How to Bend Acrylic and Make Amazing Shapes

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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!