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  1. Member Since
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    Jul 18, 2005, 1:34 PM - Working with Styrene, please help. #1

    Hi, I'm new here. I was told this was the best place in the web to find some help for my project.
    I need to sort of vacuum form something, without a vacuum form table

    I have heard of sintra, but then found out it was to thick for what I need. Then I was told Styrene was probably the right thing. Feel free to correct me

    I need to build a diorama of a city. For that, I need many cars to fill the streets with. I need the 1/18 size scale. I probably need about 200-300 cars. That would get very expensive. So my idea it to buy like 10 differen models and some how use them as vacuum form molds and make shell replicas of them. They do need to have all the features like opening doors and etc that a diecast model do. Empty plastic shells, similar to thos radio control cars use will do the job. They just need to look like the cars.They will just stand there still. I can paint them and I have what I need. If the plastic I use to form is clear even better. So I have clear windows.

    So my question is, can I do that with thin Styrene? Like heat it up and set it over the diecast car(the body only, without wheels etc) and it would melt down over it taking it's shape? Would it work that way? Is there a better way of doing this?
    Also, diecast are metal, but I'm assuming it wouldn't work if I used a plastic kit model as the mold because of the heat?

    All I need are empty light plastic(or the cheapest way) shells which look like cars. As I said, the clear plastic shells you cab buy for radio control is a perfect example. I just can't buy them in the right models of cars and the right scale. Any help is greatly appreciated. I know that's not Star Wras related, but I was told this place is the best for info on molding plastics.Thanks for your help.
  2. Gilmortar's Avatar
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    Jul 18, 2005, 10:24 PM - Re: Working with Styrene, please help. #2

    well first off. No. Just laying hot plastic isnt gonna get as much of a detailed shap like you want. You really need a vac table. All you need is to make the table, drill a hole in it and attach a vacuum to it. If you go to www.studiocreations.com and click on their how to section, they show you how to build one thoroughly.

    Now if you are wanting something that is clear, then PETG is what you need. It forms like styrene but is clear. The thing is you can use your kitchen oven for the heat source, I do that myself when I'm forming things. So thats pretty much it.
  3. Member Since
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    Jul 18, 2005, 10:40 PM - Re: Working with Styrene, please help. #3

    Quote Gilmore of OK said:
    well first off. No. Just laying hot plastic isnt gonna get as much of a detailed shap like you want. You really need a vac table. All you need is to make the table, drill a hole in it and attach a vacuum to it. If you go to www.studiocreations.com and click on their how to section, they show you how to build one thoroughly.
    Thanks. I will check the site you said.



    Quote Gilmore of OK said:
    Now if you are wanting something that is clear, then PETG is what you need. It forms like styrene but is clear. The thing is you can use your kitchen oven for the heat source, I do that myself when I'm forming things. So thats pretty much it.
    Would I still need to build a vacuum table then? I got a bit confused here.

    Also, could I use a plastic car kit as a mold?

    Thanks.
  4. Gilmortar's Avatar
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    Jul 18, 2005, 11:27 PM - Re: Working with Styrene, please help. #4

    your best bet would to go to walmart and get some of the metal cast ones...the plastic would probably warp after a few pulls off it.

    Yes, you need a table, to form any kind of plastic over the model and get good detail, you need a vac table.
  5. Member Since
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    Jul 19, 2005, 6:41 AM - Re: Working with Styrene, please help. #5

    Thanks. If the plastic could stand one vacuum pull, I could use the pull as a mold to pull a latex or uretane pull, fill it out with expanding foam spray to make it hard and use this pull as a mold for the next cars? I think latex or uretane might be more resistent to heat than plastic. Think it could work?
  6. Gilmortar's Avatar
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    Jul 19, 2005, 1:18 PM - Re: Working with Styrene, please help. #6

    Plaster of paris would work better, and its cheaper.
  7. Member Since
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    Jul 19, 2005, 3:27 PM - Re: Working with Styrene, please help. #7

    Quote Gilmore of OK said:
    Plaster of paris would work better, and its cheaper.
    So, would the plastic model survive one vacuum pull?

    Yes, I didn't think about plaster. Any plaster would work I guess. Good idea. I make one pull of vacuum from the plastic model and then use the pull as a mold to cast another car in plaster. Then make all my vacuum pulls from the plaster model. Sounds like a great idea. Thanks a lot.
  8. Member Since
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    Jul 23, 2005, 5:11 PM - Re: Working with Styrene, please help. #8

    I would still like to know, would the plastic model survive one vacuum pull? Thanks.

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