Acrylic benders


#1

Hi everyone,

Want to buy a good acrylic bender. Ideally it would support big surfaces (even bigger than 20") and allow me to bend to a pre-defined angle.

Any ideas? I’m in San Francisco, fwiw :slight_smile:

Tnx a bunch!


#2

You might want to do a search on YouTube. I recently researched the same thing and came across a few DIY project videos that were simple, affordable and could be scaled to any size.

Here’s one I found useful:


#3

Thanks Karl! Saw some of the DIY options online but was hoping to buy a ready made solution…


#4

#5

Thanks Busch! This seems pretty great, have you had a chance to use it?

I just wish it didn’t require water cooling… If I don’t find anything else just slightly simpler will go with it. Going to Shanghai next week so might actually see if I can find it there for a good price too


#6

No, i have not used this. But it seems pretty straight forward.
Good luck


#7

I have one of these. Not much to say about it really, they’re all much the same.
Does come with an adjustable cooling jig though.


#8

Thanks @bridget, love that it needs no water cooling! A bit steep at $880 but seems like a great choice if bending jobs start becoming frequent.

Do you ever miss the ability to have an angle-adjustable corner to bend to pre-defined shapes? The machine @buschtrent mentioned has that functionality.


#9

A great deal depends on the result that you want. There is all sorts of nichrome wire heaters if you are looking for a sharp bend. There is a great company (called Skycraft) that got its start dumpster diving Cape Kennedy, and still buys used and odd lots of of that sort of stuff I it is a candy store for DIY techies. However as great as it was dumpster diving the Cape, Dumpster-diving Silicon Valley must have been really awesome and I would bet somebody there built an amazing business that way.

Skycraft on the web might be selling heater tape like that, they surely have some but you have to go there for most stuff.

More complex bends might take an oven and a form to slump into. I “rented” a bunch of insulation from an AC guy and we used a torpedo burner for heat to bend heavy Acrylic that was 14 feet by 6 feet about 160 degrees in a mold we tossed together out of plywood.

We did about ten of them, and then gave the AC guy his insulation back and returned the rented torpedo burner.


#10

Does it really need to be $900 or water cooled? When I looked into these I saw a lot of modest models around $200-300. For example:

The bending jig on the ebay link is pretty nice though.


#11

Yes I recall such heaters in Skycraft for perhaps ten dollars, they were not new and they do not reliably have most things (many were gone while I was thinking about buying them)


#12

Aw, the 13-year-old was just at skycraft when he was visiting his grandmother. The package of stuff he bought hasn’t arrived yet…

(And just to keep things on acrylic-bending, for simple stuff there’s just the plain old heat gun. This afternoon I rebent the frame for a hummingbird feeder that had always sagged way too much.)


#13

I used to live less than a mile from the place, but that was over a year ago and I am still suffering withdrawal.

Heat gun is good for bending that does not need to be precise.


#14

Check with TAP Plastics, they have some bender options too, some are DIY and pretty flexible

https://www.tapplastics.com


#15

The one I have comes with a separate jig for setting the angles.image

From the look of it this is (despite the claim in the listing) not a complete unit. to be able to use this in any kind of work environment it would need to be built into a metal cabinet, be fitted with a rheostat and have an on/off switch fitted, plus the cost of a jig.
Also I have a sneaking feeling that this will be rebranded Chinese built stuff and …No thanks.
As for water cooling, can’t see any advantage to it.


#16

Also, without a CE mark. No insurance for my business.
It’s just easier for me to pay the £500.
For others, this may not be the case, but I’m always happier to pay a bit extra for the peace of mind.
Yet somehow I shelled out for a discounted GF and there was no peace of mind there.
Well… not for 2 1/2 years anyway.:grinning: