Introduction: Acrylic Bending Jig

We had to replace some acrylic bending jigs in our shop so I decided to make them in house and post the project up here. It is very basic but suits our needs in the school shop.

Step 1: Cutting Out the Sides

You have to cut two sides for the bending jig on a laser cutter or CNC mill. I used our Chinese made A3 laser cutter from Just add Sharks here in the UK. I cut them out of 6mm laser grade ply.

The files for the laser cutting software, and the original Adobe Illustrator file are attached here.

Step 2: Assembly

After you cut the two sides, the rest is hand skills. I cut two pieces of 12mm birch ply the same size on the table saw. Found the centre, and screwed the centre screw in the two sides. This makes it easier to line the 'legs' of the side parallel to the bottom board. Finish screwing all of the side screws in and insert the top half. Make a mark through the bottom hole in the middle of the top half. I punched it and used a 6mm splined dowel as a pivot. Repeat on the other side. NB there needs to be a slight gap under the top half to facilitate the pivot. I found that as close to the edge as you can works well. pivot the top half to 90° and make a mark in the centre on through the arc on one side. This is where you have to drill a 8.5mm hole for the pivot lock. drill the hole 40-50mm deep. use a 6mm allen key to tighten in the 6mm nut insert. reassemble and screw the pivot stop assembly into the nut inset through the pivot arc.
The pivot lock is made from a M6 x 30mm machine screw with a couple of washers, a M6 wing nut and a M6 Nyloc nut.


DakLak made it!(author)2016-12-10

I completed a bender based upon your article. Thank you, you saved me some time.

My bender, which is used to bend Polycarbonate, has a small addition - a radiant heat bar with variable control for warming up the material.

JohnS991 made it!(author)2016-08-31

I'm literally drawing CAD files for the same thing for our shop and I stumbled on this. Thank you sir.

balundab made it!(author)2016-06-22

cool write up. like the no frills to the pointness of it, gonna build a couple of these for my shop. cheers.

r33tc0w made it!(author)2016-05-25

obviously, but I'm looking more of a technique - can you post a video?

r33tc0w made it!(author)2016-04-28

what do you use to heat the acrylic up in order to bend?

chloekins07 made it!(author)2016-05-23

just use a heat gun

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