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Modding Help with fiberglass

Discussion in 'Modding' started by ZapWizard, 20 Jul 2004.

  1. ZapWizard

    ZapWizard Enter the Mod Matrix

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    Hey folks, I need your help.

    My next project will probably involve a lot of fiberglass or carbon fiber,

    Besides carbon fiber, what materials will work to make fiberglass?

    What I need is a translucent shell that I light can pass through, yet make a solid outer-casing for a PC. (The PC will still have a metal skeleton)

    I would think that nylon or polyester would work to be translucent, but can these work with epoxy to make fiberglass?

    Also how would I go about attaching a fiberglass shell to a metal skeleton?
    So far I am thinking about weaving tiny magnets into the rear of the shell, and using them to hold the shell onto the frame.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Foster

    Foster What's a Dremel?

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    Not much help here, but I seem to recall seeing someone embed nuts into the epoxy so that will give you a mounting point. The magnets will likely work as well, but when you mentioned them the first thing that popped into my head was how powerful are they going to have to be to overcome the weight of the shell?
     
  3. ehrnam45

    ehrnam45 What's a Dremel?

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    From what I've seen, you can use just about any fabric/mesh as a base, as long as you have a proper form to stretch it over. if you want a good smooth exterior without the hassle of putty/BONDO all over the exterior, make a female mould out of resin or something. The projects I've seen here all involved male forms, and required HUGE ammounts of labor to clean up the exterior. Perhaps you could use a bit of both, i.e. a blank to stretch and set the form, and a mould to make the smooth exterior...

    Bottom line for materials is, test a small piece first. The packaging should say what not to use, but you never know till you try it. :p
     
  4. FILTHY1337

    FILTHY1337 Senior Overclocker

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    what materials will work to make fiberglass?
    fiber glass works well :p seriously its actualy fiberglass sheets, u cant just use any mesh as it wont be strong and u could jb weld anything u want to it
    but if u want tranlucent u need a plastic mold,...hard to explain, ever see that episode of myth busters were they make a plastic mold based on the dummy, kinda like shrink wrap. but fiber galss is in no way translucent.
    your not gunna get much strength with your carbon fiber either, ur gunna get enough..but its real strenght comes from being compress in a giant mold :duh:
    or your could buy pree compressed flat shes from 1 of they only two compannies making it, but i forgot whitch one :duh:
    i have some fiberglass background so if u need help or dont understand this just e-mail or pm me :thumb: edit: also very stong magnets come from welding magnets, just dismantle one and vola!
     
  5. Valimont

    Valimont What's a Dremel?

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    zap, have you ever worked with fibreglass before??

    firstly if you are using carbon fibre just for looks just create the shell out of glass then glass the cf over the top

    for that transucent material, as ocedamd said you will need to make a mould...

    also if you only want a sort of semi translucent effect, weaved glass is usually the best.

    as for attaching the shell to the case, yes you could use magnets (rare earth would be the best) but i personally would just glass bolts into the shell and while the resin is curing bolt it to the case so it moves into place

    when i have finished my project being made out of glass i will post a tutorial basic fibreglassing and some more advanced techniques as well with all the ins and outs that are really useful... will that help you..?
     
  6. FILTHY1337

    FILTHY1337 Senior Overclocker

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    also if you only want a sort of semi translucent effect, weaved glass is usually the best.
    but if hes new to fiberglass there is no way in hell its gunna be smooth enough to be up to his standards
     
  7. Valimont

    Valimont What's a Dremel?

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    okay yeah that's true it does take a while to become okay at glassing, but practise appearently makes perfect
     
  8. r3Q

    r3Q Minimodder

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    well zap. it comes down to it, there is FINALLY somthing i know more about than you do =)

    first off, the material might turn clearish when a liquid is applied, however fiberglass resin is usually greenish\brownish\yellowish puke color. and that will NOT be attractive. and after a few layers of the fiberglass. it looks gross (figure A)

    [​IMG]
    [figure A]

    i would suggest making a fiberglass mould that is sanded down and smooth, THEN maybe going to a shop that would vaccume mould some ABS plastic to the form. this way it would be perfect AND plexiglass =)...

