Final Project

Project poster and presentation video



Project Poster and Presentation Slide



Answering Questions



What tasks needs to be completed?
- Understanding which heater to be used. Done
- Understand which material to be used for vacuum forming. Done
- Figuring out how to mount copper pipes on the vacuum former. Done
- 3D designing the mounts for copper pipes. Done
- 2D laser cut the body of the former. Done
- Design and construct microcontroller boards. Done, tweaked and modified Fabkit slightly and designed 2 Breakout boards
- Programming the board. Done


What questions need to be answered ?

- How do I make the rods stable?
I've designed 3D models that acts as a plugin for the copper rods, it is an extended design of a nut and bolt.

- How much heat will it produce from the heater?
While experiementing, I found out that surface temperature is different from the ambient temperature. I had to do compensation via code to make it measure close to the real temperature on the surface. I used a FLIR to do the comparison.

- How do you assure the safety of use of the machine?
I used to designed a rely breakoutboard with thermistor, but it shorted, therefore, I used a commercial Relay module to ensure that no shortage or leakage to the user.

- Can it vacuum form other materials?
Initally my design is used for HIPS (High Impact PolyStyrene) as the forming temperature was 80 Degrees, but my local Art store doesnt sell HIPS but only styrene sheet. And it works!

- Why is the build size so small?
The vacuum former is meant to form small objects like 3D print outs or packaging or Moulding and casting

How will it be evaluated?

- Successful in vacuum forming HIPS plastic (1mm thick)
As I am unable to get HIPS plastics, I managed to get styrene from local art shop. The forming temperature of the styrene is around 150 to 175 degrees celcius, I experiemented with my heater and it is able to reach that temperature with no problem at all.

- Some sort of indication(LED) or a switch to help user to be in control of the machine.
As part of the spiral improvments, I added a 'Start' and 'Stop' switch for the users to activate the machine, I also included LED lights to show that when the heater has reach its peak temperature and it is maintaining the heat.

- Little or no leakage on the Vacuum Chamber.
So far no issue, the only small issue is to make an adapter for multiple vaccum cleaners

- Relay able to control the temperature.
Relay switches off the heater upon reaching the coded temperature.

What can be improved ?
- Magnet on the plastic holder so that the user may not need to keep holding on the holder while heating the plastic.
- Adding a vacuum adapter for other vacuum cleaners.
- Adding a buzzer to indicate the heater is at it's peak and ready to mould.
- Upgrading of the heater for better coverage

Creative Commons license

I will choose Creative Commons license.
I will use the following:

(c) Louis Goh, 19 June 2017

This work may be reproduced, modified, distributed and displayed for any purpose but must acknowledge Fab Academy Project 2017. This work is provided as is; no warranty is provided, and users accept all liability.

What I have learnt ?


Being a person who had some experience during my poly years, which is 20 years ago, I was very rusty with the electronics. But Fab Academy gave me confidence to try and make mistakes along the way and to discover how to gain back my confidence.
It was a bumpy journey as I am juggling with my work life which is not easy for me. But when I manange to make my project every week and achieve something, the feeling was euphoric!

I particularly like "make something big" & "moulding and casting", it is something that I really love and particularly interested. I look forward to make my own furniture/ display in the future!

I am very grateful to my fellow course mates, Steven Foo, Jeff Teo, Soh Hong Guan, Kenny Phay for the joy and fun in learning we had throughout this academy.

I would also thank my seniors who helped me making me progress, Walter, Mark & Kai Chee.

I am also thankful for my 2 Gurus, Mr Steven Chew & Mr Rodney Dorville for supporting us in our project.

Not forgetting Dr Neil for making his lectures simple for us to understand, my colleagues who are covering my work while I'm away working on the projects.

And lastly, my family, for encouraging me through this tough time learning in the late nights, giving advices on my project.

This course left me with valuable knowledge and with this knowledge in hand, I am looking forward to make my own projects and show that you can truly Make Almost Anything!