Instructables
Picture of Acrylic Bracelets
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Here are some bracelets I made by laser cutting and bending acrylic. I cut some strips on a laser cutter in a pattern I designed.  Then I heated the strips with a heat gun and bent them around a circular jig to form the bracelet.  And by jig, I mean vinegar bottle :) I measured my hand to see how big a circumference I'd need - it was about 8 inches - and this bottle fit great.  A beer bottle would probably also have been about right.  If I make more, though, I'll make a jig with a base to rest the strip on while I heat & bend it, and maybe a small clamp to hold the middle tight to the bottle.  I wore gloves while doing the bending - acrylic starts to soften at temperatures between 175 and 200 F (it varies considerably depending on the acrylic and I didn't measure) which is hot enough to burn slightly, or at least make you let go instinctively.  It took a couple tries to get a nice curve, without breaking the acrylic (not hot enough) or bubbling the surface (too hot).  Also, I tried one with the paper cover still on, but the paper scorched and the glue ruined the shiny acrylic surface.  Cut with frisket on, form with frisket off.

The last "image" is an .ai format file of the design I used.
DarkHeavens10 months ago
I use one of these for bending plastics, would prevent bubbles and uneven warping when using a heat gun and could wrap it around the bottle with the acrylic after it is soft enough, just an idea... will have to try this out :) http://www.amazon.com/Craftics-24-Plastic-Strip-Heater/dp/B003GUPFPG/ref=pd_sim_sbs_indust_7 pretty sure I paid far less than this for one, just can't remember the supplier :(
JCA10010 months ago
This is a great idea, I like your design. This project would be very popular with the girls in my RMT class. We are lucky enough to have a Clarke 911 Thermoforming Centre that has a built in oven to soften the Acrylic at around 160 degrees. I think it would be best if I cut some different size Formers/Moulds out of 25mm MDF for them to bend the Acrylic around. Being in Wales I think we will try it with Celtic designs.
Would it be possible for you to put your drawing online for some of the weaker pupils to work from?
rachel (author)  JCA10010 months ago
Awesome, I added the design I used to the Instructable. Post some pics of your students' work when it's done! I'd love to see.