lexan bender

Is anyone bringing to Nat’s a hot wire bender capable of bending 1/4 lexan and can accomodate a sheet 28 in wide?

If not, got any advice on making one cheaply?

James
Engineer/Coach
Team 180 SPAM

We have had good success just bending polycarb sheet on a normal break.

We typically only use 1/8 inch thickness max. but I think we have bent 1/4 inch as well.

Anybody else have better data than my foggy memory?

Joe J.

We’ve gotten creative with a few soldering irons, not the prettiest thing sometimes but it works.

ashley

One of our engineers created this lexan bender out of some sort of heating rod thing…

all u do is set this device on top of the lexan where u want to make a nice bend with a radius…then after it heats for awhile [no melting :smiley: ] then u just quickly take the lexan and bend it over something else with a radius (table edge, pipe, etc.)

Works pretty well…we used it this year to bend our side panels rather than using the traditional break…

Now for your question…i dont remember if we put that in our trailer…but if we did it will be able to bend 28 in, but u will not get a bend with a 90 degree angle…

We use a sheet metal bender too. If 1/4 inch is too thick, do two sheets of 1/8 and glue together with methylene dichloride.

we just used a blow torch. our mentor/teacher went to his room at the school, grabed a blow torch, came back and melted/burned the lexan, and then bent it into the shape we needed. it actually worked out pretty well too.

A good 'ole heat gun (paint stripper, whatever you want to call it) does great when it comes to bending lexan or PVC. Our team uses it all the time. Just make sure as to not over heat it and it works great.

~Tom Fairchild~, who also found out late one robotic evening just how effective the heat gun is at reheating pizza - two thumbs up!

I think we might bring ours, it’s an electrical current running through a piece of what looks like ribbon but it has some metallic properties. We have a cool lexan barn roof shaped cover on our bot which we did with that. Come see us and maybe borrow our contraption if we brought it.

This is a little late for Nationals, but we also user a heat gun and a jig made out of two pieces of metal to bend the polycarb. We would have used our metal bender, but it was a few inches too short.

we just used a blow torch. our mentor/teacher went to his room at the school, grabed a blow torch, came back and melted/burned the lexan, and then bent it into the shape we needed. it actually worked out pretty well too.

i know this is a little late for nationals but…

  If in the futur you are going to use this method keep in mind that we scored it first. We were bending 1/4" lexan so i set the skill saw's blade to a 1/8"depth and went a long a straight line that we wanted to bend at. This was critical to a clean angle.