Help designing heat press machine


From the beginning of building my shredder I wanted to be able to produce plastic sheets in the end. Here is why: I love the Preciousplastic project, because it enables everybody with money and time to recycle plastic him- or herself. However, as you can read in my shredder-build-post, the machines can end up being quite time and money intense, especially if you don’t work full time on them. Also, not everyone has got space for the machines at home.

However, if I produce plastic sheets in various thicknesses and sell them, this gives everybody the possibility to work with recycled materials. You can work on plastic sheets wih a lasercutter, cnc milling machine, or even simple tools, such as a drill, a woodsaw, etc.!

That’s why I want to construct a heatpress (see pictures)

the idea is to have two metal plates that are heatable – similar to the injection machine – that are pressed together with a spacer inbetween (called inlay on the drawings)

Have you got any tips, ideas etc. for this? (or URLs?) I want to keep this as low-budget as possible, I’m hoping to find most pieces on the junkyard.

– Is it possible to use an oven heating element?
– Can I weld it to the metal plates or do I have to mount it in a non-conducting way?
– If an oven heating element is possible, can I use the same electronics as the injection?
– How can I protect human beings from touching the heating elements? I don’t think I can just cover it with some insulation material. (Burning, melting, etc.)
What do you think?

hi @flo-2,

I personally like the elegance of @timslab‘s heat press (

Also @xxxolivierxxx proposed adding it to Precious Plastic V3.

Along with that we have @jaymin with a good heat press design (

It is not that hard to make, just requires planning. My plan is to build a bigger version of Tim’s heat press.

As per your design, I don’t think it will be as efficient using oven heating elements in this case.

hallo friend  … i am not sure if my contribution is helpful … i bought a raclette with a flat surface for 30 dollar … and pressed styrofoam cups on it … they melted but uneven, because i didn’t shred the cups … now i have a shredder and will try to repeat similar process … can we press a plate and push the board sidewards to continue melting the next connected part and so on …
… between two aluminium sheets, heated by gas one can melt a larger amount of eps to make sticks and maybe it’s possible to make them wider in order to get boards … see our video … wish you success …

@jegor-m Thanks for the links!

Yeah, my idea would be more or less @timslab ‘s machine with @jaymin ‘s heating elements + electronics.

@jaymin where have you got your heating elements from?