Vacuum table

While Jens was in Londen for Oslo Meets Hackney, Anthony and I had the task of building a small vacuum table for the shopbot. This would be useful for milling or cutting materials which are not able to be screwed down, like fabrics, cardboard, leather, etc.

Before he left we had a briefing on requirements and functionality which then turned into a 3D modeling job in rhino to get a better insight on possible issues. After slight modifications to the design we decided to make a full scale model to check functionality.

By testing the first prototype with a rubber top layer it turned out we didn’t get much hold down power yet. So Anthony had the great idea of looking at examples online which brought us to this video by DonekTools for inspiration. We adjusted our vacuum table by increasing the depth of the grooves and by making a perforated top plate. These adjustments did the job and turned our first prototype into a working vacuum table.

Mark the dowels on the side of the vacuum table, they are used to position the vacuum table on the shopbot always at the same place. Turned out they were already useful during our development for increasing the depth of the grooves without having to mill a new piece.


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