Vacuum Bagging Orientation | NOV 17


NEXT CLASS Thursday, October 14
6.00p to 8.00p


This orientation clears you for independent access to Vacuum Bagging equipment in our Composites Lab.

Do you want to produce parts with fluid irregular shapes? Maybe you have a mold and want to produce a composite part or you have a part and want to make tooling from it?

Vacuum bagging technology enables you to work with complicated contoured shapes that would be difficult to clamp any other way. Our Basic Equipment Operation (BEO) Orientation provides a gateway into a variety of composite processes and can also be used for complex clamping operations. After this 2-hour orientation you will walk away with everything you need to know to apply this process to your own projects. This hands-on class will introduce the materials required, offer a variety of ways to set up your bag to enclose complex shapes, and how to identify and fix leaks. You’ll also pick up tips and tricks to get the best results.

Note that this class does not involve resin or glue, but you will learn best practices for isolating your vacuum port so you are ready to move to wet layups. If you want to learn about the layup process look for our upcoming composite intensive classes.

There are no prerequisites for this orientation.


INSTRUCTOR // David Voetmann

David, a lifelong designer and maker, spent his childhood in Africa. This formative experience instilled a conviction that it’s better to create your own solutions than to wait around hoping someone else will solve your problems. To this end, he earned a BFA in Industrial Design at the University of Washington. This study deepened an enduring conviction that solving problems and making things is deeply coded into our humanity. Over the last few years he has explored the transformation of our economy as new technologies begin to democratize opportunity. He now runs The Facility Makerspace where ordinary people with extraordinary ideas gain access to an 11,000sf sandbox for innovation with all the tools, training, and community people need to turn thoughts into things. He still believes that, while technology is great, we need to focus on solutions not tools.

David lives in Shoreline with his wife Ruth.


Vacuum bagging is an essential first step into composite technology, but it is also an amazingly versatile process that enables you to exert clamping pressure on a variety of complex shapes. Whether you are bagging a simple wet layup, setting up an intricate vacuum infusion process, or clamping veneer for a furniture project you will be impressed by the wide-ranging usefulness of our vacuum system.

In this 2-hour class, we provide a crash course that walks you through everything you need to know to get going. You will gain the knowledge and confidence to set up your system against a caul plate, a mold, or in a free bag. You will learn how to drop test your bag, trace leaks, and troubleshoot typical issues. You will find that, with a little diligence and experience, you’ll be able to choose the right setup for different projects. By the end of the orientation you will be able to independently run the vacuum system and use ancillary materials effectively.

After a short classroom introduction, this orientation moves to the composites lab where you will learn about the equipment and materials available to you. Your instructor will explain how the vacuum system works, familiarize you with essential terminology, introduce different ways to tackle specific projects, and demonstrate appropriate equipment operation. We will also discuss design considerations so you can design to this process. You will develop a working understanding of the benefits and limitations of vacuum bagging. You will walk away with a knowledge of best practices including how to set up your work and reset equipment to its original conditions for the next user.

This is a hands-on training. You will have ample time during class to set up and test vacuum bagging strategies to demonstrate your understanding of the process and your ability to successfully operate this equipment.

Pass this orientation, or a checkout, and you’ll walk away with access privileges to independently operate our vacuum bagging equipment. This class is also a prerequisite for our upcoming composites trainings in wet layup and vacuum infusion.

• Composite Lab Vacuum System

• Eye protection
• Closed-toed shoes
• Tie back long hair
• No loose fitting clothing

If this is your first class at The Facility please arrive by 5.45p for a short safety briefing and some paperwork.

Orientations start promptly at 6.00p.

This Orientation prepares you to safely perform basic operations on supported equipment. It is not intended to cover design concepts or comprehensive operation of this equipment. If you are interested in learning more about design or advanced equipment operation look for additional upcoming classes.

BEO Orientations at The Facility are open to anyone over 18 years old. Please feel free to pass this invitation on to others. Minimum enrollment of 5 people is required to hold the orientation.


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