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Thread: Molding plexiglass?
05-15-06, 02:33 PM #1
Can anyone tell me how to shape plexiglass and how hard it is to do? For my folding tower I want to have a giant clear plexiglass cylinder for the outside. Any ideas on how I would go about bending it? Or is there another material I could use?
05-15-06, 02:58 PM #2
I'd have to say something round to bend it around, a heatgun, and some weld-on adhesive should do it for you, and probably a lot of time. It just depends on how big it's gonna be and that will determine how difficult it's gonna be to bend.-Greg-
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05-15-06, 03:04 PM #3
Maybe 5-6ft tall and around a 2ft diameter. I'm thinking of suspending the mobos and such from wires going all the way down inside the case so I can get some nice cooling from a huge fan blowing up from the bottom.
05-15-06, 03:23 PM #4
From those dimensions it sounds like a somewhat thick bit of plastic... and a slightly tight curve to bend around. Yes that may be difficult - i STRONGLY sugest taking time in developing the jigs you will be using for this, they will make life much easier if planed out well.CPU i7-2600 Cooling CM 212+ w/ 2 fans RAM 4x4gb G.Skill DDR3 1333 Video 9800GT & 8600GT Storage 1TB Raid0 system & 2TB storage HEAT
05-17-06, 12:00 PM #5
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ya heat will do it. ive done forming of plexiglass with ovens heat guns and stove tops. just remember to take it slow and be very patient. it you go to fast with the heat youll get bubbles and bends. and if you dont have enough heat it will crack on you. you can also do vacumn forming. its pretty simple you should look into it.
05-17-06, 05:28 PM #6
from the project log that I'll finish some time in 2020:
Originally Posted by Vonkaar
Originally Posted by Vonkaar-->>Ranked #1 of all folders in the world!!<<-- named Vonkaar...
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05-17-06, 08:30 PM #7
It's proving to be a little harder than I thought to get a perfect cylinder though. I'm using a 55 gallon drum as a jig and trying to make a perfect cylinder around it with the plexiglass, but it's not working out too well. If I use the cheap stuff with the blue wrapper on the back it fogs up a little and if I use the nicer stuff that comes with the green wrapper it doesn't retain the shape. I'm using a 500-1,000 degree heat gun. Do I nead a propane one or something? I'm thinking about switching over to fiberglass and just making plexiglass windows.
05-17-06, 08:54 PM #8
First off, please stop using the word plexiglass because it's not a material, but a very generic term for a diverse set of transparent plastics. Saying "plexiglas" is only slightly less generic than simply saying "plastic".
Originally Posted by sno.lcn
You can really only safely heat-warp Acrylic for this purpose. Polycarbonate can be heat-warp, but is more resistant so you would need to work with lower thicknesses of it.
You have the right idea of needing to use a jig or form for the shape you want. They're vital because the sheets have the be held in the shape you want as they cool. You want to keep your operating temperatures below 300F and you want to do heating gradually. When working with such a large surface area you're going to need to use a strip heater in order to get uniform heating.
Call some local plastics shops and try to find one that sells their off-cuts. You should be able to buy what you need for a few dollars per pound.
Last edited by Captain Slug; 05-17-06 at 09:00 PM.
05-17-06, 11:10 PM #9Originally Posted by Captain Slug
Originally Posted by Captain Slug
Originally Posted by Captain Slug
05-17-06, 11:39 PM #10
GE Lexan is usually packaged in blue/white or a brown paper if it's a special order product. Polycarbonates such as lexan (and there are 5 other brands) require higher temps in a narrower range in order to be heat-warped without bubbling or carmelization. With polycarbonates you also have to forge the shape by either over-warping it or using a mold. Unless you need your case to have superior impact resistance it will be best to go with acrylic.