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Making your own Vacuum Forming set up CHEAP

I just need to make an enclosure once in while, so I think it is a bit overkill to build a Vacuum Former… Can I get away with using a heat gun on some ABS and then (when it gets hot) just press it down on a form with a spoon or something?

Not really. You have to uniformly heat it, at the least you’ll need to heat it in an oven.

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If you don’t mind it looking like crap and not really protecting anything then it will work fine.

Thanks for the advice! :slight_smile: i think fiberglass is easier then :+1:t2:

Built a vacuum box and frame in a morning from scrap wood
Couldn’t be easier, did my first form in the afternoon, had to adjust the heat, second attempt was good.
See a couple of the videos above in this thread

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It took a couple of days to set up shop. Definitely smaller, but I have to say it’s nice. It’ll work! The new vac-form table works amazingly well.


Looks :+1: good. Now you have your space. :ok_hand:

Im about to make my mold, have a couple questions before I vacuum form.

  • what is a good temp for 1/8" ABS?
  • Will the plastic stick to wood? Should I coat in poly?

Keep it under 300 and watch it to make sure it sags enough to vacuum form

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no need to coat it, the plastic will not stick. Right around 300 is the sweet spot, make sure the PLASTIC is at 300, your oven may have to be hotter. I’ve gotten better results with 1/16in abs, it’s plenty sturdy too.

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so then should I have the oven at ~310?

I use a space heater so i can’t tell you what to set your oven at unfortunately. Just make sure you have a method to measure the plastic temperature itself. I bought a cheap $20 laser infrared thermometer and it works for me.

I just use my eye balls… though the abs does stick too them sometimes. watch the plastic sag

@Stevemk14ebr what do you use for your space heater enclosure to heat up the plastic. Do you have any pictures.

Part 1, done.


Do you guys think something like this would work?

I think that making a box and drilling two holes for two heat guns would do the trick

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Getting there!


why dont u use your kitchen oven?i mean the one inside your house?

Not a good idea. Plastics give off all kinds of toxins that you don’t want your family breathing or eating. Ventilation is important.