The viral building material is plexiglass, also known as acrylic glass. Because it is also appreciated by home improvement so, the term “hobbyist glass” could establish itself. Plexiglas is easy to machine mechanically. But the acrylic glass is far more flexible – in the most real sense of the word. Because Plexiglas, you can also bend excellent. Below we have created an easy to understand guide for turning Plexiglas for you.
Versatile acrylic glass
Plexiglas is available in a variety of strengths. Also, it is clear, but also available in color or milky (semi-transparent). It can be edited very well.
- to bend
However, bending requires some practice. Therefore, you should first try on a practice piece because Plexiglas must have the right temperature to bend. If it is not hot enough, cracks may appear in the bend that is not particularly beautiful, especially with a transparent acrylic glass. However, if you heat it too hard, the art glass liquefies slowly, and bubbles can form.
Complex or bend at edges
If you want to make a plexiglass plate complex (do not bend the edge), you must heat it evenly on both sides. This is best done in an oven – the right size, of course, provided. However, you will most likely bend acrylic glass along one edge, so we’ve laid out our guide for it.
The step-by-step guide to bending Plexiglas
- acrylic glass
- Hot air blower with an elongated nozzle
- Metal rail, alternatively particular negative form
- heat-resistant wood (e.,g. tropical hardwood)
- at least two long strips
- Screw clamps without plastic coating
- heat resistant work gloves
1. Preparatory work
You may need to trim a metal rail first. It should always be slightly longer than the Plexiglas. Alternatively, you can use a hard-to-burn tropical wood instead of the metal rail. This reduces the risk of metal rail becoming too hot. Because a heat source, you should never bring into direct contact with acrylic glass – explicitly, if it is too hot or could be.
2. Clamp the acrylic glass
Clamp the metal rail. Put the Plexiglas on the metal rail. Align it to the track so that the bending edge is the same as the rail. To protect the acrylic glass, clamp the wooden fence at the top, again with the side at the bend line (i.,e. in alignment with the underlying metal or hardwood rail).
At the front of the Plexiglas (the side to be bent downwards), the second wooden rail is tightened. It is optimal if the Plexiglas surface to be turned is only visible about one to two centimeters between the two wood slats. Unique feature: Clamp the outer screw clamp so that it screws from above and also shows the long screw clamp shaft upwards. Use it later as a lever.
3. Heating from Plexiglas
Now you can start heating up. The heating must be uniform over the entire surface. When the acrylic glass reaches its optimum temperature is difficult to determine. Therefore, you should first practice on a piece of rubbish from the same art glass. It is best to try again and again with slight pressure to bend the Plexiglas. However, the press with a lot of feeling. If the acrylic is not soft enough, it could break.
4. Bending from acrylic glass
Now you can bend the Plexiglas. Pull the side to be bent down evenly until the desired bend angle is reached.
5. After bending
Now, wait until the Plexiglas has cooled to about 50 to 60 degrees before you take it out of your “bending device.”
Tips & Tricks
For longer bending edges, you should have at least one helper, with which you can turn the Plexiglas together. If you want to achieve a certain angle when bending, you can also produce a corresponding harmful mold made of metal or hardwood. In the described bending technique, you get inside the Plexiglas a sharp canted bend. If you want to achieve around the bend, you must also use a corresponding harmful mold.
If you have never bent acrylic glass, the first projects should be done with Plexiglas, which is no more than 5 mm maximum – the thinner, the easier it is to bend.