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Clear vacuum forming plastic?

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144flynavy
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Clear vacuum forming plastic?

#1

Post by 144flynavy »

Is this product suitable for vacuum forming canopies?

What thickness would you recommend: .010" or .015"?

Thanks

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F_IV
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Re: Clear vacuum forming plastic?

#2

Post by F_IV »

I would not recommend this for vacuforms. It is clear styrene and tends to bubble with heat and tears easily. The acetate/PET etc. seems to be much more user friendly. My personal favourite is .5mm acrylic. It’s expensive and hard to find in Oz, but it forms well with enough heat and sands & polishes like a dream.

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erix700
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Re: Clear vacuum forming plastic?

#3

Post by erix700 »

144flynavy: Will you be actually vacu-forming or plug-forming ?
The difference is in the amount of heating required: plug-forming takes less heat (depends on how sturdy the pattern is).
PET tends to draw in minute amounts of moisture in humid environments. This may cause bubbles to form when heated long enough for vacu-forming, but it usually is no problem when heated briefly.
I prefer good-old acetate instead of PET, but I never tried thin acrylic and the canopies F_IV makes look superb.

HTH,
-- Eric.

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144flynavy
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Re: Clear vacuum forming plastic?

#4

Post by 144flynavy »

erix700 wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2024 20:36
144flynavy: Will you be actually vacu-forming or plug-forming ?
The difference is in the amount of heating required: plug-forming takes less heat (depends on how sturdy the pattern is).
PET tends to draw in minute amounts of moisture in humid environments. This may cause bubbles to form when heated long enough for vacu-forming, but it usually is no problem when heated briefly.
I prefer good-old acetate instead of PET, but I never tried thin acrylic and the canopies F_IV makes look superb.

HTH,
-- Eric.
Eric,
Good one! How did you know what I meant to ask - plug-forming it is ;)

Your question got me to thinking of this product (showing my age):

Image

If I remember correctly the Squadron Shop catalog showed heating the Thermform sheet over an open flame candle and when it started to sag, then over to the canopy plug. Don't remember if you had to coat the canopy plug with "something" prior?

I see a couple of US Ebay vendors have Squadron Thermaform for sale. Anything else like this available for purchase?

F_IV thanks for the vacuum forming info.

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Catherder
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Re: Clear vacuum forming plastic?

#5

Post by Catherder »

I showed my own method for plunge molding here:-

https://www.kampfgruppe144.com/phpBB3/v ... 9&start=20

….albeit in this case for non-transparent parts. I’ve also done transparent canopies using the Squadron thermoform sheet but mainly I use pieces of clear plastic (acrylic?) scrounged from plastic packaging.

Good luck!

Andy

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erix700
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Re: Clear vacuum forming plastic?

#6

Post by erix700 »

If Squadron Clear Thermaform is the same material as what the Squadron vacformed canopies were made of, then it is PET alright.
Easy to work with albeit a bit thin, even for 1/144 scale canopies.

I only ever coated plugs made out of wood (just to fill the grains), in fact many types of varnish/paint may become sticky when warm.

HTH,
-- Eric.

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