SciTech: FormBox – A small, low-cost, vacuum former

Benjamin Redford of the startup company Mayku points me to their FormBox, a low cost vacuum former that can quickly make multiple copies of 3D objects. Their Kickstarter has almost reached the $50k goal with 31 days left:  FormBox: A Desktop Vacuum Former That Makes Beautiful Things by Mayku Industries — Kickstarter

FormBox. The world’s first tabletop factory.
The smallest, most affordable and accessible vacuum former in the world.

LONDON MAY 3 2016 Mayku launch the FormBox with a mission to “Do for making, what the Mac did for home computing”. For the first time in history anyone can become a maker and create lines of professional grade products without going to a factory.

Price $349.

The FormBox makes 3D shapes in seconds by heating up sheets of material and forming them around a template with a regular vacuum cleaner. Now anyone can make anything from customised chocolates to one hundred piece runs of professional grade products, right from their tabletop.

The FormBox maker pack consists of a FormBox vacuum former, 30 sheets of material, a universal vacuum connector and a kit to get users started. It gives makers, designers, hobbyists and small businesses everything they need to get started making their own products.

Instead of sending designs off to be made on the other side of the world, creators can take control of their production and start building hundreds of different things, really fast, from their homes or studios.

The FormBox works by softening a sheet of material with heat, draping it over a 3D form and sucking all the air from around it using a regular household vacuum cleaner. As the material cools, it makes a perfect replica of the shape almost instantaneously. This can be used as a product in itself or as a mold to cast multiple products. The process can be repeated over and over until an entire run of products is ‘microfactured’, bringing production capabilities to small independent makers that they simply haven’t had before.

Quick facts:

  • Vacuum powered – uses any vacuum cleaner as its source of suction.
  • Compact – measuring just 30 x 22 x 40cm, it fits on a desktop.
  • Fast – turns flat materials into 3D shapes in under 20 seconds.
  • Multiply objects – cast multiple creations using vacuum-formed molds.
  • Turbocharges your 3D printer – vacuum-formed 3D prints to multiply them in minutes.
  • Works with a variety of materials – choose from a vast library of different substances

The Mayku Library

In collaboration with designers, Mayku is building an online library of step-by-step projects to help guide people on the journey to becoming a maker. Launching in winter 2016, the Mayku library will put the ability to make incredible things in the hands of everyday people.