Customs: Is styrene bendable?

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by SmokescreenSWE, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. SmokescreenSWE

    SmokescreenSWE Well-Known Member

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    I'm making a rather big, organic figure which needs some armor details. I was thinking: is it possible to get styrene bendable, maybe by heating? I'd fold it around a pen or something.
     
  2. SmokescreenSWE

    SmokescreenSWE Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm... Wikipedia says that it's "softening" at 90 degrees C, so boiling should be a way to work it...
     
  3. big hank

    big hank Resident Slacker-Basher

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    Yes, if you soften it in boiling water you can form it over your template(pen here). Alternately, you can try a heat gun, like one would use to melt heat shrink tubing.:cool: 
     
  4. Bigbot3030

    Bigbot3030 Well-Known Member

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    styrene is very bendable. depending on the thickness you can do all sorts of things. i think your best bet for small areas is a heat gun. but if you wanted to drape a whole piece over a form I would say boiling it. Just make sure you have some tongs and enough "scrap" to hold onto since it gets soft real quick and you don't want a melted plasitc goo in the bottom of your pot! I also wear gloves (work) to drape the piece over the form. your are dipping soemthing in boiling water so it will be hot. just be careful and prcatice on some pieces so you can find the amount of time it takes to soften the plastic up. try to do the bare minimum of heat, it makes it easier to work wiht on your form. that's about the quickest way for me to describe it wihtout getting into a tutorial on plastic and vacuumforming. Hope this helps!

    Randy!
     
  5. ErechOveraker

    ErechOveraker I'm with Plowking.

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    A hairdryer will work in a pinch too, but it'll keep heating up a little after you turn the dryer off, so test it out on a scrap first to figure the right length of time to keep it under.

    I think boiling/hot water would be a little too imprecise and might even accidentally cause some warping, depending on the size you're working with.
     
  6. Bigbot3030

    Bigbot3030 Well-Known Member

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    You are correct about boiling, but what it sounded like is he wanted to drape the styrene over something to create the part, and boiling would make even heat across the whole surface. it's tricky to get right though.
     
  7. plowking

    plowking I'm with ErechOveraker. Veteran

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    I used really thin sheets of it to make the body kit (front and rear bumper covers) for Alt Bludgeon, and I got it to follow the natural curve of the bumpers with no probs at all.
     
  8. REDLINE

    REDLINE longer days, plz? Veteran

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    yeah you can use a match, or candle or even a hair dryer to heat it up, and then curve it around solid objects to shape it any way you want, and after it cools, it will retain that shape.
     

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