Best way to bend and shape styrene plastic sheets

Want to post a reply to this topic?
Login or register for an acount to join our online community today!

Best way to bend and shape styrene plastic sheets

  • Would like some feedback on this subject trying to build a 2-D thrust vectoring nozzel, but in order to put the nozzel in place i need to bend and shape the styrene sheets, i tried to build it in pieces,but it didn,t work also is there another way of doing it, this is for my next F-16 project.
    Replies to this thread are ordered from "oldest to newest".   To reverse this order, click here.
    To learn about more about sorting options, visit our FAQ page.
  • Not sure exactly what kinds of bends your trying to make Arthur,but I do know if you heat up some water in your microwave oven to just below boiling, and dunk the plastic, it becomes pretty soft for a few seconds.I found this out while I was trying to scratchbuild the leading edge of the wing that houses the leading edge flaps on an A-6.I was only using say...2"x6" plastic strips though.I was inserting the plastic in hot water for just a few seconds...then when I pulled it out I was forming the plastic around a large pen that had.Then when the plastic cooled I got a pair of scissors and cut the plastic just below the apex of the curve.I am not sure if this will help, but if it sounds like it will work for your application, you might want to try give it a couple of test shots first.Good luck!!
    Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you........ Jesus Christ......and the American soldier..... One died for your soul......... The other....for your Freedom!!
  • Thanks for the info i forgot to mention im using evergreen sheet styrene i believe its thicker then (1.0 mm) would that take a few seconds longer to get softer its for the aft section of the F-16.
  • Hey Arthur:

    I'm not sure how large or what shape the thrust-vectoring nozzle is. Is this cylindrical or conical? Have you ruled out vacuum-forming?

    I have used sheet styrene to build the cowling on an F4 Corsair I'm scratch-building. This piece is mostly a cylinder (with the very front tapered and built separately). I did this by vacuum-forming a cylindrical piece of balsa that was first cut in half length-wise. Maybe you could try something like this.

    I realize you may not be needing or wanting to go to such lengths, but thought this is a possibility.

    By the way, I'll include a link to an earlier thread I posted that shows some of the shapes I have vacuum-formed.

    Take care,


  • Hey Arthur,

    Sorry, I couldn't find the link to my earlier thread. But here are some pictures of vacuum-formed sheet styrene:

    And the original wooden forms:

    Take care,

  • A small heat gun or hair dryer have been known to work. I'm glad to see you have begun on your F-16. Looking forward to seeing it.Cool [8D]
  • Both using Hot water and using a hair dryer are the best options , as you need something to stay hot as you heat your plastic!