The Mayku FormBox is a desktop vacuum former with an ingenious design – the suction is created with any household vacuum cleaner. Your trusty Henry Hoover – your state-of-the-art cordless vacuum – is the key to everything. Okay, so there’s a little more to it than that. In this guide, we’ll run through everything to get you up to date with this awesome tool.
That’s right. Mayku Industries was founded by Alex Smilansky and Benjamin Redford in 2015. Their mission? To create something unique. Something useful.
The FormBox is the result. Alex and Benjamin pitched their idea for a desktop vacuum former on Kickstarter in 2016 and the rest is history. The project was funded by 1,745 backers, who pledged an impressive total of $588,775 to get it started.
What does it do?
The FormBox is a vacuum former, but not as you know it.
Traditional vacuum formers are enormous, unwieldy machines. They’re usually on wheels!
Here we have something much sleeker.
This is a desktop vacuum former that’s light enough to be picked up and moved from room to room – from place to place. It’s easy to use and works right out the box, and what it does is very clever indeed; it creates accurate 3D forms of any objects that fit on the bed. Stick a banana on there. Put your watch on it. You’ll get a perfect replica (or half of it anyway, since some of the object is on a flat surface). There’s no software and no tinkering. The process is fast and repeatable.
How does it work?
We never thought you’d ask! Here’s the process, simplified:
Select a material to create your 3D form from. The FormBox is compatible with PET-G, HIPS, ABS, polystyrene, polycarbonate, polyethylene and acrylic PMMA.
Insert the material onto the lifting frame. There are pre-cut Form Sheets and Cast Sheets available. We recommend using these for a perfect experience.
Choose a 3D template (object) to replicate. You can use anything you like, so long as it fits on the FormBox bed. Coffee mugs, apples, a busk of yourself… whatever you like.
Switch on the FormBox heater. This will heat up the plastic. The rotary dial has a few different heat settings. Select the correct one for the plastic you’re using.
Turn on your vacuum cleaner. Turn on your vacuum cleaner to create suction beneath the FormBox bed. You can use the highest setting if you have one.
Pull the heated thermoplastic over the template. Once the plastic is heated up, pull it over the template to perform the last stage of production.
And there we have it. It’s as easy as that (really)!
And the results?
They’re great. In fact, scrap that. They’re awesome! The suction created by a common household vacuum cleaner is more than enough to suck the melted thermoplastic over the mould. We’d say it’s as effective as an industrial vacuum former in this regard. Don’t believe us? Take a look at some of the things people have created below:
As you can see, the results are excellent.
Who is the FormBox for?
If you have a 3D printer, you can use the FormBox to quickly replicate the shape of your 3D prints. Or you can use it to prototype new shapes. It’s important to note that vacuum forming is incapable of capturing super-fine detail, but if you use a thin enough sheet, you’ll pick up intricacies. Large objects are obviously no problem for it.
And if you don’t have a 3D printer? That’s fine too. The FormBox is a separate, standalone appliance. Use it to start your own business making pencil holders, or just to make cool stuff like bespoke chocolates and sweeties. Make a holder for your bathroom soap and a durable casing for a remote-controlled car. In fact, why not makes a whole series of them? You can, because the materials are affordable, and the production process is so fast. It literally takes a few minutes to create something new. It’s dead easy.
Engineers and designers can make great use of the FormBox too. It speeds up prototyping, and especially where creating custom casings and fixings is concerned. If you currently outsource your vacuum forming or rent a big, expensive machine for your workshop, the Mayku FormBox can replace these processes affordably. How does producing everything in-house sound? Sounds pretty damn good, doesn’t it?
With a short learning curve and access to the Mayku Library (an online platform that lets you share what you’re making with the world and see what other makers are creating right now), you’ll be set and ready to go as soon as you’ve unboxed your FormBox. Just remember to follow the instructions and you’ll be golden.
Pricing and availability
We’re an authorised Mayku FormBox reseller in the United Kingdom. You can buy your FormBox through us. Our price is a snip at £598.00, and all new orders come with x20 Cast Sheets, x20 Form Sheets, 1kg of Mayku Pour for direct casting and three starter projects to help you into the swing of things.
Here’s everything you get:
Interested? Follow the link below:
Any questions? Contact us. We’re always here to help you make stuff.
Please note: all prices and specifications correct at time of writing, but they are subject to change over time.