How to Bend Acrylic and Make Amazing Shapes

Hello and welcome to Creativity Hero
channel. In today's video I'm going to show you how to bend acrylic which opens a whole new world of possibilities for DIY projects. There are so many different
methods of bending acrylic and all of them have one thing in common which is
heat bending. It is actually the process of heating acrylic until it's soft
enough and then bending it into different shapes. The method that I chose
works on the same principle, but it is very simple, cheap and it doesn't require
power tools which means that everyone can try it at home. Also, I'll share
with you a few useful tips I've learned along the way that will help you make
clean and professional looking shapes out of acrylic.

So, let's get into it! I
have 5 millimeters thick acrylic sheet, so I'll cut a few pieces with a hacksaw. I've cut different sizes in order to
show you how the size of the acrylic affects the process of bending. Before
heating up the acrylic, I peeled off the protective film on both sides. If you
don't remove the film it will melt and will be nearly impossible to remove it
from the acrylic. Then I wiped the dust off of the surface, because when exposed
to heat it can stick to the acrylic. The heat source that I'm using is portable gas stove.

This is common heat source in almost every household, and it
can be very useful for small-scale DIY project. It is recommended for outdoor
use, but you can use it indoors as well if you provide adequate ventilation. Remember to wear heat-resistant gloves for protection against flames or heat.
You could also wear a mask to limit your exposure to fumes. So, I turned the gas
stove on, and reduced the heat as much as possible. Then I took one acrylic piece
and placed it above. The distance between the acrylic and the heat should be at
least 15 centimeters or 6 inches to avoid air bubbles which
could damage the acrylic. In the beginning I kept the acrylic too close
to the stove and you can notice that after a few seconds a lot of bubbles
appeared on the surface and the acrylic softened a lot more than needed.

Also, if
you stay in one spot for too long it means that you don't apply heat evenly
to the bend line, which will again create bubbles into the acrylic that cannot be
removed, and it is something you really don't want to happen. And if you don't
apply heat evenly to the bend line you won't get a straight bend, or in the
worst case you'll break the acrylic. Here I try to apply even heat along the bend
line and waited for about 3 minutes until the acrylic softened enough.

You
know that it is time to bend the acrylic when it starts to bend by itself without
applying any pressure to it. And this happens once it reaches around 130
degrees Celsius. Now I can bend the acrylic piece away from the heat source.
To make straight bend I used two scrap wood pieces to hold the
acrylic in place and one piece to apply pressure and make the proper bend. So, I
made a very simple 90 degree angle. When you're done bending allow the bend to
completely cool before doing anything else, so that you do not lose its new
shape.

If you have additional bends to make with the same piece of acrylic
repeat the process. To make a phone stand I took larger acrylic piece. Here I need
to make two bends. This is much larger surface, so it took me around 5
minutes for each bend until the acrylic softened enough. Heating is a slow
process and requires a lot of patience, but you really need to make sure that
you get a straight bend which is in fact your final goal. The softening time
depends on the thickness of the acrylic, as well as the size of the surface that
we need to bend. With these two bands I created a phone stand in less than 15
minutes, which is pretty awesome.

I've already used this method of bending
acrylic in two of my previous videos. In the first video I've made curved
wood and acrylic LED desk lamp with concrete base, where I've bent one large
piece of acrylic that needed to be a perfect fit for the wooden body of the
lamp. In the second video I've made concrete and acrylic LED lamp with a
wooden base, where I've bent tiny acrylic pieces, which then I
inserted into the concrete. So, you can check those videos out for more details.
I'll put links in the description below.

If you want to make round shapes, for
example circle, you actually have much larger surface for bending. So, to soften
the whole surface you need to slowly move the acrylic piece back and forth
for longer period. I suggest using a can or something similar and when the
acrylic piece is soft enough wrap it around the can. Using the can I slightly
bent another long acrylic piece and added a light source underneath just to
show you how easy it is to make a lamp. You can also make different shapes
freehand. I've made a bow out of a tiny acrylic piece and a spiral out of a
larger one, and I think they turned out pretty cool. This method might not be
useful for larger pieces of acrylic or for making some complex shapes and
angles, but if you don't have an appropriate bending tool it's definitely
worth trying. There are so many different DIY projects you can make using this
simple method of bending acrylic.

Plus you can combine different materials like
wood, concrete and some LED lights to bring your projects to a whole new level. Just use your creativity and make something amazing. Thank you so much for watching. I hope you find this video useful and you learn something new. If
you have any questions or suggestions leave a comment down below. Don't forget to like, subscribe to my channel and click the notification bell to never
miss another video. Bye and see you in the next one!.

As found on YouTube

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