Production of the case for the robot with a limited budget. Vacuum forming

How to show investors a beautiful robot? Develop a beautiful body. How to do it while there is no investment? I tried to briefly describe my path. We develop Golf Ball Robot at the driving range . 3r3208. Without a beautiful body is very difficult to explain how the robot will look. [/b] In this article I will tell you how for 24000 rub. get a case of 1000mm x 800mm x 250mm, as well as what kind of rake we collected along the way. Perhaps this will help you avoid our mistakes.
casting under pressure , but the cost of making molds is a huge barrier for a startup. Therefore, for the manufacture of the upper part, it was decided to use a thermal vacuum molding.
Vacuum forming products is possible on inexpensive equipment and requires a small initial investment.

Preparing the model. The first error 3r3630.
Production of the case for the robot with a limited budget. Vacuum forming  
The model should have no negative angles, i.e. all bevels and ends should have angles greater than 90 degrees. Side surfaces should have at least a minimum slope of 2-3 degrees so that the model can be easily removed from the matrix. The matrix must be done higher, because In the corners of the junction to the table, the air cannot be completely removed, this will give a smooth bend to the table. The lower part is better to cut. How much more to do depends on the thickness of the sheet, the power of the equipment and how much you will heat the polymer material.
Milling the matrix. The second error 3r3630.
First of all, when you have a model you need to prepare a matrix. I read about the use of chipboard on the forums, but in practice they use MDF most often. Forms that require greater accuracy and are designed to get more copies are made from aluminum.
Our second mistake was choosing a contractor for milling the model. Since our model is 1000mm x 800mm x 250mm., It was necessary to immediately look for a contractor with the appropriate working field of the CNC machine. We believed that you can easily assemble a matrix of 12 parts.
Having lost time and money, we found another contractor who made a two-part matrix.
After milling MDF, the obtained parts must be glued together, sanded and covered with a layer of epoxy to create a protective layer.
Vacuum forming. The third, fourth mistake

