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Students at an after-school club were inspired to become crafters with the FormBox Vacuum Former

Learning STEAM with Vacuum Forming Technology and Crafts Projects
The future's crafty

Are you looking for ways to inspire the children and young people in your life to learn more about science, technology and manufacturing through and engaging, hands-on making experience? The Mayku FormBox is used by educators around the World to teach STEAM principles and more to children as young as 8.

Our desktop thermoforming machine is a friendly piece of technology; lightweight for easy storage and mobility, safe and simple to learn whilst also unlocking a world of different materials and project ideas. In addition, Mayku customers working within education can gain access to Mayku Teach, a platform to support and inspire educators.

How to use thermoforming to teach STEAM and inspire creativity in children

Patrick Benfield runs a campus FabLab at the Magellan International School in Austin, Texas, where he also serves as the school’s Innovation Director. The FabLab is a place for students to engage their creative sides by applying their ideas to different craft making machines.

Best Vacuum Former for Custom Mold Making at Home or School
FormFoxes - a custom mold created using the Mayku FormBox, desktop vacuum former

How to use the Mayku FormBox to learn design and manufacturing

At the FabLab, Patrick collaborates with teachers from a plethora of subjects including art, science and geography, in order to create engaging content that can then be used in their respective lesson plans. The FormBox is accessible and easy to use, meaning that students of all ages can have a go on it without much oversight or the need for assistance. It is currently being tested in one classroom at the school with a view to rolling it out to others.

How to solve STEAM education problems with a desktop vacuum former

P‍rior to investing in a Mayku FormBox, Patrick experienced a few barriers to educating children using desktop manufacturing tools. The FormBox has helped solve a lot of problems to enable more children to experience industrial grade processes in the classroom. Here Patrick shares some of his frustrations with focusing too much teaching time on 3D printing over other methods.

  • Time: 3D Printing is a time-consuming endeavour and only one student’s idea could be chosen to make per class — often leading to charges of favouritism. Classes are 45 minutes long and a 3D print takes at least two hours to make.
  • Accessibility: It was not possible for every student to have a chance at using the 3D printer — many only had the opportunity to look at it. This meant the students weren’t able to see mass production in action: their experience limited purely to one-off products.
  • Narrow choice of materials: 3D printers can only be used with a limited range of materials.
  • Problems of outcomes and ideas: A lack of project ideas and a restricted range of outcomes meant an inability to think outside the box.
Teaching Science with Mold Making and Vacuum Forming Technology
Mold making - casting concrete into a Mayku FormBox made reusable custom mold

How to save time and money with desktop vacuum forming for STEAM education

  • Time: The speed of the FormBox means every student can have a go making their own product and gaining first-hand experience in how things are made.
  • Accessibility: The FormBox can mass produce objects allowing each student to take something different home from each class.
  • Narrow choice of materials: The FormBox allows students to work with a variety of materials including chocolate, concrete and many more.
  • Problems with of outcomes and ideas: With its speed and variety the FormBox encourages experimentation. The online resources available direct from Mayku further expand these opportunities.
Zelda Gemstone Ruppees Soap Molds Custom Made with Vacuum Forming
Colourful handmade soaps inspired by Nintendo's Zelda video games brought to life with the Mayku thermoforming machine

The Benefits of the Mayku FormBox for Educators of STEAM and more

W‍ith a vast range of possible projects and the ease of which the Mayku FormBox can be combined with other arts, crafts and desktop manufacturing processes such as 3D printing or even polymer clay makes the FormBox an ideal addition to a classroom.

The main benefits for your project include:

Hands-on learning and more engaged students

The Mayku FormBox is super simple and safe to learn how to use. The full industrial grade vacuum forming process is clearly visible so that teachers can use a variety of moments to engage and educate students. The speedy production time means that more students can have a hands-on experience than if you were doing a 3D printing class alone.

A huge variety of products made

Whether you're working with humble polymer clay or technical 3D printing designs as your masters for the FormBox. The ability to create custom molds in minutes unlocks a world of materials including chocolate, jelly, concrete, plaster and much more. This means you have a broad scope for combining materials education with other subjects, whilst constantly finding new reasons to reach for the FormBox. In addition to custom molds, the FormBox can also be used to create custom model parts, electronics housings and packaging designs.

Experimentation encouraged

With such a straight forward process to learn, experimentation can be quick, easy and affordable making it possible to allow students to experiment rapidly without breaking the budget.

Interested in learning more about how a desktop vacuum forming machine could bring some inspiration to your classroom or Youth Group, request to Speak to a Specialist and we'll see how we can help.

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