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The therMOFOrmer is a vacuum former you can use to create plastic molds and parts for nearly anything you can imagine.
98 backers pledged $38,647 to help bring this project to life.
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$38,647

98

EXCITING NEWS:

The kind folks at Interstate Plastics are going to be a dedicated provider of materials for the therMOFOrmer!

Interstate Plastics will be adding a page to their website specifically for us with a selection of materials at the correct sizes for the 12x12 and 24x24 versions of the therMOFOrmer.

This will give you access to a wide variety of materials at the cheapest price point possible (without us acting as a middle-man). Thanks to all of our current backers for making it possible!

- - -

OUR STORY:

The therMOFOrmer came to life in our shop when Ben wanted to expand his model and costume making capabilities. Ben's specs were simple; it needed to be easy and it needed to be reliable. So Calvin designed it using precision automation components coupled with a standard shop vac. We both got to work building the prototype, and after some testing and fine tuning the design, we quickly discovered that we had built a powerful tool that had benefits outside Ben’s initial interests.

#1 - Everything started with Ben’s notes. Which went on for pages and pages and pages.

#2 - Rather than doing lots of custom fabrication, Calvin tried to source low cost, but functional parts…like cake pans.

#3 - Ben’s birthday? Or just the day we received the rest of the components? Hard to tell with the way Ben’s tearing through the boxes.

#4 - We started assembling our first order of parts based on our sketches and designs in early October.

#5 - Once we had the basic frame assembled, we noticed a couple areas for improvement and started to tweak the design.

#6 - The original heating element was from an electric stove, but these have since been swapped out for a square panel of ceramic encased heating elements.

#7 - The stove element didn’t heat the materials evenly so we tried adding some skirting to trap the heat at the top of the machine so it could be evenly applied to the material. It still wasn’t the best so we switched to our current heating elements which work great.

#8 - Our prototype hold-down system was laser cut luan with a dozen binder clips. This worked really well, but was really annoying to work with.

#9 - One of our last upgrades was the hold-down clamp. We designed and fabricated a self-tensioning hinge-clamp that holds the material in place and allows for easy loading and unloading of material.

#10 - From there it was just fine tuning the temperature, how long to heat different materials and allowing the air to move easily around the object being molded. Which meant lots and lots of test molds.

#11 - We found that really fine mesh screen allows for the best air flow. It ever so slightly raises the object up and allows the air to move underneath it, getting really tight, accurate molds.

WHERE WE ARE NOW:

In our shop, the therMOFOrmer lives between our laser cutter and 3D printer and we use them together to create panels, parts, molds, cases and whatever else we need for any given project.

We realized this is a valuable tool with tons of applications, so we decided to bring it to Kickstarter and offer it to the people we think will get the best use out of it…you!

IT’S GREAT FOR:

  • model making
  • tabletop gaming
  • costume design
  • creating quick molds for plastic, jello, chocolate, soap, candles, etc.
  • architectural design
  • prototyping
  • signage
  • repairing / replacing plastic parts
  • making just about anything!

There are lots of DIY options online, but we think the therMOFOrmer is comparable with commercial units that cost twice as much. It the brings capabilities of a professional tool into anyone’s garage or workshop.

And with your help we can produce these machines at remarkably low cost. Here is what we can offer you as a reward for backing this project:

We’re excited to have created a tool we think will help a lot of people create some really great projects. Here is our proposed production timeline if this project is successful.

TIMELINE:

Please spread the word and help us see this project through. Thanks for your support!

-Calvin & Ben

Risks and challenges

Supply Chain
We have a lot of professional experience with design-for-manufacture. Over the years we’ve developed some really great connections with different suppliers and we’re confident in our supply chain.

Quality Control
With a unit that has heating elements an obvious concern is safety. Our production timeline includes time for us to do a quality check on all of the kits before we send them out to you. However, these are kits so everyone will have to use caution when and where they operate them.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 3 or more About US$ 3

    THANK YOU! --
    Your name emblazoned on our website in thermoformed type. We’ll also email it to you.

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    22 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    KEYCHAINS --
    You get a colorful and durable rubber keychain! Pick your favorite color and design. They are cast using a mold we created with the therMOFOrmer!

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    HELLO MY NAME IS --
    Get any name you want molded into your own nameplate. They’re formed out of white styrene using the English alphabet so you can paint and decorate them any way you want.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 40 or more About US$ 40

    IN THE KITCHEN --
    We’ll send you a fun food mold that you can use for Jello, chocolate, gummies, hard candy and more. Made from food safe plastic.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 40 or more About US$ 40

    PIXEL MASK --
    Get this translucent plastic mask that you can use to pixelate your face in photos and videos without needing to use a computer.

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    1 backer
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 499 or more About US$ 499

    therMOFOrmer Kit --

    You’ll get one complete therMOFOrmer kit.

    Features a 12” x 12” work area and requires very little assembly. Vacuum not included. Shipping will be invoiced separately.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 44 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 999 or more About US$ 999

    therMOFOrmer XL --

    You’ll receive one of our double size therMOFOrmer kits.

    Just like the basic therMOFOrmer but with the ability to create parts and molds up to 24” x 24". Requires very little assembly. Vacuum not included. Shipping will be invoiced separately.

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    Limited 14 backers
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  8. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 399 or more About US$ 399

    therMOFOrmer (EARLY BIRD) --

    You’ll get one complete therMOFOrmer kit and you’ll get it before anyone else.

    Features a 12” x 12” work area and requires very little assembly. Vacuum not included. Shipping will be invoiced separately.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 5 backers
    $

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Funding period

- (30 days)