SATRA STM 330 Motorised vacuum former
These machines were designed to allow shoe manufacturers to form a model (shell) of a last. Designers could then draw on the plastic shell to produce new designs. These could then be shown to prospective customers to gauge opinion before committing the design to manufacture. It is also possible with careful cutting to flatten the shell to create the first pattern prior to cutting the first uppers.
The same machines are also ideal for use in schools where craft, design and technology are taught. The visual impact that the student witnesses as each vacuum form is produced is an important stage in the learning process.
Locate one of the sample plastics sheets provided with each machine, clamp it into place and swing the entire clamp up towards the heater box. Watch the plastic soften, judge when to start forming and with the form simply placed on the moulding frame drape the heated/softened plastic sheet over the form and start pumping out the air to create a vacuum.
Forms (moulds) are easy to produce from a variety of materials, including plaster of Paris, wood or any other reasonably rigid material.
A standard range of moulds and accessories is available and full instructions on how to use the machine are provided.
This motorised version with a mains-powered vacuum pump is at the top of the range and is a well-tried and proven concept.