PROJECTS: GUERRILLA VACUUM FORMER
OPERATING IN A VACUUM
Vacuum forming is a two-stage process that’s
common in manufacturing.
The vacuum-forming process isn’t something
the public ordinarily sees, but it’s amazing to
watch. In the 1960s, Mattel’s Vac-U-Form toy
let kids actually run the process themselves.
Compatible plastic sheets and mold sets
were sold separately, of course.
1. First, a sheet of
is softened with heat.
The resulting parts are impermeable, uniform,
and stackable, which makes the process ideal
for mass-producing things like blister packs,
coffee cup lids, cookie package trays, costume
masks, store signs, protective panels, and
2. Then, using suction, the pliable plastic
is pulled and stretched over a form. When
the plastic cools, it stays in its new shape
and can be removed from the mold.
Illustrations by Damien Scogin
108 Make: Volume 11