Acrylic is a great material that can be used for an assortment of projects. It is shatter-proof, very durable and comes in any colour than you can imagine. Acrylic sheets can be laser cut, heated, machines and bent into any shape you’d like it to be.
- Bending Acrylic Sheets
Acrylic sheets can be heated and bent at various angles using a strip heater. We all know that strip heaters can be very costly. Thank god there is a way to make do without that equipment. Set your toaster oven to 95ºC and leave the oven door slightly ajar. Place the part of the acrylic to be bent just above the ajar door, then wait for it to soften just enough and then bend it to your desired angle. However, of you do not own a toaster oven; you can very carefully use a heat gun to heat the acrylic sheet up. When using these substitute methods, make sure to bend the acrylic sheet against a hard sturdy surface such as a wood or metal for clean and straight corners.
- Bending Smaller Pieces of Acrylic Sheet
If it is small thin pieces of acrylic that you are going to bend, we suggest using the shaft of a soldering iron as a strip-heater. Put the iron into the holder, switch it on and hold the acrylic sheet just above the iron. Make sure to keep an eye on it, as you do not want it to melt into liquid and make it droop onto the soldering iron as that is totally a hassle to clean up afterwards.
- Flame Polishing Acrylic Sheets
If an acrylic sheet has frosty edges and you want to make it clear, flame polishing is the way to go. It actually takes some practice to get it right. All you have to do is basically brush the flame from a propane torch across the edges of the acrylic sheet then melt them slightly. This is what gives the clear, polished appearance to it. Make sure you don’t polish the edges that will be glued later on as the adhesive properties will significantly decrease.
- Drilling Acrylic Sheets
Drilling acrylic sheets using conventional wood or metal drill bits is going to guarantee cracking the acrylic sheet. If it is very thin, we suggest you use a step drill bit. If the acrylic sheet is thick, conventional drill bits can be used but you have to place a piece of masking tape over the area that is going to be drilled first. Spraying some WD-40 on the hole (especially if its quite thick) will act as a lubricant and this will in turn help dissipate heat as the hole is heated and help remove chips.