The purpose of this work is to present the design of a laboratory scale vacuum forming machine, which can be used for the processing of thermoplastic sheets. The designed machine can process an A4 format plastic sheet. An important consideration in the design process was to follow a cost-effective approach. The vacuum forming instrument is made for educational purposes in the framework of a final project for the Polymer Technology Laboratory of the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Sapientia EMTE University in Târgu Mureș. The structure and the operation of the machine is similar to that found in the industry. However, the cost of production is significantly lower. The main components of the machine include the frame, heater, vacuum pump and the clamping device.