This is filed in the ‘Huh, I didn’t think that was going to work’ category.
I wanted to try my hand in thermoforming. The idea was to cut out a pattern or a raster and ‘soften’ the acrylic around a form to create a bracelet for my wife with the following items.
A Powder coat oven.
A (Empty) Beer bottle.
As always this adventure starts out in Fusion 360 and a Woodchuck (Beer). I made a couple repeating patterns then cut them out. Since the end result was basically was going to be jewlery- I figure I’d make use of the scraps by making them into earrings.
Then I went out to the garage a fired up the oven and set the controller to 450F. Went back in the house and pressed the button to start the cuts. At this point I had an empty beer bottle. I washed it out and cleaned it out with cold water then dropped it into the freezer. And 18 mins later I had these.
Grabbed the Woodchuck then trek back out into the garage. I grabbed an old clay bowl and placed the flat stock across the bowl then inserted it into the oven.
(*Note. The example above is from the second attempt- I seriously didn’t think it was going to work.)
Waited 3 mins then switched to ‘broil’ then watched it sag into the bowl. Once it touched the bottom I waited 20~30 seconds- pulled out the pieces out and tightly wrapped it around the frozen beer bottle. Did the same for the second piece.
And…It worked. So I figured- Okay. Let’s check for repeatability. I put the bottle back in the freezer and cut out two different designs.
Did the same process as above…