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      This is a vacuum forming machine that I built from scratch, in order to make some Beto bucket lids for a hydroponics setup that I have. The beto buckets don't come with lids and nobody sells them, unless you buy lots of 300 from a slow boat from China.
      It took some trial and error, with numerous modifications, including ripping it apart and rebuilding parts of it until it now works perfectly!
      It uses all off the shelf parts, nothing special order, everything can be purchased from Home Depot and Lowes.
      It also uses 4' x 8' sheets of plastic that Lowes sells called wallboard for about $19.95 a sheet. The vacuum former handles sheets that are 16" x 24" so you can get 12 full sheets out a single sheet.
      I am thinking about doing a full write-up on this, with full parts, and dimensions, and assembly instructions, and open sourcing it, so if you are interested, let me know.
      It uses just a standard 5 gallon shop vac, which has more than enough suction, as you can see from the video.
      It takes exactly 3 minutes for the plastic to melt just right, and then just flip it over and perfect parts. I would like to improve it by adding some computer controls, auto vacuum, and auto fan to cool the parts.
      Here is a video of it making a single beto bucket lid:


      Here is a video of it making 2 beto bucket lids at once:


      Hope you enjoy! I still would love to improve this, I just have so many other projects that I am working on.
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  • Build Details

    Build License:
    • CC - Attribution NonCommercial - Share Alike - CC BY NC SA

    Reason for this Build

    Needed some Beto bucket lids, and also be able to create sheet parts out of plastic.
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