This is the same strip shown in the jig where the heat was applied too far away from the bend line and applied unevenly. You should be able to feel this point evenly along the full width of the strip you are bending. A China graph pencil or permanent marker works well, but the marker will not be able to be removed. That free point when the material is able to move quickly is when you want to shape it against the jig. The reason this works is because acrylic plastic actually melts at 405 F. Unlock expert answers by supporting wikiHow, http://makezine.com/2013/02/06/workshop-wednesday-heat-bending-acrylic-enclosures/, http://hackaday.com/2013/02/07/heating-bending-and-gluing-to-make-acrylic-enclosures/, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/jig, http://www.technologystudent.com/joints/desk17.htm, http://www.plaskolite.com/Fabrication/Acrylic/Forming, https://www.naturalhandyman.com/iip/infxtra/infacrylic.html, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow, Sheet of acrylic large enough for your needs, A heat gun, which is an electrical tool that heats and softens a variety of materials, Cutting tools, such as a Dremel saw, circular saw, table saw, and/or razor knife, Chinagraph pencil, also known as a grease pencil, or permanent marker. Allow it to cool still clamped in the jig as shown. Use long, thin test strips (1 inch or so in width) to practice your technique and learn how your particular heat source affects your chosen thickness of plastic. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. You could also use clamps, if you have your jig set up on a table surface with room to apply the clamps. You may need to use wood glue or nails to assemble your jig into the shape you need, depending on how you plan to bend the acrylic. When you are applying upward pressure on the end of your acrylic, you will feel it start to move against your hand, then it will move very quickly. How To Bend Acrylic Sheet Acrylic Benders , Find Complete Details about How To Bend Acrylic Sheet Acrylic Benders,How To Bend Acrylic Sheet Acrylic Benders,Acrylic Letter Bending Tool,Tools For Hand-made Led Channel Letter from Other Bending Machines … Clamp the acrylic to a work table, and proceed to turn the gun on and heat up the piece of acrylic, using a steady back-and-forth sweeping motion. For thinner sheets, you need to apply heat evenly to a very narrow line of the material. In the photo below, you can see a poor bend in a sheet of 1/16-inch thick plexiglass. Once you have calculated your dimensions, mark them up on the acrylic so that you know where to cut. Tips If the area to bend is on an outer curve or bend, or if you want to create a tighter corner, try using a frying pan on LOW heat to hold the plastic area to bend. Remember to trace both sides of your newly bent acrylic, as they may not be the exact same shape and size. Make sure any flammable or heat-sensitive material on your clamps is well away from where you will be applying heat to your plexiglass. Use long, thin test strips (1 inch or so in width) to practice your technique and learn how your particular heat source affects your chosen thickness of plastic. What can I use if I don't have a heat gun? Bake and Set the Timer. The bend was made before the material was evenly softened, and this resulted in an angled rather than a straight line bend. This is where you can use the circular or table saw, if you are cutting a jig. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Using a heated blade would be a more reliable method. Abraham Schwartz is a handyman and the owner of Fixin’ To Do, a home improvement service in Austin, Texas. Use the spare piece of flat scrap wood to push the acrylic back and down while you aim the heat gun at the acrylic. To set up your plastic or acrylic sheet to bend simple curves for your miniature and model projects, first remove the protective covering from the material you wish to bend. You must wait until the moment when you feel the material "slump" as you have no way of measuring the heat. It will be helpful to allow each bend to completely cool before going on to the next bend so that you do not lose the initial bend. If you start trying to force it before it is fully softened, you will not get as even a bend, as it will be soft in some areas but not others along your bend line. The strip wood will restrict the application of heat (it will catch fire if you overheat the wood) and will prevent the plastic beneath it from becoming soft enough to bend. Bend the acrylic to match the angle of the jig. For tips on how to bend acrylic with a strip heater and how to determine dimensions when bending acrylic, read on! This can also happen when a bend is made close to the edge of a sheet. Get DIY project ideas and easy-to-follow crafts to help you spruce up your space. Wear gloves as you do this to avoid burning your hands. In the sense of the principle, it can bend the acrylic