Vaccuum forming Tin¥ ₩hoop canopies


#1

Just wanted to reach out and see if anybody here has been kicking around this idea.

I assembled a small wood box hooked to my shop vac today to do some preliminary tests using an old milk jug for scrap plastic. I only had 1 spare jug rescued from the trash which was enough to try my first two pulls. I can already see the learning curve on the horizon that I will have to overcome but the first results were at least encouraging enough to provide a glimmer of hope. If anyone else is into this - I’d love any feedback or guidance to make it successful. At the end of the day I’d just like to end up maintaining a small shred of originality as I jump on the Whoop bandwagon! Lol


#2

That’s pretty cool. I had this toy as a kid, http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/121960819175?lpid=82&chn=ps&ul_noapp=true
I was actually just thinking last week that something like that would be awesome for quads, glad to see somebody is actually trying it! Let me know how it goes.


#3

Sweet! I bet that thing produces better results than I got today - I should scrap my setup and order that. Hahaha! I’ve got a two year old in the house that actually participated in the entire construction of the setup today and selected the E for the first tests. He’s ripping through a gallon of milk almost every day so I’ll be testing again tomorrow I’m sure. Looking forward to trying a clear gallon water jug (vs the white milk jug) and some 2 liter bottles as well to get familiar with the different properties. I’ll keep posting pictures of the progress and my observations with different scavenged materials. I’d like this to be a no $$ spent project and its just for fun so I won’t be testing anything that can be purchased intended for vaccuum forming. That’s cheating. Lol


#4

My ultimate plan is to cut a slot in my stock e010 canopy that my camera fits down into - add some balsa behind the camera to blend the lines back into the body and give it a cool look- and suck some hot plastic down over it. Ideally, the e010 canopy and the balsa will pop out - and the camera will get embedded in the new canopy form. Trim around the lens to see out and boom done! (I HOPE)


#5

Good show man! I was thinking of giving this a try at some point but I have been heavily distracted by gaming for the past few months.

I got some A4 document folders from a stationary retailer, the material is really nice and thin. Not sure if its too thin and flexible though. You can also get some rather nice colours.

GL I look forward to seeing your progress :slight_smile:


#6

You might be able to 3D print molds for the canopy. Most home printers are probably too low of a resolution but you might be able to find someone with a more professional machine. There’s a guy near me with a printer that does sandstone. Certainly not the strongest material but the resolution is way higher and it should work for something like this.

Edit: Just realized what you did there. If you’re using the canopy it came with as a mold you should be good to go. If those plastics aren’t working for you though perhaps the blanks from that toy I posted could work. Just make sure the size is what you need.


#7

Awesome initiative, @NotFastEnuf! Admire your commitment to keep this zero budget, and leveraging your son’s heavy milk consumption. :wink:


#8

Ok so here is my third pull. Decided to try a basic stock canopy. There is definately some skill to getting the plastic evenly heated with a heat gun and at the right temperature but I’m sure with repetition this is going to come around. The results for the third attempt are promising for this being a success with more repetition. Did a rough cut and trim on this one just to see it sit on the frame. Hopefully have some time to scavenge and try some more plastics later today. Thanks for the support guys!


#9

Much better detail in pull 4. Got the plastic hotter this time. Pic bere is before popping the mold. Going to take my time trimming this one - hydro dip it (spray paint style) and sport it for a while. Much much lighter than stock canopy. Still wantin to try something other than the white milk jug for comparison before adding the camera to the mold.

This is fun guys - you gotta try this!


#10

Trimmed up. Feather light but holds shape well.


#11

This is freaking genius. You can only find this sort of top notch awesomeness on mmwc !


#12

Thanks! Not bad for a milk jug. Lol. I still want to test more plastics but I’m getting excited about how this is going to turn out with a camera!


#13

What is your plastic stock? Is it still HDPE milk jugs?

Excellent work. I’ve been meaning to do something like this for such a long time. I actually have a few milk jugs saved.


#14

Yes, HDPE milk jugs. The tinted white ones. It comes out thin like a blade inductrix or nano qx canopy with similar strength. If i can’t find anything better, this will definately do - but I still want to test some other stuff first.

Plans for the final pull over a camera: I’m going to be using the q25 kingkong setup with the separate camera and vtx. My vtx will go under the flight board and above the battery tray. I’m going to cut a slot in the e010 canopy for the camera to slide into which will hold the up tilt angle during molding. Then I’m going to unscrew the lens and pull some plastic over the canopy / camera combo. If I’m lucky, the camera body will basically become part of the new canopy and I can cut the hole and reinstall the lens. It will probably need a slice of double sided foam tape between the flight board and the bottom of the camera to stabalize it in the final installation. I’m learning with each test pull so I’m not in a rush to make this work. I want to get plenty of practice in so this comes out right.


#15

@NotFastEnuf that’s amazing.
If you elaborated your method to your satisfaction it would be great so see a video of the whole process or a step by step tutorial.
Following your work with great curiosity.


#16

Good job man!


#17

Sure I’ll do a video on it. Thanks guys for sharing my excitement. I’m loving the chance to bring something unique to my whoop and for them all to be easily customizable creations.


#18

PET tested today with mixed results. Some just shrinks up right out of the frame once heat is applied, others don’t shrink as bad but but crystallize out close to the temp of being workable. HDPE is much easier to work but comes out more flexible than PET I can tell. Either way I’m going to stick to HDPE - It’s just so easy. I’ll work on a video tomorrow.


#19

Here is a test video. I’m close to feeling confident enough to add a camera mount to the process soon. Also have a makerfire micro fpv camera/canopy coming in the mail tomorrow. Going to try to copy that as well. I’ll kick out a video on both of those when I can.


#20

MILK JUGS! Sheesh… that’s smart. I just bought some “clear plastic sheets” … I don’t even know what the plastic is but it’s .015". I tried .030" PETG (with a hair dryer) and couldn’t get it hot enough. But i have a new heat gun that is crazy hot. But the .015" thickness seems sturdy enough.

But PETG, Styrene, HIPS, Polycarbonate, etc… should work. I made two boxes - one out of wood and the other acrylic. The wood one was for a bigger shop vac - but after using a dinky cordless vacuum, I think the shop vac would be way too much (my shop vac is huge). The holder is a sewing / embriodery hoop from a hobby store - $0.99.