Vacuum forming. How hard can it be?
Quite. I laser cut the box. Started out with A4 size, because I figured simple PVC binding covers would work just fine. Who needs fancy HIPS sheets? Generated the box shape here. Then using the laser cutter software I just added the hole matrix for the vacuum surface and the side hole for the vacuum tube.
Laser cut with 0.1mm outside kerf compensation to get that “hammer” fit.
Added some cheap window gaskets:
Then I just cut two square shapes to hold the PVC sheets. Turns out this was a bad idea because of the way that plywood bends under heat.
The way I tried to heat up the plastic was with a cheap electric radiator and a hot air blower. The radiator didn’t have enough power to get the plastic soft enough and the blower wasn’t uniform enough and kept either not softening the plastic at all, or just completely melting it.
Anyway, this was my best attempt:
Gotta go buy me some of that fancy HIPS I guess. Maybe a more powerful heater too.