When you have the matrix ready, you can begin the process of forming. We decided to make a molding table ourselves. It would seem that nothing complicated: a table of the required size with technological holes for air exhaust, a vacuum pump, infrared lamps. Under the dimensions of the model a frame was made in advance.
Photos of our "machine" did not, but it looked like this. Affected by the lack of experience. Quality product did not work.
Our fourth mistake was that we bought ABS sheets too early. While we were waiting for the model, the plastic absorbed moisture from the air. Because of this, when forming artifacts appeared in the form of bubbles, I had to buy new sheets of ABS.
And as sometimes happens, at the end of our torment, we found acquaintances who provide a full cycle of services for model preparation and thermal vacuum molding. They are located in Nizhny Novgorod, but offered to help for very adequate money. As a result, the molding process is completely outsourced.
3r3208. Basic molding process: [/b]
3r33150. Fixing the matrix on the vacuum table; 3r3151.  
3r33150. Fixing a sheet of material in the frame. The fixation of the sheet along the perimeter is important in order to avoid deformation during heating; 3r3151.  
3r33150. Heating polymer material. Even heating of the whole sheet is important; infrared emitters or quartz lamps are usually used; 3r3151.  
3r33150. Pre-stretching sheet. Either under its own weight or air; 3r3151.  
3r33150. Pressing sheet on the matrix; 3r3151.  
3r33150. Air exhaust between the sheet and the workpiece; 3r3151.  
3r33150. Material cooling; A very important step to avoid deformation of the product. 3r3151.  
3r33150. Extract matrix; 3r3151.  
3r33150. Completion of the product. 3r3151.  
Video of the process 3r33030.
3r31717. 3r3618. 3r3619.
Result 3r33030.
The main materials formed are 3r33030.
We chose a sheet of ABS 4mm thick because of the availability, it gives when pulling the side walls of 2mm, which is quite suitable for us. In general, there is a huge amount of materials.
3r3208. Information from Wikipedia [/b]
Polymeric material
3r3601. Standard polystyrene
3r3601. PS
3r3601. High impact polystyrene
3r3601. SB, HIPS
3r3601. Styrene-butadiene-styrene block copolymer
3r3601. SBS 3r3602.  
3r3601. Oriented polystyrene sheet
3r3601. OPS, BOPS 3r3602.  
3r3601. Polystyrene foam sheet
3r3601. EPS, XPS 3r3602.  
3r3601. Acrylonitrile styrene copolymer
3r3601. SAN
3r3601. Copolymer of acrylonitrile, polybutadiene and styrene (ABS plastic) 3r3602.  
3r3601. ABS 3r3602.  
3r3601. Copolymer of acrylic ether, styrene and acrylonitrile
3r3601. ASA 3r3602.  
3r3601. Unplasticized polyvinyl chloride
3r3601. PVC-U
3r3601. Plasticized polyvinyl chloride
3r3601. PVC-P
3r3601. 3v3r3602 expanded polyvinyl chloride sheet.  
3r3601. EPVC 3r3602.  
3r3601. High density polyethylene
3r3601. HDPE 3r3602.  
3r3601. Low density polyethylene
3r3601. LDPE 3r3602.  
3r3601. Polyethylene foam sheet
3r3601. EPE 3r3602.  
3r3601. Polypropylene
3r3601. PP
3r3601. Polypropylene foam sheet
3r3601. EPP 3r3602.  
3r3601. Polymethyl methacrylate
3r3601. PMMA 3r3602.  
3r3601. Polyoxymethylene, polyacetal
3r3601. POM 3r3602.  
3r3601. Polycarbonate
3r3601. PC 3r3602.  
3r3601. Polycarbonate sheet
3r3601. EPC 3r3602.  
3r3601. Polyester carbonate 3r3r2602.  
3r3601. PEC 3r3602.  
3r3601. Polyphenylene ester
3r3601. PPE 3r3602.  
3r3601. Polyamide
3r3601. PA
3r3601. Polyethylene terephthalate
3r3601. PET
3r3601. PET, almost non-crystalline
3r3601. 3r3602.  
3r3601. PET, amorphous
3r3601. 3r3602.  
3r3601. PET, partially crystalline (with nucleation) sheet of oriented polyethylene terephthalate
3r3601. (OPET) 3r3602.  
3r3601. Polyethylene terephthalate foam sheet
3r3601. EPET 3r3602.  
3r3601. Polysulfone
3r3601. PSU 3r3602.  
3r3601. Polyethersulfone
3r3601. PES 3r3602.  
3r3601. Polyphenylene sulfide
3r3601. PPS 3r3602.  
3r3601. Acrylonitrile /methacrylate /butadiene copolymer
3r3601. A /MMA /B
3r3601. Cellulose acetate
3r3601. CA
3r3601. Cellulose acetobutyrate
3r3601. CAB 3r3602.  
3r3601. Cellulose diacetate r3r3602.  
3r3601. (CdA) 3r3602.  
3r3601. Polyetherimide
3r3601. PEI 3r3602.  
3r3601. Thermoplastic elastomers (thermoplastic elastomers)
3r3601. TPE 3r3603.  
3r3601. Thermoplastic polyolefin elastomer
3r3601. TPO
Video, which is clearly not enough for the presentation of the project. Need MVP with real body. 3r33630.
3r31717. 3r3618. 3r3619. 3r3620.
Conclusion 3r33030.
Thermo-vacuum molding is a great way to make a case for prototypes, MVP, and small series. After testing the new building, we will most likely try to make the necessary changes to the existing matrix and use it to make a small series.
Thanks for attention!
P.S: 6 people from Habr are participating in the project. We are developing two versions of the software, have made a charge-plate for the raspberry, two variants of the case, we have three prototypes and ambitious plans. This robot would not have happened if it were not for 3r3639. Habr 3r340640. .
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