Let's Make Robots!

Bending Acrylic

Hi All,

So my clear acrylic finally arrived today, and I realised that I don't have a clue as to how to bend it... I don't really want to buy an acrylic bender, and I don't own a hot air gun so anyone got any tips ??

Thanks :D

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I bend a lot of plastics and my strip benders are my best friend. All they are is a long element sunk in to a sheet metal case. Plastic goes on top and when you see distortion it is ready to bend. You can by them on line between 100 - 300 dollars. Most plastic shops build there own out of wood with a heater element in it. They work great to. If you look hard enough you can probably find instructions on-line.

A torch and conduit is another approach. It's not all that different from what she did, but has more Y chromo appeal (fire good; magic bad :) ). You clamp a piece of aluminum conduit in a metal vise and set up a propane torch so that the flame doesn't quite touch the conduit but is just far enough away to get it very hot and exhausts through it. Between aluminum's heat conducting properties and the exhaust going through it, the whole length will heat up pretty quickly. Light it, wait only a few seconds and it will be ready, heat the plastic, bend it and turn the flame off. Make sure you do it over something that can handle a hot piece of conduit falling on it because that will happen sometimes. When you heat it, it expands and will flatten the sides a little; sometimes enough that it falls out of the vise as it starts to cool.

EDIT - Forgot the obligatory disclaimer:

This works for me; I hope it works for you. No other warranty is expressed or implied...

That sounds perfect! :D I might give it a try with some copper pipe, or whatever I can find and see what happens :)


Is that the only way? I haven't got the equipment and materials to make that :/

Thanks for the help though :)