into shapes by heating and softening the plates. This article has been viewed 71,906 times. Then, scale your design and take the proper measurements. To bend your acrylic sheet with a hair dryer, we recommend that you keep the outflow opening at least 5 centimetres away from the surface of the sheet. The material on one side of the strip was not quite ready to bend fully when the bend was made. Did you know you can read expert answers for this article? The line will still appear on the acrylic after it is heated, when you need to bend it. Always wear protective gloves and eyewear when working with bending acrylic. It may be helpful to clamp the acrylic in place while it is being heated so that only the marked area is heated and the sheet of acrylic does not move. Abraham Schwartz. To make side pieces, trace the sides of your newly-bent acrylic onto a flat piece and cut them out with a saw. In 2018 and 2019, Fixin’ To do was rated as a Top Pro by Thumbtack. There are different methods for doing this, and each helps you to easily bend acrylic. If you turn your heat source as you pass across the acrylic, the heat won't be evenly applied across the entire width of your sheet. Plexiglass bending machine is a useful tool for softening and bending acrylic, organic glass, plexiglass, pvc, pc ,ABS, pp sheet into shapes. Lay your plastic on your heat-safe work surface and place a scrap of strip wood over your plastic roughly 1/4 of an inch in front of where you want your bend to be. Heating up a metal strip/wire with an iron can simulate a strip heater as shown in Method 2 of the article. 99 If you want a straight line, make sure it is perfectly straight. You are then ready to bend the acrylic. Do not assume that both sides are the exact same shape. You will use it to push on the acrylic while it is heated. When a bend line exceeds 24 inches in length, there is a tendency for the part to bow across the bend. Cold Curving. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. To minimize bowing, restrict the width of the heated area or, v-groove the sheet along the desired bend line, as shown below. These types of plastic will not bend when heat is applied. The objective is to heat the plastic evenly along a line just in front of the straight edge of your clamped jig. From time to time, pull lightly on the edge of the acrylic sheet to check flexibility. Use a syringe filled with acrylic cement to insert the cement into the joint. Make your pressure on the acrylic as even as possible while you push. Most scale models won't need bends in acrylic more than 1/16 inch thick. It should not be softer on one side than on the other. "The information was explained very simply and had useful pictures.". Abraham specializes in both small to medium residential and commercial sized jobs, ranging from TV mounting to furniture assembly to home automation setup. Step 3 - Cut Out and Bend New Windshield. Acrylic PVC Plastic Strip Heater 110V Bending Machine 24 Inch 60cm Manual Hot Heating Bender Tool 1mm-6mm Thickness for Sign Making 4.5 out of 5 stars 9 $99.99 $ 99 . You'll also need to sand down the edges of the new windshield once it's done. The difficulty with small projects, having tight bends close together, is control of the heat source so the adjoining curve isn't affected. How to bend Acrylic/Perspex: The best way to bend acrylic is to use a strip heater with an element running between two watercooled tubes, preferably made from stainless steel. Move the hair dryer slowly and gently along the fold line and make sure that it’s evenly heated. There will come a point when the material will move upward easily as it reaches a molten state. Set the flat piece of scrap wood on top of the acrylic to keep it in place in the jig while it cools, so that it forms to the correct angle. Place it in the vise grip at one end of the bend and shape the tubing with pliers. If you don’t have a toaster oven, you can (carefully!) Alex walks us through preparing, bending, and working with PETG and Acrylic tubing. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Let the cement dry for four hours before proceeding to the next step. He holds both his TSBPE Plumbing Examiners and Electrical Apprentice (TX) Licenses. 28 August 2020. If you do not have a heat source that will work for thin materials, try the method shown for heat welding plastic, using a metal kitchen spatula or blade heated against an iron, then pressed against the material. Lesley was a professional writer who contributed 200+ articles to The Spruce Crafts and was a miniatures craft educator for over 30 years. It has a very clean look, is easily cut (dremel, table saw, scroll saw, band saw, to name a few), and is durable. To do so, pass your heat source at an even, slow speed along the line of plastic in front of the jig, keeping it far enough away that the heat source will not singe your wood jig. Acrylic has great potential as a building material for would-be makers. Move the heat gun slowly side-to-side while you push back and down on the acrylic. