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Re: [TCML] Bending acrylic


PMMA can be bent with radiant heat from a hot element. It starts to soften somewhere around 200F, and can be bent with a dip in boiling water. A Nichrome coil salvaged from an electric clothes dryer works fine, but be careful to avoid electrical contact. A Calrod element from a junked electric oven also works. Adjust the temp with a Variac. A quartz heater lamp from an old copier machine may work if it is long enough. The optimum distance between the plastic and element vs. the temp of the coil and the heating time duration have to be determined experimentally to avoid burning or sagging, so play with some scrap pieces first.


Scott Bogard wrote:
Hey guys,
Since we have had a few machining/finishing questions on here lately, I figured it would be ok to ask; is it possible to bend acrylic and get it to hold it's shape. I want to make a curved piece of acrylic, and it seems fragile and wants to crack. I'm assuming you need to heat it, but how hot, using what kind of heat source, etc. Thanks in advance.

Scott Bogard
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