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Re: [TCML] Bending acrylic

Use a straight piece of steel wire.  Hook this up to a variac and slowly
increase the current into the wire.  Monitor the current with an ammeter
(different types of wire require different currents).  The wire gets hot in
30-60 sec and a bend is attempted.  No luck, then increase the current a bit
more and try again.  It usually requires 60-120 to properly heat the plastic
to the best bending temp.  Once the proper current is achieved your ammeter
will allow you to reproduce the same results every time.

Also, a pair of plywood boards with 3-4 hinges works well for long bends
that have to be straight.

Some commercial units use a 120 volt to 24 or 48 volts stepdown transformer
to drive the tunsten or steel element (McMaster-Carr is one source), but I
suspect this is more for liability reasons than bending performance.

Dr. Resonance

On 3/18/08, Scott Bogard <teslas-intern@xxxxxxxxxxx> 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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