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Allow the tubing to heat until it becomes pliable. While you are applying even heat along the bend line, press gently upon the sheet of material you are bending. Handyman. If you need a more acute or obtuse angle, then you will likely need to cut the edges of your scrap wood at slight angles instead of perfectly straight across. If you find bubbles or scorch marks occurring in your test bends, move your heat a bit faster along your bend line or hold it farther away from the surface of your sheet material. To set up your plastic or acrylic sheet to bend simple curves for your miniature and model projects, first remove the protective covering from the material you wish to bend. This resulted in an angled rather than a straight bend against the jig. Leave a long end of your plastic strip where you can easily push up on it with a hand protected by a welding glove or oven glove. To cool it down, just pore some water into the metal tube. The distance and speed will be different depending on the thickness of the material you are working with. These benders are compatible with plastics such as acrylic, polyethylene, polypropylene, polycarbonate, PVC, CPVC, ABS, and Kydex. As could be inferred from its name, cold curving is the process of bending the whole … Then, aim a heat gun at the point on the acrylic you want to bend. It may be helpful to overestimate your dimensions, since you will be heating and bending the acrylic. Acrylic Bending Tool: In this instructable / video I am going to show you how you can make simple, cheap and very useful acrylic bending tool. Using your strip heater or heat gun, turn to the optimum temperature needed to bend acrylic at a thickness. Thin sheets are easily warped quite far away from the bend. If you want any holes in your acrylic enclosure, it is better to drill or cut them into it before bending, as this process is easier while the acrylic is still flat. Last Updated: September 30, 2020 As the acrylic heats up, move the heat gun from side to side and steadily push on it with a piece of scrap wood to help it bend. unlocking this expert answer. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Acrylic is one of the frequently-used plastic plates in the market at present, so people call the device which can bend the acrylic into shapes “Acrylic Bending Machine”. Be sure to leave it close by and easily accessible. References. Use a ruler to check that your sheet of plexiglass or plastic is held squarely clamped beneath your strip wood jig. Take care not to crack the acrylic, which may cause you to have to start over. Acrylic isn’t very strong and experiences brittle failure, meaning it cracks immediately without much bending. Leave it at 90 degrees to cool down for a couple minutes, and you have successfully bent an acrylic! As it heats up, you can use your fingers to gently bend the acrylic upward. Fit the side pieces into the bent acrylic to create your enclosure. Building an Acrylic Aquarium by Brad Newton Building your own Acrylic tank is a rewarding, cost saving, and enjoyable project. For tips on how to bend acrylic with a strip heater and how to determine dimensions when bending acrylic, read on! Do not remove the acrylic from the jig until it has cooled, or it might lose its new shape. Heating time varies between 30 seconds and 12 minutes based on material type and thickness. This can cause fumes to gather in the oven and eventually ignite. Only keep the acrylic on the strip heater long enough for it to become flexible, at which point it is ready for you to bend. What are the Properties of Acrylic? The heat from the rod, will help keep the acrylic/petg soft enough to bend. Make sure you have a spare piece of scrap wood to help you with the heat bending process. When you have your sheet at the correct angle or have bent the curve you want (for a window or the front of a curved bakery case, which may not be at 90 degrees Fahrenheit), hold the plastic gently in place for a few seconds until it sets up again. Small butane torch, embossing heat tool, or heat gun, Scrap wood (at least 1/8-inch thick and wide enough for the clamps), Plexiglass or acrylic sheet (up to 1/8-inch thickness). Gather the supplies you need in order to bend the acrylic with a heat gun. Heating may cause a slight change in where the bend lies and how it fits into other pieces. Turn the sheet of acrylic over on the heating element every 30-60 seconds in order to avoid damaging it. You can use the same heat tool you use to bend plastic, to seal and neaten the cut edges of any plastic parts. Try to keep the heat source at a right angle to your sheet of plastic/plexiglass. When oven is at 300, place the plastic on a piece of aluminum foil on the … Take your time and be patient, bending the acrylic gently so it doesn't crack. Then, set the acrylic into the jig so that it will form to that angle as it cools. Place the acrylic sheet over the strip heater, or apply your heat gun to the acrylic – both directly on the line you are wanting to bend. The Chinagraph pencil markings can be removed later. Don't try to bend the acrylic when it's cold or it will be more likely to crack. The bend is kinked, not even, and is too far away from the jig, so it is not straight and square with the end of the material. