With industrial strength and digital intelligence,
Vaquform is the most advanced desktop vacuum former ever made.
Powerful, easy to use, and affordable.


Look Ma, No Timer

How long does it take to soften a plastic sheet? The answer is never an exact figure, like 63 seconds, for instance. It's more like a range, say, between 60 and 70 seconds. That's why experienced thermoforming operators don't count seconds, they use their own senses. They watch the plastic buckle and breathe; they poke it with their fingers. So rather than passively relying on timer or stopwatch, Vaquform actively watches the plastic like a seasoned factory engineer, which brings us to number 2.

Eye on the prize

Even better than human senses, Vaquform takes a precise measurement of the temperature of the plastic itself. It literally watches it. It's ‘eye' is a non-contact infrared probe--just like the one found in those high tech laser thermometers which can take temperature readings from afar.

Built-in heating profiles

There are many ‘vacuum-formable' plastics, from ABS to polycarbonate, each one having its own forming temperature. When you load, say, a polycarbonate sheet on a Vaquform, and select ‘PC' from LCD menu, the appropriate heating profile is set from memory. Vaquform then checks the plastic’s temperature as it's heating up against the target temperature, which in the case of polycarbonate is 190°C. There's a total of 8 pre-programmed thermoplastics in Vaquform's memory plus 3 user-customizable profiles. Thinking of using Vaquform with Kydex for custom holsters? How about craft foam (aka EVA)? Why not?

Ceramic, baby!

Vaquform uses industry-grade ceramic heaters, which are more durable and have a longer service life than other mid-infrared band emitters, such as quartz heaters tubes.


The Vaquform can literally be operated with one hand, left or right. The user brings the plastic to the heater by lifting the lightweight handlebar. Lowering it.

Dual stage vacuum

Vaquform™ has an innovative vacuum system that's lightweight and compact while delivering both speed and power. It has the high airflow of a household vacuum cleaner and the power of an industrial vacuum pump.

our story

Vaquform™, the machine, was conceived by John Tan who is an industrial designer, product developer and lecturer at the University of the Philippines. In his design practice, John specializes in what he calls DFM or 'Design for Manufacturing' where he helps clients find the fastest and most cost-effective way to manufacture their products. This means designing a product from the ground up or reworking an existing design to facilitate production.



What is vacuum forming?

It's a method for turning plastic sheets into three dimensional shapes. A vacuum forming machine often consists of three elements. a heater for softening plastic, a mold for shaping the melted plastic, and air pressure to press the softened plastic onto the mold.

I'm thinking of getting a 3D printer. Should I get a Vaquform™ instead?

It depends on what you're trying to achieve. But in most cases, 3D printing and vacuum forming should be considered complementary technologies. 3D printers can print complex shapes, but can only do so slowly. Vacuum forming on the other hand shapes plastic very rapidly, but it requires a mold. A powerful desktop manufacturing workflow could begin with printing a mold on a 3D printer and then loading that mold to a vacuum former for mass production. If you intend to model shapes by hand rather than on the computer, then a Vaquform™ would be more appropriate. If you plan to make highly detailed parts in very limited quantity, then 3D printing might be best. To most shop or maker space setups though a vacuum former is a natural upgrade in capability.

When will the Vaquform™ be available? When will the Kickstarter go live?

The Kickstarter is scheduled for January of 2017. We will make the announcement through our newsletter. Please add your email to mailing list at the bottom of this page.

How much is the Vaquform™?

We will disclose pricing at an appropriate time. What can say at this point is that we are targeting a price that's equivalent to a mid-range 3D printer. Please sign up to the mailing list below for announcements.

Do I need a 3D printer to use Vaquform™?

No. Molds can be made by hand from wood, polymer clay, plaster, epoxy, resin or any rigid or semi-rigid material or object.