When we think of 3D printing we usually think of a little robot that squirts out endless lines of plastic onto a surface. But vacuum forming — smoothing a sheet of thin plastic over an object to make a hollow copy — has been around much longer and is the premise behind Myyard’s Formart 2.
The machine allows you to place an object on the print bed and make a perfect copy in minutes. To use it you place a flat sheet of plastic onto the holder which the machine heats to just below its melting point. The system pushes the plastic over the object and a pump sucks out the air, forming a 3D model that you can then cut out, use as a mould, or just assemble as you would a hollow plastic toy.
Obviously, this isn’t a traditional 3D printer and is mostly good for making moulded objects like soaps or casting chocolates and the like. It’s also useful for making solid plaster objects and art. It’s particularly interesting, however, because there hasn’t really been a smart vacuum forming machine for home use yet and it could be a nice addition to a crafting room or workshop.
The early bird model costs $US1,799 ($2,328) and the company claims it will ship in September. The kit includes PET forming sheets as well as a 30 sheet supply of high-impact polystyrene. The system has a library of materials that allow it to fine-tune the pre-heating and forming stages depending on the material you use.
Whether you use this to make 3D home models or a fun Halloween mask, it’s an interesting change from the traditional 3D printing systems we’ve seen.