CNC Heat-Sealer

OR HOW TO MILL INFLATABLES

To create large, circular inflatables, a classmate and I hacked a handheld heat-sealer, removing the handle and attaching it to a ShopBot CNC machine.

THE HEAT SEALER IN ACTION, DRAWING A CIRCLE

Process

We attached two layers of plastic to the machine bed using a staple gun, making sure they were as flat as possible.

PLASTIC SHEETS STAPLED TO THE CNC BED, WAITING TO BE SEALED

Building the Sealer

Adapting the sealer required the addition of a long spacer to insert into the ShopBot's collet. Integrating a spring allowed the tool to flex and apply pressure when the machine began to move.

DIAGRAM OF THE SEALER ASSEMBLY
JAMES TESTING OUT THE SEALER

CNC Sealed Inflatables

Making sure the electrical cord didn't interrupt the process was a full time job, but otherwise the tool worked great. Below is what we ended up making with the heat-sealer, a short class project that used a wearable inflatable apparatus to discourage overuse of your smartphone.


See project: Data Diet

RESULTS OF OUR HEAT SEALING EFFORTS