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  • Vacuum Forming Windows Question

    Gents,

    I am looking to build a small vacuum form to replicate windshields. Trying to think about how to accomplish this. I would assume I need to find a plastic material that is clear and the same thickness as the model glass. Trying to figure out what I should use to make the base structure/plug that the plastic will be formed over. Could I use like a modeling clay or maybe epoxy putty? Something that will harden once molded into the shape? Thanks!

    Ken

  • #2
    if all you want to do is 1/32 windows, buy a mattel vac u form and hook it to a shop vac. this actually works pretty good
    Matt B
    So. In
    Crashers

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    • #3
      If you were going to do a lot of vacuum forming you might invest in one of these: https://www.micromark.com/Compact-Va...orming-Machine
      The machine can't be used with Lexan (polycarbonate), you could use PTEG instead. If you do a search on You Tube I'll bet that lots of videos on vacuum forming would turn up. You would need a cast of the original window as well.

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      • #4
        The Micro Mark machine is used in dental labs and is the most common small machine you can buy. I have seen lots of them on Ebay and they probably work great.
        I found that I could make silicone mold for my windows and then make a resin cast and use it for a buck to vacuum over.
        Matt B
        So. In
        Crashers

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        • #5
          Matt and Rich are right. You can make bucks from resin or 3D print them and then use a small vacuum machine to make the glass. There are clear resins but without a pressure pot getting them bubble free and water clear is a challenge.
          If you want to do bigger stuff, you might need a bigger unit and there are lots of videos about building them.
          Come Race at The Trace!
          Timberline Trace International Raceway - SW of Mpls, MN

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          • #6
            found this one on ebay. less than $80 with free shipping. The model Micro Mark sells is available on ebay for $90 something



            https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vacuum-Mold....c100005.m1851
            Matt B
            So. In
            Crashers

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            • #7
              That's the machine I've been using.

              I cut 6" x 6" PETG sheets to fit in the plate for a usable 4" x 4" area. I like the heavier .020" thick material.

              Click image for larger version

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              I started making molds out of Plaster of Paris from the original window and have recently tried silicone material. I like the latter as it's much more durable compared to plaster if you're making a bunch of copies.

              Click image for larger version

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              Dan

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              • #8
                Has anyone ever used plaster to make a buck or mold? Easy to mold or shape, but delicate to handle. Whoops! Too slow, it looks like someone has.
                Scott
                Why doesn't my car run like that?

                Scott

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by vtecfour View Post
                  That's the machine I've been using.

                  I cut 6" x 6" PETG sheets to fit in the plate for a usable 4" x 4" area. I like the heavier .020" thick material.

                  Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG-6163.jpg
Views:	152
Size:	53.3 KB
ID:	1609

                  I started making molds out of Plaster of Paris from the original window and have recently tried silicone material. I like the latter as it's much more durable compared to plaster if you're making a bunch of copies.

                  Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG-6162.jpg
Views:	148
Size:	91.8 KB
ID:	1610

                  Dan
                  I have never thought of using silicon for a vacuum form buck. That's great information, thanks. What shore is your silicon rated at? Is it real soft or stiff?

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                  • #10
                    I make my molds for resin body slosh casting with Smooth On Mold Max 30 silicon rubber, so thought why not use it to make a vac form buck. Seems stiff enough. If firmer is preferred, higher shore ratings are available.

                    In the background, you can just make out a windscreen formed using the silicone buck pictured previously.

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                    Here's it mounted on the body.

                    Click image for larger version

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                    Dan
                    Last edited by vtecfour; October 13, 2019, 01:20 PM.

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                    • #11
                      also.....I make window bucks for each window and lay them out flat rather than a one piece fits all type. I then cut and glue (Canopy glue formula 560) each window in place individually. Fiddly yes, time consuming yes.....good results yes. This method is important if you are building a car with a roof. Window fit makes or breaks resin car build results in my opinion.

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                      • #12
                        This is great information guys, appreciate it, will look over everything suggested here.

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