    ON TO THE GLASSING! :thumb:

    ive been fiberglassing for a few weeks now... and let me tell you, it is simple as paper mache. all you gotta do is wear gloves and go to the $1 store and buy alot of paint brushes =P they die after one use - thats for sure. (cleaning them isnt worth it btw)

    anywho...
    the eaisest way i found to make a mould (without alot of wood and crap) is to take that insulating foam (the stuff you spray in between cracks in houses and stuff) make a giant blob of it, then use some REALLY low # sandpaper. -i got this stuff- its like this abrasive thing used for tile or somthing, it looks like gravel glued to a piece of cloth. sands it down perfectly.-

    then you take aluminum foil, and some 3M sticky spray, and stick the alu to the foam. (this is so the fiberglass does not stick to the foam, that is not fun to scrape off)

    then stretch speaker grille cloth over the aluminum foil (you can spray some cooking spray on there to make it non-stick even more too) so its nice and smooth\nonstick, paint fiberglass resin onto speaker grille, let it cure.. and you have your shape. (it SHOULD just come right off)

    then you can lay fiberglass on it, or put another layer of grille cloth down... it might be strong enuf with 1 layer, it might not. it all depends on the thickness of the fabric, the ammout of resin, and ammount of layers used. fiberglass is really good because it is woven so that it has more than 1 layer per sheet (the woven stuff, not the matt fiberglass)

    you can get rolls of fiberglass on ebay for not too much, or go to your local car shop (pepboys) and they have what you need - its like 8sq' for like $4 so its not terribly expensive.....

    here are some materials i use;

    1. fiberglass resin\hardner (usually in combo, but you might need extra hardner)
    2. fabric\fiberglass
    3. RUBBER DISPOSABLE GLOVES
    4. paintbrush(s) (cheap!)
    5. some cups (dixie ) :blush:

    i would say start with about 1oz of resin and mix the correct ratio of resin\hardner and paint it on a piece of fiberglass\resin that you have... and see how strong it will be and test the length of time that 1oz takes to cure.

    this way you wont end up half way done with your resin when it starts to turn to over-cooked jello. :worried:

    any more questions mr zap? :thumb:

    oh yea, ocedamd@3000+, you are in NY?? where is 'midletown'? im in syracuse (central ny) are you close at all?
     
    Last edited: 20 Jul 2004
  9. ZapWizard

    ZapWizard Enter the Mod Matrix

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    Thanks for all the help.

    I think a mold might be my best option.
    I think making a male mold, shrinking acrylic over it, and then painting the acrylic form the inside would work best.

    This would give me a mirror-black look to the outside, and remain shiny, and any colored areas could be made translucent.
     
  10. JavaDog

    JavaDog What's a Dremel?

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    Check out the products from Tap-Plastics. They have a great selection of Mold-Making products, as well as resin and fiberglass (s-glass and e-glass).

    Also, they are great to talk to, since they KNOW their products. Worth checking with them to see what products they can reccomend.
     
  11. r3Q

    r3Q Minimodder

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    like he said, that place has the clear resin

    http://www.tapplastics.com/shop/category.php?bid=3&

    the blue jug is supposed to be "water clear" but im not how sure how good it would look. also, youd need a tube of the MKEP hardner to get it to cure sold (rofl dont forget that.)

    and then there is this

    http://www.warmplastic.com/photos.html

    heating plexi in the oven then using a household vaccum to form it.. im sure you could make your own vaccum former with MDF and a drill and some silicone and a bit of PVC just by looking at pictures of their stuff.

    i would prolly get a few sheets of 1\4" mdf from the hardware store (like $4 4'x6') then make a air-tight chamber like 4" tall and lets say 30"x30" or somthing? then put some kind of rubber gasket around the edge- take your drill and drill a bunch of holes in the top piece... then take another sheet of MDF and make a big suqare 'baffle' sandwich... and clamp the plexi in between that... might have to get metal for this part (you do have to put it in the oven) get one of those shopvac's that can life a bowling ball, and drill a hole in the side and port the vaccum to the hole.

    vollia.

    now just get the plexiglass and this project will only cost you like.. what? $10 for the wood, $50~$100 (if you dont have one) for the vaccum, $5 for the caulk (if you dont have it) and then the plastic. so basicly if ya had all the tools (inc shopvac) then all ya would need to do is buy MDF (cheap as dirt) and the plastic you are going to use.

    i would go ahead and give it a try mr wizard. it looks easy to me.

    good luck mr zap. :thumb:
     
    Last edited: 20 Jul 2004
  12. JavaDog

    JavaDog What's a Dremel?

