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8. Open Source Hardware - From Fibers to Fabric

This week I had to plan and build a machine or hack a machine to customize it to my needs.

I made a small Vacuum Former to form thermo plastics around 3D Objects using my oven and a hover


I never built any machine and I never thought on doing it myself, cause I never felt like an engeneer or safe in using heavy tools without cutting my arm off or having the intelectual skills to actually make anything work :D

I was researching before that assignment on how to build your own CNC Lasercutter or Milling Machine with OpenSource Tutorials because those are super expensive but I always wanted them to have.

Now after Researching a few possibilities of DIY machines or hacks I feel a bit more certain of actually being able to make it myself. When I went to the shop to get my material for this week, I kind of went crazy about the tools and also will get a flex in the future and loose the fear of using it, so I don´t have to ask my male friends to help me out anymore.

First of all I did not have any idea what to do this week cause I couldn´t start a big project and I have no skills on how to create my very own machine without any experience in engeneering. As I dont have access to a Lasercutter or CNC Milling Machine I was getting a bit frustrated aswell. I just decided to start off with a Open Source Tutorial and rebuild something that was already existing. I think if I come to the point in future where I think that some production method is missing, I probably will come up with my own hack and find some intelligent nerd to discuss my projec :)

Machine Hacks

As I wanted to build something that I actually can use I ended up with 3 Machines/Hacks. The Sewing Machine Hack to make an Embroidery Machine, a DIY Direct Extruder to print flexible Filament and a Vaccuum Former Box.


__3D Printer_


  • [DIY Dremel CNC]


Arduino Projects


Vaccuum Former

I decided to make a small Vacuum Former to use in my oven. Previous DIY Vacuum Formers I found where either to big and needed more components and tools to make it.

Making the Vacuum Former

I pretty much just followed the Steps from that tutorial


2x Screenprinting Wood plates 30cm by 40cm / 0.5cm

2x Screenprinting Wood plates 12cm by 28.2cm / 0.9cm

2x > 2x Screenprinting Wood plates 12cm by 40cm / 0.9cm

4x Aluminium flat rod

Screws/Nails for the Box

8x Butterfly Nuts and 8x Vertical Screws

4x connection plates fitting the screws



As I didn´t have a CNC Milling Machine I ordered that humanoid CNC to drill the holes

Making the Vacuum Box

Drill a hole on one side panel to fit the hover hose

Making the Frame

Final Box with Frame

Orbiter 3D Printer direct Dual Extruder

I didn´t start that project yet, cause it came out if I order the components I will have to wait till end of january to recieve them. Until then I probably get a ready made extruder to use my filaflex.

  • [About the Orbiter] (

Bill of Materials

Those are the links for the components

This week VARVARA & Mar Creative Studios hold the Lecture about Open Source Hardware and Machine Hacking. They showed a lot of DIY Machines. A lot of complex useful ones, but also fun interactive arty machines, including their own :) Check the Link!

Last update: December 8, 2020