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Vac-u-form Table Project: Mark III Design

Mark III design:

This is the Mark II design. Again, I used the same 12"x18" vac-table from the Mark I. But this time, I mounted the heating grill upside down and about 10 inches from the vac-table surface. Also, I installed an aluminum sheet between the heating element and the work surface. I hope this will diffuse the heat and make it more even. Finally, I made a new frame, larger with rounded sides. I hope this will give me more surface area. Now, the inside area is the same as the vac surface of the table. No wasted space lost to the frame dimensions.

After a series of test, the aluminum heat deflector did not work so it was removed.


In this image you can see the whole station. This rig is very portable.

The mark II has a simple construction:

  • peg board material for the vac-surface
  • Pine 1x6 or what ever you have on hand
  • Pine 1x2 for the stilts and heater frame.
  • Some marine weather striping. I am told you really don'e need this but it seems to help.
  • Nails, screws glue. I used an air gun and an electric drill to assemble the table.

Test Pull Anaylsis

After studying the first batch of pulls, I made some minor modifications to he heating elemet. I removed the perlite/furnace refractory from under the heating elemet. This did not seem to have any heats reflecting benefits. I inverted the stock metal heat shield. The built-in thermostat seems to "cut off" about the time the plastic is ready to vac. In addition, I've added a magnetic cabinet catches to the frame to hold the platic in the heating position. This seems to work very well. Also, final study of the .060 styrene tells me that it is a little bit too thin. I think I'll try .080 when I run out of this test material.


More on the Molds

So far, the moulds made for this stormtroopr project are the following:

  • Left hand
  • Right Hand
  • Collar
  • Shoulder bell
  • bicep inner
  • bicep outer
  • Right knee "power pack"
  • Hip drop boxes
  • innder forearm
  • outer forearm

Moulds that can be made with this vac-table are:

  • left knee "diamond"
  • utility belt if cut in 2 halves
  • thermal detonator encaps
  • thermal detonator control pad

The parts that might work in this machine but are unsure due to the size/shape are the buttocks armor, and codpiece.

Molds that will require a larger vac-table rig:

  • inside calf
  • outside calf
  • right Inside thigh
  • right outside thigh
  • left inside thigh
  • left outside thigh
  • Abdomen
  • Lower back
  • Chest plate
  • Upper back

Since I have a GT/FX armor set, and I know of some of its inaccurate elemets, I have decided to "base" this project with those modifications in mind, but using the GT/FX as a scale guide.

This project was last update on June 1, 2004.
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