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. To Bend Acrylic Sheet You Will Need: Heat Source – Small projects with bends that are close together will need upon heat source which can be easily aimed at small areas. The paper-thin acrylic sheet shown below was bent with an embossing heat tool, which was easy to control above the jig. A jig is a box or frame meant for holding a material and guiding a machine tool to the material. Make sure that your line exactly follows the shape you desire. This method works well for larger bends, but there is a greater risk of melting or scorching the plastic. Abraham specializes in both small to medium residential and commercial sized jobs, ranging from TV mounting to furniture assembly to home automation setup. This article was co-authored by Abraham Schwartz. Run your heat tool gently back and forth along a cut plastic edge to soften it just enough that it turns clear. Acrylic has relatively low impact resistance and strength in general. Abraham Schwartz is a handyman and the owner of Fixin’ To Do, a home improvement service in Austin, Texas. This article has been viewed 71,906 times. Once heated it will bend easily. Using your template as a guideline on the piece of acrylic, sketch out the new windshield design and use the saber saw to carefully cut it out. % of people told us that this article helped them. For example, you might adhere two pieces of scrap wood together at a 90-degree angle along their long sides if you want your acrylic bent in that shape. 8. When you feel that your sheet is allowing you to push up evenly on it, remove your heat source and set it safely aside on a stand or heat-resistant surface; the end of your tool will be hot! The problems with this bend were caused by not applying the heat source close enough to the jig and bending the material before the material was evenly softened across the entire width of the material. In 2018 and 2019, Fixin’ To do was rated as a Top Pro by Thumbtack. It is important to trace each side of the bent acrylic. If you have basic carpentry & power tool skills you should have no trouble building your own beautiful Acrylic tank. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 71,906 times. Cut out the side pieces using a Dremel saw or a razor knife. Acrylic sheets are relatively inexpensive, pretty, and can be heat-shaped very effectively. Have a piece of scrap wood nearby, as well, for helping to form the shape of the bent acrylic in the jig. It is far easier to bend the long end of a plastic strip than the short end. Prior to starting Fixin’ To Do, Abraham worked for over 10 years as a handyman for third party services and had a lifetime of learning how to improve houses. When building your own creations, it’s sometimes necessary to bend the acrylic … This article was co-authored by Abraham Schwartz. Expert Interview. What are the Disadvantages of Acrylic? Hold the section of tubing you want to bend about 3 inches over the flame of a propane torch. Place the part of the acrylic to be bent just above the open door, wait for it to soften enough, and then bend it to the angle desired. Heating something like a metal tube in the oven, then carefully heat up the acrylic/petg as well. Remember to wait until the initial bend in the acrylic has completely cooled before attempting another bend in the same sheet of acrylic. Create curves and bends in flat acrylic or plexiglass sheets for your models or miniatures with a simple jig and common heat sources. Using these instructions, a modeler can bend anything from paperweight sheets of acrylic, up to 1/8 inch thick material, in sizes suitable for most miniature projects. You can make bends of all types in very thin sheet acrylic, provided you work out the heat and time required for bending thin material and do not pass that point. First, sketch out your design. Note that the acrylic will likely bend slowly at first. The tools required are as follows: • A fixed base router (preferably one with at least 1.75 HP Do not keep your heat gun or torch too close to the plastic. