Vacuum Molding Table

molding Thermoplastics

Vacuum molding is a simplified version of thermoforming, whereby a sheet of plastic is heated to a forming temperature, stretched onto a single-surface mold, and forced against the mold by a vacuum (suction of air).

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Vacuum Molding Process


The vacuum forming process can be used to make a wide variety of products such as space station interior wall panelling, housings for electronic and cryogenic devices and interesting looking pieces of trash (art).

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Vacuum Molding Materials

A lot to choose from

Most Thermoplastics can be vacuum molded. Currently we had positive experiences with 1mm Polystyrol, which is available in white and damn expensive at Modulor

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To get the full graps of how the table works, enjoy the video we took from the second test run with the table.

Have You Seen how we made it?

Now you can also look at the pictures here!

project 1

DIY Tablesaw

DIY-Tablesawbuilt by Ijon
startedSeptember 2014
finishedNovember 2014

To built a vacuum molding table we first needed a tablesaw to rip all the wood to size. So we built one.

project 2

Ripping Stock

Materials10 Boards 250cm by 10 by 1.8cm
5 Boards 250cm by 12 by 1.8cm
Skillscutting with precision is a lot easier, when you have a proper Fence!
Date14th Nov 2014

Took about one Friday night and left some time for some Beer after the machineoperations

project 3

Suction Box

PurposeThis item needs to suck.
Date15th Nov 2014

This is the suction Box. It connects the legs of the device with the rest and it is an important central structural piece. On top of it will be the surface with the small holes, next to it on all four sides will be the folding arms.

project 4

The Base and Shelf

MaterialsWe used 18mm thick spruce wood boards.
Skillskeeping your fingers on the tablesaw

The shelf for storing plastic sheets is finished, the suction box is mounted on top of it and the two clamping frames are also ready for assembly, laying on top of the yet loose sarrus linkages

project 5

Sarrus-Linkages are in

Materialssome Birch-Ply and more Spruce boards, also ropes
Skillsmeasuring and leveling stuff that is dangling from ropes

Finally all the Sarrus Linkages are adjusted and screwed on. Took some time and effort to calibrate this!

project 6

Steel Wires and Rollers

MaterialsRollers, Steel Wire, Clamping-Thingys and Screwy-Loopy-Thingys.
DateDec 2014
Skillsthinking in 3d

It was a bit tricky to figure out where and in which angle to mount the different pieces. There are three more rollers that are not in the picture. In total we used 10 Rollers

project 7


MaterialsSheet Metal, Rivets, Aluminium L-Profiles
Date17th February 2014
SkillsRivetting, Sawing Metal, Drilling Holes, Endurance for repetitive Tasks

The oven consists of a wooden box, a 40mm thick insulation of stone wool and then 1mm sheet metal on the inside. In it is a supportstructure from 15 by 15mm Aluminium Box Profile and on these are 12 IR Heating Elements mounted. Each draws 230V/600W

project 8

Wiring finished

Materialsvarious standard electrical Equipment, heat resistant wire
Date20th Feb 2015
Skillsstuff that a licensed electrician should do.

We wired up all the heating elements and mounted the wiring cabinet, the main switch and wired up the relays, switches and the sepparat RCDs in the Cabinet. Then a licensed electrican checked our work thoroughly.

project 9

First testing

Materials1000mm by 1000mm by 1mm white Polystyrol
Date06th March 2015
Skillsjust doing it :-)
Link to Video

From all the things that could've gone wrong, only the clamping frame failed a bit and needs some improvement! Overall we are very happy with the results

  • project 1

    DIY Tablesaw

    building Tools to build Tools

  • project 2

    Ripping Stock

    Turning Wood to Sawdust

  • project 3

    Suction Box

    because some Parts need to suck!

  • project 4

    lower half finished

    Shelf and suction Box

  • project 5

    vertical Posts

    vertical Posts and folding Arms

  • project 6

    Rollers and Wires

    To pull the clamping frame up

  • project 7

    Oven finished

    using IR Heating Elements

  • project 8

    Electrical Wiring

    with a big main switch!

  • project 9

    First test

    Looks very promising

Who We Are?

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team 1

John Doe


When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.

team 1

John Doe


When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.

team 1

John Doe


When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.

About Us

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Your personality traits

  • Cautiousness

  • Commitment

  • Discipline

  • Soberness

We're not Hiring

If you like to become part of the vacuum molding team - bad luck for you. We have not yet figured out the processes and steps for this. The vacuum molding table is quite a sensitive and dangerous device, so we need to be careful with who we allow to use it. Not because we dont trust you - but because spacestations are sensitive to fire.

The sheets need to be bigger then 1000mm by 1000mm and smaller then 1010mm by 1010mm. The thickness must not exceed 3mm.

What Members Say?

Opinions of c-base members regarding this project.

"I hope Ijon is finishing the vacuum molding table soon. He should better focus on building the monorail!"

client 1 jaseg c-lab member

"I dont understand why we need this device! It is ridiculous, much too expensive and took way too long to build! Ijon asked three times for even more and more money. Lets stop this madness!"

client 2 Miramar member

"Magnificent machine!"

client 3 Prof. Kirsch construction crew

"It is very important that this machine keeps on sucking hard! Currently, it just sucks." (Bergius)

c-base projects that used vacuum molded parts

What do you want to do with this device?

Cost of Materials

We are looking for donations, so we can buy in bigger quantitys. This might reduce the price to about 5€ per sheet.

Not tested yet

  • ???€ per sheet
  • bought nowhere
  • #mm Thickness
  • hot for molding
  • quick heating


  • 10€ per sheet
  • bought at Modulor
  • 1mm Thickness
  • 150°C for molding
  • >2min 30sec for heating


  • 19€ per sheet
  • bought at Modulor
  • 2mm Thickness
  • 160°C for molding
  • more then 3min for heating

If you like to donate money for buying more sheets, please

Contact Us
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