So... I've been pretty quiet lately so I thought I'd post an update to what's been going on. Up to now, the size of the ramps I can do has been limited to the size of my heater. My current machine can handle larger pieces of plastic but until I can uniformly heat larger pieces I am limited. To resolve this I first attempted to figure out a way to simply build a larger oven.... Proved to be a pain so I decided I would take the full tilt plunge and build a complete new machine from the ground up. Just today I finished the new machine framework....Photos below.
This new machine can handle plastic up to 24" by 48". This will enable me to do pretty much any ramp. The heat source will be an on board ceramic heating panel. The ceramic heaters will be zoned depending on the size plastic I am using. This design will allow me to heat any size plastic up to 24" by 48".
The machine will be fully pneumatically controlled both for the forming and the downward plugging as necessary. Lastly, I will add downward pressure assist (Lowered dome with added air pressure) to increase detail when needed.
At the moment I am pretty much out of ramps so in the next few days I will be forming more as well as finishing the F-14 mold and yes, the Hurricane center ramp mold. I will not take down my current machine until I get the F-14 and Hurricane center ramps formed. Once I have sufficient stock I will dismantle the current machine and move the vacuum pump to the new machine. The first ramps I want to do on the new machine will be the other two Hurricane ramps.