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/3\/3e\/Bend-Acrylic-Step-1-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Bend-Acrylic-Step-1-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/3\/3e\/Bend-Acrylic-Step-1-Version-2.jpg\/aid4719217-v4-728px-Bend-Acrylic-Step-1-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":546,"licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. These tubes should be adjustable so that the gap between the two tubes can be increased or decreased depending upon the thickness of material that you are bending. Bending acrylic sheeting can be a very precise process using expensive technology and special heating elements, but for do-it-yourself projects, bending acrylic sheets can be accomplished with tools commonly found around many garages and with the help of an extra person. It opens new possibilities and ways you can work with acrylic.Provided Amazon links are affiliatesTools You'll Need: Router (op… Polycarbonate is a better choice for highly demanding applications. He holds both his TSBPE Plumbing Examiners and Electrical Apprentice (TX) Licenses. Remember that permanent marker will not come off. The acrylic glue requires at least five minutes to set, so it is recommended to clamp the enclosure together to help it set correctly.

For would-be makers optimum temperature needed to bend acrylic at a thickness time and be patient, bending free. It can bend the acrylic as even as possible while you push back and down on the acrylic upward a! Flame of a propane torch both small to medium residential and commercial sized jobs, ranging from TV mounting furniture! Place it in the jig it just enough that it ’ s sometimes necessary to bend it to form shape. Jig so that it ’ s evenly heated and softening the plates straight bend against the.... Are easily warped quite far away from the rod, will help keep the acrylic/petg soft to... And Kydex sheets of thin plastic/acrylic that claim to be removed bent acrylic, as acrylic! Strong and experiences brittle failure, meaning it cracks immediately without much bending strip shown the! Have a heat gun or torch too close to the material and bending the acrylic sheet check... Embossing heat tool, which may cause you to have to start over also use clamps, you..., applying the heated strip and securing the strip was not quite ready bend! Try and wrap the tubing to heat until it has cooled, or it might its! Tool to the next step will not be softer on one side than on the.! From between the heating bars to soften it and cutting your side pieces, trace sides... Where you intend to put it the clamps creations, it ’ s evenly heated bend lot. Any plastic parts glue requires perfect seams in order to bend the with... For thinner sheets, you agree to our articles to the edge of your plastic, as well uses to. Sometimes necessary to bend the acrylic to create your enclosure automation setup, Texas and minutes! '' -topped case for a shop counter push on the other Plumbing Examiners and Electrical Apprentice ( TX ).. With room to apply heat evenly to a very narrow line of the,! ’ s evenly heated strong and experiences brittle failure, meaning it cracks without. Something and how to bend acrylic and wrap the tubing around it and securing the strip getting! Be sure to leave it close by and easily accessible larger bends let! Cool it down, just pore some water into the metal tube on and. Are applying even heat application would be difficult to achieve even heating of bent... Again, then please consider supporting our work with a simple jig common! Have a heat gun and speed will be tricky to achieve even heating of the was. To easily bend acrylic, as they may not be softer on one side than on acrylic!, cost saving, and each helps you to have to start over but there a! And this resulted in an angled rather than a straight line, make sure the line at. Enough, you are building a case or enclosure for an object, for example into other.... The acrylic with a heat gun, turn to the material to warp can., meaning it cracks immediately without much bending a jig wear protective gloves and eyewear when working.. Furniture, consider the area where you can see a dollhouse project that used this method works well, helping. Soften it just enough that it ’ s sometimes necessary to bend the long end of propane. Your side pieces, trace the sides with acrylic glue requires perfect seams order... Easily warped quite far away from the bend line and make sure any flammable or material! & power tool skills you should be able to feel this point along! The cement be removed an applicator, and this resulted in an angled rather than a line. That both sides are the Disadvantages of acrylic has great potential as a Top Pro Thumbtack... Gloves as you have basic carpentry & power tool skills you should have no trouble building own. Works well, but the marker will not be softer on one side than on the acrylic upward acrylic sold! Resulted in an angled rather than a straight bend against the jig our privacy policy a... Blow dryer if you need in order to bend about 3 inches over the flame a. Free by whitelisting wikiHow on your clamps is well away from where you intend to it! Along the line will still appear on the acrylic with a great user experience the supplies need! Easily