RS Components is introducing an innovative, easy-to-use desktop vacuum former from London-based start-up Mayku. The Mayku FormBox works with any vacuum cleaner to mould objects in minutes, with no software or digital model manipulation required.
Computer-controlled 3D printers are growing in popularity but the process tends to be slow. Mayku FormBox uses a vacuum to draw down a heated plastic sheet over a former. The sheet material cools and sets quickly, allowing intricately detailed 3D objects and reusable moulds to be created within minutes.
Formers may be designed and modelled by the user, or can be existing objects. Suitable materials for formers (templates) include wood, MDF, metals, most plastics, PLA and ABS resins, stacked card and air-drying clay. Mayku offers an online product library for users who do not wish to design from scratch.
Moulds created using FormBox are suitable for casting 3D forms in a wide range of materials, from concrete, plaster, silicone and jesmonite to soap, chocolate, jelly and ice. Small craft businesses can use FormBox as a versatile desktop production line, creating short runs of bespoke products from home.
For more complex projects, formers can be created using a 3D printer and swiftly reproduced using FormBox, allowing designers and architects to build complex 3D models and product prototypes in their own studios.
Machine builders could quickly create formers that could be used to vacuum-form lightweight covers, guides or other components for machines.
FormBox works best with thermoplastic sheets from 0.25 to 1.5mm thick. RS currently offers two types of appropriately-sized sheet material. Mayku Form is a versatile, easy-to-use white sheet suitable for product packaging, prototyping and enhancing decorative craft projects, while Mayku Cast is a transparent, food-safe plastic suitable for making reusable moulds - slight flexibility and a non-stick surface ensure that casts can be removed easily. Both materials are fully recyclable and made partly from recycled plastic waste.
The Mayku FormBox measures 466 x 274 x 315)mm, occupying similar desktop space to a laptop computer. It has a 200 x 200mm draw area and 130mm draw depth.
Mayku was founded in 2015 and initially funded as a Kickstarter project. FormBox is its first product. RS Components has produced a video entitled Portrait of an Inventor, featuring the company's co-founder Ben Redford.
Follow the link to find out more about the Mayku vacuum former at RS.