$17,846
pledged of $50,000pledged of $50,000 goal
41
backers
22days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, November 8 2018 9:47 PM UTC +00:00.

Proto-StormBy Proto-Storm
First created
Proto-StormBy Proto-Storm
First created
$17,846
pledged of $50,000pledged of $50,000 goal
41
backers
22days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, November 8 2018 9:47 PM UTC +00:00.

About

Thermoforming may look like a complex process but we've designed the Thermo-Rig to take the guesswork out of it. No calibrating, no assembly, no BS! Your desktop factory is as simple as opening the box and plugging it in.

Is the Thermo-Rig right for you?

Whether you are a hobbyist, maker, engineer or business owner; the Thermo-Rig has you covered! 

If you are looking for the next tool to add to your line up or just looking for way to take your hobby to the next level;  this little unit can deliver! 

The only limit to the Thermo-Rig's capability is your imagination.

In case you need some inspiration check out the list below for some typical applications: 

Think it's too good to be true? Check out just a few the examples we've done:

RC Car Body

Chocolates

Night Light

Shift Knob

Candle

Soap

Decorations 

Coasters

Concrete Clock

Yeah, the Thermo-Rig looks cool but what's under the hood? While the Thermo-Rig is compact it's features are HUGE!

That's okay, neither did DaVinci and he created a freaking flying machine! We understand that not everybody can be a renaissance pioneer but everybody can use the Thermo-Rig. While a 3D printer is a good complimentary machine, it is certainly not a requirement. In fact, the Proto-Storm team has more fun trying out different materials than using a 3D printer for our projects. There is literally no end to the items and materials you can use to create your thermoformed masterpiece. We've used everything from a screwdriver and a Hello Kitty toy to a dog toy (don't tell our shop dog Kevin, he doesn't like to share). 

Professional quality thermoforming in a portable and affordable package.

3D printers have changed the landscape of desktop creation but the Thermo-Rig redefines it. No longer will you need to cough up $10K+ for an industrial thermoforming machine or spend hundreds of dollars to wait weeks for your supplier to run your prototype forms. With the Thermo-Rig, if you can dream it, you can make it in a matter of minutes. Start with a clay model, a carving, a 3D print or heck, even a fruit carving from the weird cat lady down the street. Simply plug it in, load it up with your favorite plastic, dial in the temp and go.  

Similarly to watching a video of a twerking granny, you are probably asking what and why. Well we're glad you asked. The concept is simple, the cost to have a local shop make a few formed parts is quite expensive and in most cases, the lead time is a few weeks. We aim to be able to sell you an entire thermoformer for less than that cost and deliver it to you in less time. Thus, making thermoforming accessible to all makers.

Thermoforming at its simplest level is the process of heating special plastic to the point at which it is pliable or in scientific terms: "melty". Then that special "melty" plastic is stretched over a 3D template where vacuum can be applied to make a high resolution copy of that template. The end result is a form that can be then used a final product or used as a mold. These molds can then be filled with casting compound for quick and consistent production. 

From custom chocolates, soaps and ice cubes to epoxy resin casts; thermoforming has been a popular production method for many years. Thanks to the Thermo-Rig, this technology is no longer reserved for businesses with deep pockets but rather anyone who has ever dreamed of bringing professional quality results to their products, hobbies or tasty goodies.

After working in the manufacturing industry for many years, spending thousands of dollars and waiting weeks upon weeks for our prototype forms to be complete; we felt there had to be a better way. With all of the recent advancements in rapid production equipment, our desire for instant gratification and ample desktop space, we knew what we had to do... we needed to find a way to bring thermoforming to our desks, our friends desks and to everyone's desk who has ever wanted to create something great! 

Fast forward 2-5/8 years later and our plastic forming baby is ready to share with the world. We have funded this project fully on our own and have created the well oiled machine you see here today. We've emptied our piggy banks, sold all of our non-vital organs and tried to cash out our retirement early (our wives said no). 

In order to pay for the tooling so that we can produce these on a larger scale and at an affordable price; we need your help! By backing us today you will not only be helping us to bring thermoforming to desks everywhere but you'll be redefining creation from the moment you open the box.

Maybe creating super cool kydex wallets or remote control bodies isn't enough for you. Maybe you want to create an entire warehouse of penguin shaped soaps or you want to impress all of your friends with some custom ice cubes. Good thing you can make casting molds with the Thermo-Rig. Chances are, you already own several of the casting compounds that we recommend. Not to mention, the "Production Kit" package comes with more than enough to get it done. 

What's that Johnny, you don't know what to use as a casting compound? Good thing we have this handy list for you below: 

We hate FOMO (fear of missing out) and we don't want any of our fellow makers to suffer from it. Whether you have a dollar or enough to back a unit, we wanted to make sure we saved you a space! Check out our rewards below and help us bring the Thermo-Rig to homes across the world.  

After 2.5 years of long nights and every weekend, it's really fun for us to look back on how far we've come. After all, that's the joy of making right? Pour every ounce of energy you have into something with the hopes that it'll see the light of day and when it does, there is no other feeling like it. Come take a walk with us through memory lane. 

