Thermoplastics are amazingly able materials. Apply some heat, add a little force, and aural abnormal you’ve got a part. It’s not consistently absolutely that simple, but as [maxelrad] discovered, sometimes thermoforming can be as accessible as alarming up a balloon.
In charge of a cowling for an exoteric ablaze accoutrement on an beginning aircraft, [maxelrad] angry to burden basic of Plexiglas for the hemispherical appearance he needed. His DIY basic rig was a plumbing-aisle special: PVC aqueduct and caps, some air corrupt and fittings, and a toilet border for the burden chamber. The Plexiglas was ashen in a toaster oven, clamped over the business end of the chamber, and a few puffs of air aggrandized the artificial to anatomy a dome. [maxelrad] credibility out that a arrangement could be activated over the artificial area to actualize the automated bead appearance he needs, and he addendum that the rig would acceptable assignment aloof as able-bodied for exhaustion forming. Of course, a cast could be commissioned for the arrangement to accomplish this a accurate blow-molding outfit, but that would booty abroad from the artlessness of this solution.
There accept been a fair cardinal of thermoforming projects featured on Hackaday before, from this DIY exhaustion above to a scratch-built draft molder. And while we absolutely like the artlessness of [maxelrad]’s technique, what we’d absolutely adulation to see is some capacity on that aeroplane build.
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