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    I have built my own vacuum forming machine. There is quite a bit more to it than that, but you have the general idea down. Also, DO NOT use the same over that you cook in!! Get a cheap-ass $50 special out of the want ad for you garage!! :thumb:
     
  13. r3Q

    r3Q Minimodder

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    here is a quick picture that i just made

    [​IMG]

    how about that? :naughty:
     
  14. JavaDog

    JavaDog What's a Dremel?

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    Decent, but bolting through the sheet is a problem, and should be avoided. You should also have a secondary vacuum source (real vacuum pump). This way you have the Shop-Vac for the initial low-pressure draw, and the Vacuum Pump for the finish high-pressure draw (for detail). With this set-up, you will need a PVC check-valve, modified...

    Also, while MDF is fine, inexpensive plywood will work just as good. :thumb:
     
    Last edited: 20 Jul 2004
  15. kaotic504

    kaotic504 What's a Dremel?

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    hey Zap, i used to make speaker boxes out of fleece. you can use it, it's much easier than fiberglass, but the only way it's going to work well is to create a frame and then stretch it really well. after that you have to give it strength by adding "kitty hair" it's like bondo w/ strands of fiberglass it in, to the back of it. you can create molds like everyone said above, using foam insulation (which works really well) and just regular styrofoam (sp?) or even wood, just use some aluminum foil and some wax or cooking grease, i think it's called "PAM" i forget. i always use wax. what i would do is get an idea of what shap you want and build a frame out of wood and stretch the fleece and use A LOT of staples to keep it put. just pull it, use rings, balls or whatever to get the shape you want. then you can break it the wood away and just use the fleece and strengthen it. you can use more chopped matt as it is cheaper than weave. the resin hardens quickly. follow the directions on the bottle. it gets warm sometimes too. work fast. if your using weave or chopped mat, and using a mold, wet the surface w/ some resin then apply the glass then add more resin. WEAR GLOVES. then you can apply another layer right away, you don't have to wait for it to dry. most likely, you're going to have to use bondo to make it smooth and do A LOT of sanding. fiberglass is very easy to work w/ once you get the hang of it. just think out what you want to do first and plan it very well before you start. b/c the resin will work quickly.
     
  16. r3Q

    r3Q Minimodder

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    any comments and or suggestions?

    has anyone ever had anything vaccum formed to use on a case? i could imagine a sweeeet front bezel made like this. :naughty:

    whats your plan zap?
     
  17. ZapWizard

    ZapWizard Enter the Mod Matrix

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    I am not 100% sure yet.

    I did how ever make a rough small mockup using polymer clay two days ago.
    I will revise the clay model until I get it to look like just what I want.

    I can then take that into the computer and scale it to fit the PC components needed.

    I think next I will take a block of dense foam and cut out a full size mock up.
    I could then use the foam model to make a mold.
     
  18. 13eightyfour

    13eightyfour Formerly Titanium Angel

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    ive never seen translucent carbon fibre however there used to be a company that made carbon fibre fairings and stuff for bikes which was incredably strong but soo thin that when neons were placed behind them it made tha carbon glow the colour of the neon dont know if there still around or what they were called tho sorry :wallbash:
     
  19. Fronzel

    Fronzel What's a Dremel?

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    I contacted a local sign vender and purchased a used three foot by four foot vac-u-form machine for 50$US. This thing is pretty sweet. You put your plug in, put the plastic on top and close the lid. The lid keeps the plastic in place. Then crank a timer and turn it on. It heats and then sucks it down and turns off.

    The heating coil is simple Nichrome wire, but it tends to have problems like tripping my breakers. So rather then cart it to the 20A every time I need to vac-u-form, I purchased some Halogen lights that I shine on the plastic. My eventual goal is to embed them in the lid so I can close it to operate it like it should.
     
    Last edited: 23 Jul 2004
  20. ehrnam45

    ehrnam45 What's a Dremel?

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    I just googled for custom vacuum forming and found a few links.

    http://www.arrowheadinc.com/
    http://www.atlpcc.com/APCCVacuumFormPage.htm

    They don't list anything for prices, or if you can supply the male form, but it's certainly worth looking into. I'm of the opinion that outsourcing is still modding, as long as you do the bulk of the design/assembly/installation yourself, i.e. CNC, laser etching, chroming/anodising etc.

    Or you can buy a small hobby model for under US$200:
    http://www.warmplastic.com/or.html
    looks like it only works with thinner gauge plastics (.020-.040) though...
     
    Last edited: 23 Jul 2004

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