Acrylic can be bent if it is heated. When it cools down, it will hold its shape.
To bend acrylic at home, you will need to heat it up with something like a strip heater and some clamps to hold your acrylic into your chosen shape. A strip heater has a heating element running between two tubes that are water cooled. The tubes hold the acrylic sheet in place and you should be able to adjust them to the thickness of your acrylic sheet.
Here’s our 4 step guide to bending acrylic:
- Remove the protective film on your acrylic before you heat it. If you leave it on, it is likely to be very difficult to remove after heating.
- Let your strip heater get hot then insert your acrylic between the tubes of the strip heater so that the tubes are at the place where you want to bend your acrylic sheet. A 1/4-inch-thick piece of acrylic can usually be completely heated at about 300 degrees for about 8 minutes. Try some test bends to work out the best settings.
- Bend your acrylic into the shape you want. Bend slowly -your acrylic is less likely to snap with slower movements – and bend away from the heated side (this side has more give to it and is less likely to crack).
- Use clamps and weights to hold your acrylic in the shape you want. Keep your acrylic in place while it cools – open air is fine or you can use a cooling jig.