Responsible for churning out everything from construction helmets to hot tubs, vacuum forming is easily one of the most fascinating forms of manufacturing for the non-technical crowd due to its relatively simple process: heat plastic and pull it around a shape to create multiples of that shape.

Aiming to package this vacuum forming experience with a user-friendly interface, Mayku – a new hardware startup founded by a pair of London-based design entrepreneurs – wants to enable professional creators, weekend tinkerers and small businesses to make professional grade products directly from their desktop with the $349 FormBox vacuum former.

Powered by suction drawn from a user’s existing vacuum cleaner, the FormBox packages all of the necessary elements of the thermoforming process into a compact and user-friendly design including a built-in heating element – meaning no more melted plastic in the oven for those who previously resorted to DIY solutions.

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Similar to how MakerBot enabled thousands of 3D printable designs to be easily shared through Thingiverse, the creators are also in the process of building an online library of designs and step by step projects to bridge the gap for everyday people to start manufacturing their projects soon after opening the box:

Says the team:

“With the FormBox, create simple forms from everyday items such as potatoes and plasticine, or create more complex creations using other maker machines like 3D printers, laser cutters and CNC machines. The FormBox will come with everything you need to get you making projects as soon as it arrives at your door. Just add your vacuum cleaner.”

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Having already raised over $200K on Kickstarter just days into their month-long campaign, the Mayku team is already on their way towards runaway success – with plans to expand their product line to include solutions for desktop injection and rotational molding, too.

Find out more over at Kickstarter.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.