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Guide Bending Plexiglass

Discussion in 'Modding' started by masterchief9615, 4 Nov 2006.

  1. masterchief9615

    masterchief9615 PC builder / Modder

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    Just wondering if anyone has taken pictures threw the process of bending plexiglass or knows of a page that describes the process.

    Thanks
     
  2. Fozzy

    Fozzy What's a Dremel?

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    I don't have any picture but I can describe it.

    This is how I do it.
    1) Measure out your piece of plexiglass and add about an inch or so to your measurements (incase the plexi decides to shrink) I like to glue a piece of paper to my plexi and mark on that with pencil. (I use a gluestick)
    2) If you're doing a straight bend try to clamp the plexi on the end of a table with the line slightly past the edge of the straight edge.
    3) Use a heatgun (you can use a torch but it's a little harder to keep bubbles from happening in the plexi.)
    4) Slowly move the heatgun from one end of the plexi to the other to soften the bend evenly while applying pressure to the plexi to start the bend. As the plexi begins to soften the bend will start happening faster and faster until it will practically fall into the bend because of how soft it is.
    5) At this point you should make sure the edge is uniform so that the bend is straight. Use the Heatgun to soften edges for a greater bend. If an area is dimpled then you're kinda out of luck. (But you an usually soften the indent by heating it from the reverso side after the bend is complete.
    6) When the edge is uniform set the bend to whatever desired angle you are looking for. For 90* bends use a Square or a protractor especially when building a box since they are the hardest. If it is a precise bend you should use gemoetric tools but if it is an accent piece you can usually do it by eye and adjust the peice later when it is on the case. (again useing a heatgun for readjustments.)
    7) Once you get your desired angle then you should hold the plexi and let it harden. I usually like to do the hand test every minute or so until the plexi is cool enough to keep your hand in place for longer than 30 seconds.
    8) Unclamp the plexi and you're done with the bending
    9) At this point you should remeasure and cut off any excess material.
    10) Then polish it up and put it on the case.
     
  3. masterchief9615

    masterchief9615 PC builder / Modder

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    you say polish it. is that a hard process?

    would a hair dryer get hot enough or do i NEED to use something more heavy duty light a heat gun?

    Thanks alot, this helps me alot!!!
     
  4. mario_cell

    mario_cell What's a Dremel?

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    I think a hair dryer should be do it also.
    But try it on another piece before.
     
  5. Duste

    Duste Sierra my delta, bravo!

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    Ah! Thanks for that Fozzy! I was wondering how to bend it also!
     
  6. slytherock

    slytherock What's a Dremel?

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    Was wondering if it was possible to bend a mirrored plexi?
     
  7. Supra55

    Supra55 What's a Dremel?

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    It should work but if you use heat make sure to not to destroy the silver sheet used to get that reflection.
     
  8. slytherock

    slytherock What's a Dremel?

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    Thx, I'll give it a try and tell you how it goes
     
  9. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    Most hair-dryers will not be able to reach the temperature levels required to warp acrylic. Even the cheapest heat gun you can get will out-perform a hair dryer when it comes to wattage output.
    If you over-heat acrylic it WILL catch fire, this is why it's not a good idea to use a flame of any kind for heat-warping.

    The easiest, but not exactly the safest method, is to use an old oven either outside or in your garage. Use that to heat your sheet to 300f then take it out of the oven while wearing welding gloves, then form it over a wooden template.
     
  10. masterchief9615

    masterchief9615 PC builder / Modder

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    just wondering if anyone knew how to polish plexi?
     
  11. eddie_dane

    eddie_dane Used to mod pc's now I mod houses

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    try this on bending acrylic:

    http://www.bit-tech.net/modding/2004/05/27/cinemedia_pc/3.html

    yes, you can polish acrylic. I HIGHLY recommend getting a product called Novus acrylic polish. It is hard scarce outside the US but is perfect for acrylic. It comes in various stages 1, 2 and 3 depending on what you are trying do do.

    Depending on what you are starting with determines what you need to start with. Deep scratches can be dealt with using wet/dry sandpaper and then moving onto polishes. Minor scratches can be dealt with using just polishes.

    Novus also helps protect the surface from static particulates and avoid fingerprints.
     
  12. masterchief9615

    masterchief9615 PC builder / Modder

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    thanks eddie!
     
  13. eddie_dane

    eddie_dane Used to mod pc's now I mod houses

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  14. Teyber

    Teyber ******

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    ANother thing, for polishing acrilic, its not hard but time consuming and a pain. At least last year my shop teacher made it a paint... If you have a dremel, just get a buffing bit for it, and buffing compound. After sanding any huge things and getting it flat, just buff it, but if you press to hard you will burn it and have to resand and everything. a pain, but comes out nicely. Im sure eddies advice is less time consuming
     
  15. TeChY_07

    TeChY_07 New Gaming Rig Underway!!!

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    if u got some time, use an iron. It works PERFECT and it wont melt the plexi. No polishing needed.

    Heres a quick lil vid i just made with my laptop of the bending abilities you can achieve with an iron...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cmtS5EIIyM

    (Sorry couldn't post the vid here :( had no idea how to do it and YOUTUBE tag thing didnt work
     
    Last edited: 8 Feb 2008
  16. Navig

    Navig What's a Dremel?

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    One of my previous projects.

    See post#3 and posts#31-33.

    For smaller pieces, a heatgun works well. Its always best to use a jig to form the proper shape. I've tried an industrial hair dryer and it probably won't work unless you are using very cheap plastic or have hours to kill waving it around. A IR thermometer is a great tool and takes the guess work out of bending plastic.


    For big sheets, you can use the oven method as per CS. See my thread, posts 31-33. Again, an IR thermometer takes the guess work out.


    navig
     
  17. Teyber

    Teyber ******

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    just jumping in here, didn't read the posts before.

    A dual temperature heat gun at harbor freight is 10$!!! cheaper then most hair driers. I Have one and it does the job fine.

    regards
     
  18. The_Beast

    The_Beast I like wood ಠ_ಠ

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    for long straight bends I'd recommend a heater strip
     
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