slow..

Robot Dude
03-31-2010, 03:42 PM
Thanks! Going there now...

Robot Dude
04-02-2010, 08:57 AM
I went there, but couldn't find any discussion. :(

Rico55
04-02-2010, 10:41 AM
Hi RD,
I think the best method to make these bodies would be to model them in a CAD program and then cut an MDF male pattern for the vacuum forming. The windshield could be done by cutting out an opening in the plastic body and gluing in a clear plastic piece, made in a seperate mold. If you would like any assistance with the modeling and fabrication of the patterns, PM me.