Bending acrylic ear savers

As a director at an adult home facility, I have made these for our staff. They love them, so thank you glowforge!

The only concern is they would like them curved. I purchased a heat gun as recommended from the forums, but they are turning out the way you see. I’ve tried a lower setting and further away from material, but to no avail.

Intuition says I’m doing it too quickly and too hot. Any suggestions on how to get better results? It is PG acrylic. Also please don’t make fun of the 60’s countertops! It is a summer project to replace with diy concrete…

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Acrylic bends at 160C/320F so if you have an oven or toaster oven you can place it in there on the backside of a bowl and it will bend itself - or you can help it with a slight push. I tend to find that it starts to get soft 15-20 degrees before then, but it might be that my oven temp is off!

I’m gonna guess with a heat gun your best bet might be to put it in a metal bowl and run the heat gun on the underside of the bowl - so you’re not hitting the acrylic directly at all - be careful that bowl is going to get HOT!

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Thanks for the info! Is there any issues with using a toaster oven that you use for food as well? I tend to be on the over cautious side of the spectrum.

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in better times, i’d suggest picking up a dirt cheap used toaster oven from goodwill for things like this.

i don’t know that i’d want to melt acrylic in something i actually plan to cook in, but that could just be me being overly cautious. acrylic stinks.

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Put them in the oven on a cookie tray at 170F. Then pull them out and drape them over whatever shape you want them to be. Super easy. Doesn’t mess up your oven in any way

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I did a batch of bending a few dozen yesterday, using my heat gun at 1250°F, working over a few at a time while they were laid on a cast iron skillet, holding 10-12" away and moving the gun back and forth briskly. I kept the contact paper on and experienced no problems other than singeing the paper a tad on my first couple. Rest worked out great. No acrylic damage.

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Thanks everyone, I appreciate the guidance.

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In addition to the other suggestions, a 1 gallon paint can from Home Depot (they sell unused, unlabeled plain metal cans for about $5) is about the same diameter as the normal adult. Heat that up in the oven with a cookie sheet full of earsavers and then pull the rack out and leaving the paint can on its side place an earsaver on the can, press the ends down and remove then repeat :slight_smile:

I made a rough bending jig to use with a heat gun that works pretty well, I’m doing to do another version to make it a bit more efficient as I can only bend 5 or so at a time (more when made with 1/16" acrylic). I also used the radius of a 1 gallon paint can for the curve!

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I’m always amazed at the knowledge of the forum users. Thanks so much for providing the clear pictures so that I could follow along and understand how you used your jig you made.

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