Bending Perspex or acrylic can be done if the acrylic is warm. Once acrylic is cool, it will hold its shape.
Bending acrylic at home can be done with a heater such as a strip heater. You will also need 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 step by step guide to bending acrylic:
- Remove the protective film on your acrylic before heating it. Otherwise, it will become difficult to remove.
- Let your strip heater get hot
- Place your acrylic sheet between the tubes of the strip heater so that the tubes are at the place where you want to bend your acrylic sheet.
- Slowly bend your acrylic into your desired shape, bending acrylic away from the heated side (this side has more give to it and is less likely to crack). By going slowly, the acrylic is less likely to snap. A 6mm piece of acrylic sheet can usually be completely heated at about 300 degrees for about 8 minutes.
- Use clamps and weights to hold your acrylic in the shape you want. It is important to keep your acrylic in place while it cools.
Bending acrylic takes practice so try some test bends to work out the best settings for your piece. If you would like help bending acrylic, do let our friendly Plastic People team know. They will be happy to help: firstname.lastname@example.org