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Old 10-14-2019, 10:49 PM
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Got the heat reflectors on and the heater mounts. Also a wiring cover.
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Old 10-16-2019, 12:12 AM
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Made the temperature controller. Pulse width modulator driving a solid state relay. Breadboarded it first then put it on vero board.
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Old 10-17-2019, 06:51 PM
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Wired up the heater elements. 1500W should do it.
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Old 10-18-2019, 01:14 AM
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Here is the temperature controller. Not super accurate just lets me dial back the heat so the element doesn't glow red hot. It turns on and off about 2 times a second (2Hz). I can adjust how long it turns on for. From fully off to fully on or any amount in between. The LED is a good indicator. Also I will use an IR heat gun to check the temperature of the plastic as it heats up.
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Old 10-19-2019, 12:35 AM
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Worked on completing the vacuum forming system. It is all ready to go. I am going to try it in this configuration first, with the heater at the bottom.
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Old 10-19-2019, 10:25 PM
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Vacuum forming day! I started by giving the mold a good clean then dusting in some talcum powder to help the plastic move on the mold. Blew it out with air.
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Old 10-19-2019, 10:31 PM
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Screwed the frame down onto the 1mm plastic. You can see I have left the backing on the plastic. If you take it off at this stage it creates static electricity which unfailingly attracts dust particles, which mars the surface. Put the mold upside down on the heater to warm up the mold from the back. Great to have the temperature control. Left it for 10 minutes.
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Old 10-19-2019, 10:35 PM
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Turned the mold over heated the plastic and when it looked about right and the heat gun said 110C started to pull vacuum. It was over in no time, a bit of an anticlimax.
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Old 10-19-2019, 10:40 PM
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The canopy is too thin on top but this was a good test. I will try a baffle under the high point of the canopy and some 1.5mm plastic. However I think I will need to use 2mm plastic. The vacuum holes only print through where the canopy is really thin on top.
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:21 PM
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Made 2 more canopies from 2mm plastic. Still a little thin on top but once the canopy frame is on it will be fine. That was an interesting project, job done.
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