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Fabricating a 1"-2" transparent dome? Answered

I need to create a small, transparent dome (out of some sort of plastic or resin) that will be able to be glued to a flat surface. What materials are out there to make something like this (that I will be able to do as smoothly and evenly as possible)? It will need to be able to magnify an image underneath it.

Sorry if I don't have enough details on what I am trying to do, I have never made something like this before so any help will be very much appreciated. Thank you for your time.

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BobS (author)2010-12-16

Get a clear christmas ball. The silver layer can be removed with hydrochloric (muriatic) acid. It can be half filled with clear polyester resin after wetting it with WD40 (check a sample to make sure the plastic separates from the glass). When cured, the glass can be broken. The flat side might need some more work: Make it really flat with a file or sandpaper, work up to higher numbers (finer). End up polishing with some car polish.

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steveastrouk (author)BobS2010-12-19

I like Bob's idea. The sphere will be very good accuracy I suspect, and a superb finish, all from stuff you have lying around. Caustic soda or washing soda would shift the aluminium inside surface.

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acidbass (author)2010-12-16

I agree with Steve you could also try taking an old tennis ball and cut the insides out and fill that up leave a hole so you can pour the plastic or what ever you are using into the ball then when it cools cut the ball all the way so you can get the plastic out

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steveastrouk (author)2010-12-15

Do you want it solid, or a shell ?

Steve

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mappum (author)steveastrouk2010-12-15

Solid, sorry for not specifying.

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steveastrouk (author)mappum2010-12-16

No problem ! There are different solutions for hollow spheres.

Cast it in clear polyester resin would be my favoured method. You can buy moulds for casting stuff into half-spheres - take a look in craft stores for the bits and pieces.

Steve

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user

You could pour it into an old incandescent light bulb, filling it up halfway. I mean to the level which would give a hemisphere shaped volume.

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