Gadgets for humans

FormBox takes on 3D printers with an instant vacuum former


The past decade has brought on a new kind of industrial revolution, a lot of which is thanks to how prevalent 3D printers have become. From full-sized versions to mini-desktop styles, you can find 3D printers for about the cost of a cheap laptop, or go to stores like Staples to get your prototypes printed out.

But one thing most 3D printers still have in common: Products take a while to print, set, and cool. That’s where Mayku’s FormBox wants to entice the at-home makers.

Unlike traditional 3D printers, which uses filaments to pipe and lay out the shape of your desired item until the object is complete, FormBox lets you create a shape you desire and uses a vacuum (literally – you need to attach a vacuum cleaner) to seal in that form.

While the resulting 3D object is plastic, you can ideally use any item to create the shape – like toys, clay, and even potatoes or bananas. When you’re ready, just pull the lever with the heated plastic on to set the form.

formbox choc

With the 3D mold in place, you can use this and pour other materials in to make more items like a candle holder, terrarium, light box, and chocolates. If you don’t have any object in mind, there will also be a library of items others have made for you to adapt from and/or create your own.

It’s an interesting alternative to 3D modeling if you don’t have the patience to wait for traditional printing. Mayku says it is aiming for a refill of 30 plastic sheets at $20.


FormBox is currently on Kickstarter starting at $349 a kit. Worldwide shipping is slated for May 2017.

Published May 7, 2016 — 16:29 UTC