Here in Part 3, we get down to physically manipulating materials. Industrial designer Eric Strebel, founder of Botzen Design, demonstrates how he creates the "petals" that unfurl on his mobile solar charging platform: "Vacuum forming Styrene over a piece of 20LB polyurethane foam, using baby powder as a release agent."
Strebel points out that you don't need fancy machines to get this done. "The former I am using is pretty basic and all manual," he writes. "As you will see, I need to use my knee to open the valve to draw the air into the vac tank."
And a helpful pro tip: "The parts pop out of the mold pretty easy since there is enough draft on the parts. This is important--I see a lot of people neglect this detail."
Here we go: