Using plastic film

Discussion in 'Tips, Tutorials & Tools' started by adirao, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. adirao

    adirao New Member

    ok im new here
    Doin my first paper model
    acctually a hybrid (its a card body on plastic chassis)
    i wanted to know if i shud just print on the windows or use plastic film
    the window are complicated curves (they wrap round the front top and side of the car)
    what wud look better
    and is it possible to do it plastic film
  2. 46rob

    46rob Member

    It's possible to use plastic....but you're going to have to figure out a method of getting the compound curves into it. Folks who make clear canopies use a variety of methods, most of which involve making a paper part, from that making asolid die and then forming the plastic around it.

    For your first try I recommend printing the windows on.
  3. adirao

    adirao New Member

    ok so if it is possible
    can you give me some techniques to making compound curves with plastic film

    i have to use transparent plastic film
    because i want the interior to be visible
  4. Darwin

    Darwin Member

    The best method of using plastic film is to heat-form it to shape. There are several threads here and elswhere on the net on how to vacuform transparent plastic film (or sheet). It is possible to form the plastic without using vacuum. All of these methods involve making a plug (a solid shape that you wish to duplicate in the transparent film), heating the plastic film to the point that it looses rigidity (starts to melt), and then forming the hot plastic around the plug (either by sucking the air from the space between the plastic and the plug (vacuforming) or by simply pushing the plug into the sheet). I suspect if you google for "vacuforming" or something similar, you will find several web sites showing the process and describing how to build your own mechanism. Otherwise, you need to form the plastic sheet the same way you would a paper sheet (by cutting out the unneeded portions and then gluing the seams together). This rarely produces an attractive result, because any glue that works to join the plastic is usually going to discolor the plastic and leave very ugly and obvious joints where it is supposed to be transparent.
  5. adirao

    adirao New Member

    thanks for ur reply darwin
    i think i will use the technique
    for the solid block can it be plasticine or shud it be something more solid like wood or metal
    ne way thanks a lot
    and i will google it
  6. Darwin

    Darwin Member

    There are lots of materials that the plug can be made from. Take a look at CmdrTed's string on the aircraft forum for the phabulous phantom build...he spent considerable time showing how he made the canopy for his project. He used Sculpy modeling clay to make his plug from. Wood can be used. Some people use plaster of paris. Whatever is used, it is important that the plug surface be as smooth as possible, as any flaws in the surface will show up on the finished piece. One thing you need to keep in mind when making the plug is that it will eventually have to be removed from the formed part, so the horizontal dimensions of the plug should steadily increase from top to bottom of the plug. A lightbulb shaped plug is not going to easily be removed from the cooled plastic....a pyramid shaped plug will slip out without problem.

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