Instructables

Step 2: Bending The Plexiglass

I talked to a few glass stores in town, but I couldn't find anybody who would bend plexi. I did some research online and found that some people had successfully used a heat gun and very gentle pressure, so I decided to try it. After borrowing a heat gun from my roommate's girlfriend's mother, I set up a crude heating and bending mold with a piece of wood and a metal level. I applied the heat gun to the gap between the block and level, and very, very carefully, the plexiglass started to soften and melt. As the acrylic starts to melt, the pressure from the block will start bending it. I needed to tack down the level, because it had a tendancy to scoot to the right as the bend progressed. Eventually, you will need to apply pressure to the left edge towards the level. Once the plexi is bent at 90 degrees, turn off the heat gun and let it cool right here before moving it. I moved the first edge before letting it cool, and it flexed back to about an 80 degree angle.

You can see in the last image my progress after bending two of the sides.
SWERDNA3 years ago
Hi out there from darkest Africa! I am a total novice at manipulating Plexiglass - I have this concept of 'rippling' Plexiglass like a flag in the wind frozen in time - is a Heatgun the only method or are there chemical solutions to achieve this effect?

SWERDNA
aaron8 years ago
will a hair dryer be hot enough to soften the acrylic?