What is Acrylic?
Acrylic, also known as polyacrylate, is a transparent thermoplastic. It may be known more commonly as ‘PMMA’ or its trade name plexiglass. Its characteristics are strong, lightweight, highly insulating and optically clear. It is easy to fabricate and with its many properties, it has countless applications.
How to Mold Acrylic/Plexiglass?
There are mainly two methods for molding acrylic in our life to produce acrylic products. One is Injection Molding Acrylic and the other is thermoforming molding acrylic sheets. The main difference is the former way use Acrylic raw material particle with a plastic injection machine through shape mold and the latter way use acrylic sheets with the thermoforming machine through shape mold.
Thermoforming Molding Acrylic Sheets
Plastic Thermoforming is a forming method that Heats the thermoplastic sheet to be soft, use gas pressure, liquid pressure, or mechanical pressure and appropriate mold or fixture to make it into products as needed. It can divide into vacuum thermoforming, pressure thermoforming, and blow molding.
Injection Molding Acrylic
For smaller parts and components, we use acrylic injection molding. Acrylic is heated to a liquid, then injected into a custom mold with a high-pressure injection tool. Because designing and creating the tool requires more time and heavy-duty, expensive materials, the initial lead time and tooling cost are greater than thermoforming. However, tooling is a one-time cost, so for large quantities and repeat orders, acrylic injection molding can provide a low per-unit cost.
How to Easily Mold Acrylic Sheets
With more and more acrylic products in people’s homes, Because of acrylic sheets DIY-friendly nature, people love to use them and make various items This article will teach you a super easy way to form acrylic plastic sheets without cracking at home.
Materials to Be Prepared
- Proper-size acrylic sheets
- Wood mold
- Plastic Cutter;
- Heat Proof Gloves;
- Heat gun
Steps to Mold Acrylic Sheets
- Measure the size of your oven. As you’ll need to put the plastic sheet into the oven, there is size limitation.
- Have a mold ready to use. The mold size is smaller than the oven inside size.
- Cut the plastic sheets. Use a plastic cutting knife to cut the sheet down to the general size that could be put in oven.
- Mark the shape of mold with the marker.
- Place the plastic sheet on a cookie tray and place it in an oven set to 250 F. Wait about 10 minutes for it to warm fully.
- take the plastic out and quickly press onto or into the mold that is ready. Use your fingers and firm pressure to press into any corners, fold, bends, etc. until it becomes hard to press. Remember Put on your gloves when you work with plastic.
- Quickly dunk into cold water to cool and set the piece.
- Final check. If there are a few curves or bends that need correcting, you can turn on a heat gun on low to pass the piece back and forth over to SLOWLY heat it up for localized bends.
Molding acrylic sheets at home is not that hard to operate, you can try it to DIY your ideas. KUSLA provide cut-to-size acrylic sheets, rods, tube which also could be used for your DIY project. Contact us if meet any problems when molding acrylic sheets.
Recommend Readings about Acrylic
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