How to make vacuum forming molds

Written by bertram b. joyner
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Vacuum forming, also known as thermoforming is the process of using heated plastic to form a mould. Vacuum forming machines are the most efficient way of doing this and can range between £32 and £585 for larger industrial machines. The moulds can be used to make foods such as candy or ornaments and statues. Once a mould has been created it can be used as many times as you like.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Vacuum Forming machine
  • Plastic
  • Object to mould

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  1. 1

    Heat a sheet of plastic in your vacuum forming machine until it is flexible and soft.

  2. 2

    Place the soft plastic over an object you would like to make a mould of. If you are making a plaster mould spread a thin layer of talcum powder over the object to prevent it from sticking.

  3. 3

    Take your home vacuum and use it to suck all the air out between the plastic and the object. Some vacuum forming machines have an inbuilt vacuum. This will make the plastic form the shape of your object perfectly.

  4. 4

    Allow the plastic to set around the object and cool so that it it will hold the shape of your object.

  5. 5

    Take the plastic off the object once it is cool and it should be a perfectly shaped mould.

Tips and warnings

  • For the best use and maintenance of your machine, make sure you carefully read the instruction and safety guide.
  • If you intend to use your mould to make food, be sure that it is FDA-approved plastic.

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