02-10-2018 | RS Components | Subs & Systems
RS Components has introduced an innovative, easy-to-use desktop vacuum former from London-based start-up Mayku. The Mayku FormBox works with any domestic vacuum cleaner to make moulds and other objects in minutes, with no software or digital model manipulation needed. Computer controlled 3D printers are growing in popularity, but the process of piping out the material, layering it to create the shape, setting and cooling tend to be slow. The device uses a vacuum to draw down a heated plastic sheet over a physical template. The sheet material cools and sets quickly, enabling intricately detailed 3D objects and reusable moulds to be produced within minutes. Templates may be designed and modelled by the user or can be objects found lying around the house. Suitable materials for templates include softwood, MDF, metals, most plastics, PLA and ABS resins, stacked card, air-drying clay, playdough, and even foodstuffs such as potatoes or bananas. The company provides an online product library for those who do not wish to design from scratch. Moulds produced using the device are ideal for casting 3D forms in a broad range of materials, from plaster, concrete, silicone and jesmonite to chocolate, soap, jelly and ice. Small craft businesses can use the device as a versatile desktop production line, creating short runs of bespoke products from home. The device measures 466mm (W) x 274mm (D) x 315mm (H), using similar desktop space to a laptop. It has a 200mm x 200mm draw area and 130mm draw depth.