Don't let its simple design fool you - theis a capable desktop vacuum former with many use cases ranging from making chocolate to industrial design. Let's review the specs to find out what it can do.
Even the average maker would respond with a glazed expression if you started talking about the joys of vacuum forming. To most, it’s a vaguely familiar industrial process reserved for niche, high-end applications. But Mayku wants to change this with the Formbox, a machine that, according to them, “makes molds in seconds, speeding up your product development cycle.”
For the uninitiated, vacuum forming is a process whereby a sheet of plastic is heated to molding temperature, then stretched over a mold while simultaneously being forced against it with a vacuum. It’s a process that is traditionally used to make food packaging and aircraft cabin doors, among other things that most consumers wouldn’t ever think of making.
But the Mayku Formbox delivers this technology in a consumer-friendly, accessible package: it’s a machine powered by a household vacuum cleaner that produces molds that can be filled with chocolate, concrete, plaster, Jesmonite (a type of casting resin), and more. The beauty of this package is its accessibility, simplicity, and speed: customer stories on the manufacturer’s website clearly document how its unique package is utilized in all kinds of industries. Without further ado, let’s dive into the specs sheet to see what makes this machine tick.
The Mayku Formbox is a neat package at just 466 by 274 mm on your desktop. The gunmetal grey chassis is decorated with bright yellow dials and the occasional LED indicator – at first glance, it looks like a hipster’s tech toy. But tucked beneath the top section of the machine is a simple heater which raises the temperature of the plastic sheet to molding temperature, preparing it to be formed against a mold by the vacuum grille located in the bottom section of the machine.
It’s simple, but it works.
All sorts of materials can be molded by the plastic molds produced on the Formbox: jelly, resin, ice, concrete, and more. The casting sheets are food safe and reusable, thus the potential to create lasting molds for repeated use is real here. In addition, each unit ships with a package of Mayku Pour, a powder mix you can use to make durable molds for the Formbox. The benefit of using Mayku Pour for vacuum forming molds instead of a 3D-printed part, the common choice, is that molds made of Mayku Pour won’t deform after repeated use.
The sheet of plastic that gets pressed onto the mold is, after all, pretty hot, which would be a problem since most 3D-printed plastics have a relatively low softening temperature.
According to Mayku, the Formbox works best with sheets of material that are between 0.25 – 1.5mm in thickness. Of course, Mayku also offers proprietary forming sheets in two variants: a transparent cast sheet and a white form sheet. The former sheet has a non-stick, flexible surface that’s perfect for making sure your templates and casts can be removed from the sheet with ease, whereas the latter’s opaque white appearance is intended for craft projects or product packaging. Curiously, both materials are fully recyclable, in addition to being made partly out of recycled plastic waste.
Mayku was kind enough to send us a retail unit a while ago, so naturally we took it for a spin while researching the machine before writing this article. The initial setup and first few jobs were intuitive and painless, thanks to the helpful printed manual included in the box. As a result, a vacuum-formed hologram viewer was making its rounds in the office, sowing awe in its wake, within thirty minutes of unboxing.
We’ll update this section when we’ve made more custom molds with the Formbox (the office freezer is about to get stocked with some very interesting ice cubes), but for now, color us impressed.
Size and Weight
Height – 315mm
Length (With Handles) – 466mm
Width – 274mm
Forming bed – 200mm x 200mm
Weight – 13kgs
Appropriate model ships based on your territory along with a plug adapter for your country. 110V and 240V are available.
Temp range of the built-in heater is 160C – 340C.
The Mayku FormBox works best with thermoplastic sheets of 0.25 – 1.5mm in thickness. Here are the technical terms:
Materials for casting
Concrete, Silicone, Chocolate, Jello, Resin, Ice, Foam, Jesmonite, Plaster.
Has this hip toaster-vacuum hybrid piqued your interest? We’ll help push you over the fence.
License: The text of "2019 Mayku Formbox Vacuum Former – Review the Specs" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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