Vacuum-Forming RC-Body Shells
This work-in-progress. Just wanted to let you know. :-D
I wanted to make my own body shells, ones NO ONE has. Insane, I know. :)
The Vacuum-Forming Tools
I made two VacForm-Boxes: One with 50cm x 28cm and one 64cm x 34cm. Why?
- The 50cm x 28cm - sized: because I can cut 3 sheets from the supplied 1000x500mm PET-G sheets
- The 64cm x 34cm - sized: because some body shells are too large for 50cmx28cm. Unfortunately I can cut only one out of above mentioned sheets.
The boxes are around 10cm high and have one 35mm - hole on the side to attach the vacuumer.
I recommend rubber seals like this: E-Profil-Seal
Ah yes - the most important part. The positive form. I could talk hours about what to do, and what not (that is, you supply enough beverages :-D ).
And then came filling and sanding. THAT was hard work...
I found a great STL at Thingiverse.
While glueing it together I noticed:
- It doesn't have windows! Dang, should have checked this before!
- It doesn't have lights! (same)
- I can't vacform this as one piece, because I would never get the form out.
Decals & Masks
Ah, no body shell without decals!
I use OraMask masking tape and Sattleford adhesive film with a Oki C332 colour laser printer, which can transport the film without bending.
The Lessons Learned
- Print the parts as big as you can (meaning: less parts, less transitions, less filling, less sanding)
- Filling takes more time than 3D-designing (see the Ghia's windows!)
- Don't ever use different fillers on the same surface! (I did...and ended up with an surface on which I have two fillers, one is easy to sand, the other is not, which makes it very hard to get it levelled!)
- 140°C is about right for PET-G
- Act quickly! Heat it up, fire up the vacuumer and hit the box with the frame as fast and accurately you can!
- ...and maybe weird...
- Brits: Be proud of spelling it right!