Saturday, November 26, 2022

Re: Vacuum Press Recommendations

Elizabeth Stuenkel Selgrade

Hello List,

Thank you all for your feedback. These were the suggested vacuum presses
along with related comments:

Shoe Systems Plus, Inc. – Supreme model

“They work and work and work. The bladders are easy to replace and easy to

“We previously used supreme single vacuum press. It worked well however the
workable space was too small for large feet. The bladders were a nightmare.”

Atlas International – Witzel model

“This system has a lot of bells and whistles however it’s ok. The only
benefit is the workable space, pressure regulator and bladder life.”

Freedom Fabrication – Arch X-Press model

“We have been using a footpress from Freedom Fabrication for years and it
has held up well. You will need to replace the bladder periodically but I
would not suggest buying too many extra as they dry-rot in


“Friddles has the best on the market!! They are strong and durable..There is
a guy in Spartanburg,SC that makes them just like Friddles and cost about
$500-600 less..His name is John at Carolina Pedorthics llc…”

“I use the Friddles vacuum press. I’ve had it a couple years and it has
performed very well. I have yet to replace the bladder. You can form two
at a time. This is kinda pricey, but worth it. You can also make your own
fairly cheaply, but it will leak and uses more electricity.”,4313.html


“Fillauer has a very nice press in our Trautman Machine product line. It has
an optional two bladder system so you can isolate the mold moisture from the
plastic, eliminating the need to dry the cast overnight in an oven.”

Other Options

“Bill Meanwell of the international school of pedorthics has a rather good
design. Rubber bladders are held by studs instead of a series of screws.
Double wide for two at a time. He may be in production by now. “

“They are basically all the same and run around $900.00 If you are pulling
thermoplastic, Eg polypro,for functional orthotics we made a unique jig out
of scrap wood. I know it sound crude, but it pulls vacuum from the top down
similar to blister forming prosthetic sockets and leaves the plastic smooth
and without flaws. If you are making diabetic inserts made out of tri-lam
ect, you will need the regular presses. I bought mine at Friddles.”

We have a guy here that places a pipe in his mold, after modification,
places the pipe in the vacuum station(the same one used for draping
AFO’s)places his heated material(of his choice) then places a plastic bag
over it and turns on the vacuum. And before we got a vacuum station ,they
used a 3HP wet or dry vacuum. Can you get any simpler than that? And we have
a new vacuum press but you can’t teach “ol dogs new tricks”.

Elizabeth Selgrade
MSPO Candidate, Georgia Institute of Technology


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