Our very first forms and casts

Revision# 1 with the original heater concept

Revision# 1 with the original heater concept

The first time we assembled revision# 2

Original wood molds for the Thermo-Rig case

First order of metal for revision# 3 of the frame

Revision# 3 is born!

Revision# 4 goes through it's first heat cycle with the IR break beam sensor.

Revision #5 first sees the light of day in a text message

Revision #6 bare circuit board is designed and fabricated 

Risks and challenges

As experienced professionals in manufacturing we've learned that you can never have enough back up plans and with the recent shortages of components and trade issues, it is even more important today. We've worked very hard to build very strong supplier relationships and have established back up suppliers as well. That said, big changes in the global markets can yield undesirable delays. To help mitigate any potential issues, we've made every attempt to keep our supply chain radius as close to home as possible.

When it comes to the design and build of the Thermo-Rig, everything has been finalized and the tooling is ready to order. There is always a chance that the first articles will indicate the the tools will require rework before we proceed with production. Knowing this, we've worked hard to make sure the tooling is not over complex thus limiting the risk of unforeseen issues. We've also built test tooling for many of the items so that we could iron out any of the potential issues before we order lifetime tooling.

Since we've already built several examples of the final design prior to launching, we are very confident in our ability to deliver this product to makers everywhere.

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    THANK YOU

    You want a Thermo-Rig or some sweet Proto-Storm swag but rent is due or little Timmy needs braces. No worries we got you! Each dollar you pledge will not only get you a thank you from the Proto-Storm team but will go a long way towards helping us bring this product to makers everywhere! We will also be giving a shout out to everyone that helped us on this level!

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    PROTO-STORM STICKER PACK & THANK YOU

    You are the best and we'd like to shout it from a mountain top...but we're afraid of heights! Instead, we'll send you our thanks in a card along with some awesome vinyl stickers. Stick 'em on a box, stick 'em on some rocks or even your socks. They might even add 2 horse power to your car or bike!

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    PROTO-STORM LOGO TEE & SKULL SOAP KIT

    There is no better way to get that fresh feeling than to wash up with your own customsoap and throw on an awesome new T-shirt.

    Soap Kit includes a skull shaped form made by the Proto-Storm team, casting soap and an easy-to-follow instructions sheet.

    Includes:
    • A sincere thank you from the Proto-Storm Team
    • Custom screen printed, yellow on black "gear logo" tee
    • Skull Shaped Soap Kit
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    EARLY ADOPTER: THERMO-RIG & CREATION KIT

    Are you an innovator that's always on the forefront of technology? Be the envy of all of your friends by being the first one to own your very own desktop thermoformer.

    Not only will your order go out in the first batch but you'll be the early maker that catches the worm with the super special early adopter price!

    Includes:
    • 35 sheets of various thermoplastic sheets
    • Starter molds
    • (1) Thermo-Rig
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    1ST BATCH: THERMO-RIG & CREATION KIT

    Can't wait to make your dreams come to life? Than this reward is for you!

    Get your Thermo-Rig in the first shipment along with the Creation Kit and everything you need to redefine creation, right out of the box!

    Includes:
    • 35 sheets of various thermoplastic sheets
    • Starter molds
    • (1) Thermo-Rig
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    2ND BATCH: THERMO-RIG & CREATION KIT

    Feeling left out? Don't fall victim to FOMO, order your unit now and get in on the second shipment!
    Includes a Thermo-Rig and a Creation Kit and everything you need to redefine creation, right out of the box!

    Includes:
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    • Starter molds
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    1ST BATCH: THERMO-RIG & PRODUCTION KIT

    Ready to hit the ground running and put your ideas into production? We'll help you get it done.

    Get your Thermo-Rig in the first shipment along with the Production Kit and everything you need to take your dreams to your own table top factory, right out of the box!

    Includes:
    • Starter molds
    • (1) Thermo-Rig
    • 100 thermoplastic sheets
    • Clear casting compound
    • Concrete casting compound
    • Colored casting compound pigments
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    2ND BATCH: THERMO-RIG & PRODUCTION KIT

    Feeling left out? Don't fall victim to FOMO, order your unit now and get in on the second shipment!
    Includes a Thermo-Rig and a Production Kit and everything you need to start your own production line, right out of the box!

    Includes:
    • Starter molds
    • (1) Thermo-Rig
    • 100 thermoplastic sheets
    • Clear casting compound
    • Concrete casting compound
    • Colored casting compound pigments
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    ULTIMATE CREATORS PACKAGE

    If your school, business or maker operation would like to put the Thermo-Rig into your equipment line up, we can help! Get (5) Thermo-Rigs, (5) Production Kits, some super secret accessories that aren't available in any other rewards. One top of that we'll have one on one video chat with the Photo-Storm team where we can work with you on your specific application and walk you through all of the features and set up. We don't bite and we have some pretty good jokes! It'll be a blast!

    Includes:
    • Starter molds
    • (1) Thermo-Rig
    • 100 thermoplastic sheets
    • Clear casting compound
    • Concrete casting compound
    • Colored casting compound pigments
    • 5 X all of the items below:
    • Personal video chat with the Proto-Storm team
    • Super secret accessories not available in other rewards
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