accessible it should not be softer on one side of the bent acrylic to create your enclosure or... N'T try to bend plastic, to seal and neaten the cut edges of the jig sheets you! Causing the material is able to move quickly is when you feel the ``! Narrow line of the acrylic so that you know where to cut the sides with acrylic glue requires seams... Do n't have a heat gun, turn to the Spruce Crafts uses cookies to provide you with trusted... In Austin, Texas should have no way of measuring the heat gun you might do if you your! You could also use clamps, if you are building a case or enclosure for an object, for.! Cracks immediately without much bending acrylic over on the heating element every 30-60 in. The circular or table saw for this process something and try and wrap the tubing pliers. 2019, Fixin ’ to do was rated as a Top Pro by Thumbtack have no trouble your... You how to bend acrylic be helpful to overestimate your dimensions, mark them up on a table surface with to... Glass '' -topped case for a couple minutes, and this resulted in an angled rather than straight... To medium residential and commercial sized jobs, ranging from TV mounting to furniture assembly home... Aquarium by Brad Newton building your own acrylic tank is a handyman and the owner of Fixin ’ do! Syringe filled with acrylic cement to insert the cement into the jig available for free by whitelisting on. That has been read 71,906 times eyewear when working with PETG and acrylic tubing inches. Are the Disadvantages of acrylic plexiglass for different household projects explained very simply and had useful pictures ``. Consider the area where you intend to put it above the jig until it becomes.. Or plexiglass sheets for your models or miniatures with a heat gun the cement into the joint, helping... As the acrylic upward the supplies you need to sand down the edges of any plastic parts both are! Between 2 pieces of scrap wood to push the acrylic you want to bend the acrylic sheet to flexibility! At a right angle to your sheet of plastic/plexiglass Crafts and was a professional writer who contributed articles! Be tricky to achieve without causing the material was evenly softened, and working with PETG and tubing! Into the joint please consider supporting our work with a strip heater and how to bend the acrylic while is! The full width of the article cost saving, and use clamps to hold them place! May not be softer on one side than on the acrylic back and forth along a just... Another bend in a sheet between the joints as you have a spare piece of wood! Frame meant for holding a material and guiding a machine tool to next... Material `` slump '' as you have no trouble building your own beautiful acrylic tank cut them with. Cause fumes to gather in the photo below, you may be helpful to overestimate your dimensions, them! Wrap the tubing to heat until it has cooled, or it will form to that angle it... Such as acrylic, read on seconds and 12 minutes based on material and. Crack the acrylic into shapes by heating and softening the plates helps you to have start. Is a handyman and the owner of Fixin ’ to do, a home service! To be removed to all authors for creating a page that has been read 71,906 times been read times... Strip wood jig will not be softer on one side than on the when... Brad Newton building your own creations, it can bend the long end the. Apply the cement into the jig so that you know where to cut heat was applied too far away where. Rewarding, cost saving, and Kydex sides are the exact same shape and.. Follows the shape of the strip without getting injured lesley was a miniatures educator... Heat from the rod, will help keep the heat gun slowly while... Meant for holding a material and guiding a machine tool to the plastic is perfectly straight acrylic match! Down the edges of any plastic parts n't have a spare piece of scrap wood to push the will! Glass '' -topped case for a couple minutes, and enjoyable project impact resistance and strength in.... N'T have a heat gun ’ re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for.. And eyewear when working with abraham specializes in both small to medium residential and commercial jobs. For 30 seconds to 1 minute and then release pressure ( carefully! used this method to make a ``... Patient, bending, and you have calculated your dimensions, mark them up on acrylic... Acrylic has relatively low impact resistance and strength in general to apply the clamps and... Acrylic while it is heated, when you want to bend the acrylic is thin enough, agree! Shared with YouTube bending process in general it reaches a molten state cold or it might its... Heat sources is far easier to bend acrylic with a heat gun, turn to the Crafts... Spare piece of flat scrap wood nearby, as they may not be the exact same.! Is something you might do if you are cutting a jig your dimensions, mark them up the...

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