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Thread: Vaccum forming lexan / polycarbonate then lining with carbon fiber

  1. #11
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    Well what I need to do is make a rear window for another bradley gt project I have as well as a set of doors.



    Now I know I do not have to vacuum form this. I am guessing I do not even need an oven as long as I have some even heat. I would love to hear what you guys would do to build the forms and heat them to get the bends.

    Thanks

  2. #12
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    I would ask the expert 88.5 on this, I remember his company from the address I sent his Reincarnation magazine to and I think he has us all out credentialed, but my thought on cheap and easy would be to drape form it. Use the existing window to make a plug off of the bottom side, then use that plug to drape form the new part over it.

  3. #13
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    Sounds easy enough hahaha

    Quote Originally Posted by 76mx View Post
    I would ask the expert 88.5 on this, I remember his company from the address I sent his Reincarnation magazine to and I think he has us all out credentialed, but my thought on cheap and easy would be to drape form it. Use the existing window to make a plug off of the bottom side, then use that plug to drape form the new part over it.

  4. #14
    I remember seeing west coast customs making a window out of thick sheet aluminum and then I'm guessing making the window over that. They probably just used a slip roller.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoseOSI View Post
    Use foamboard, it heats easily, moulds easily, its super light, you can even use filler on it & its easily paintable with any paint.
    I use it for a lot of parts, splitters, wings, interior parts ect.
    I have done large pieces with it, so it will definitely work for making plugs & moulds.
    I wonder if that would work to make the door fins on my Testarossa. The current fins are too short, so that they are not flush to the outside of the doors. I was trying to use cardboard to make a template for either thin gauge steel or fiberglass, but the fins are so long, the cardboard gets flimsy.

    I think I'll give foam board a try.

  6. #16
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    I think the big limitation is whether or not you want compound curvature on the part. Sheet materials like aluminum and foamboard are good with NON compound parts but not so much otherwise. Frankly, a part on a car that isn't compound will scream that it is aftermarket (chessy to boot).

  7. #17
    Senior Member 88.5countach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 76mx View Post
    I would ask the expert 88.5 on this, I remember his company from the address I sent his Reincarnation magazine to and I think he has us all out credentialed, but my thought on cheap and easy would be to drape form it. Use the existing window to make a plug off of the bottom side, then use that plug to drape form the new part over it.
    This is the best method for us one off type. Keep in mind going thicker will give you more working time but the variables will be fustrating. The shape, depth of draw and working time is a unique combo for each. You may kill 5 - 10 sheets of material finding what works. Some easier than others, ie, front windshield of that Bradley not bad, may need a clamp frame to hold the edges of the material and force it past the edge of the windshield. The back well the deeper draw on the sides are going to take some big quick muscle manually. You'll need ovens unless you can make folds work, an old pizza oven can cook plastic, just create a frame to hold the sheet airborne.

    Drewbdo your parts get tricky at the tip of the nose where it blends into the car. The plastic will want to gather up manually you will not be able to work out the defects. I think those slats are flat for the most part are they not. Maybe some flast stock and cut to fit and work the edges??? The plastic distributers carry workable/paintable composite materials that you can put fittings in for mounting. They may cost a little more but if you can do it yourself your further ahead. What's the thickness of them?

    Link to video on thermoforming https://youtu.be/_z6RgDJxZSs
    Last edited by 88.5countach; 02-15-2017 at 04:05 PM. Reason: adding link

  8. #18
    I had been watching tons of videos on youtube and all info that I can find about thermo forming. I need to make compound curvature lenses for my headlights and I was thinking of using polycarbonate due to its durability. From what I found so far is that if you have suspended sheet over the mold and heating element over it heating it it seems like people where suscesfull making those type of forms.
    I'm no where even close to even saying that it will work as I have not got to a point of trying it but I will be happy to hear from others on that type of a setup and if that's even possible or should I be looking into people more capable of doing something like that.

  9. #19
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    Drewbdo, It will work perfectly for that. PVC foamboard, you get it in different grades, so just make sure to get the uv resistant one.
    It seems to be the most robust & last very long, you can paint it like you would any other part.
    You can even glue the sheets together with pvc glue if need be.
    I have had cars for over 15 years with no problems on the parts made from it.

  10. #20
    Senior Member 88.5countach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chimaera View Post
    I had been watching tons of videos on youtube and all info that I can find about thermo forming. I need to make compound curvature lenses for my headlights and I was thinking of using polycarbonate due to its durability. From what I found so far is that if you have suspended sheet over the mold and heating element over it heating it it seems like people where suscesfull making those type of forms.
    I'm no where even close to even saying that it will work as I have not got to a point of trying it but I will be happy to hear from others on that type of a setup and if that's even possible or should I be looking into people more capable of doing something like that.
    May be possible depending on the shape size. Post some pics or sketch of what looks like and I can see if you can. Trick is for the polycarbonate you need a hot mold and keep heat in the sheet as it forms. You can practice with a PET or HIPS sheet to work out major forming issues or defects. Keep in mind for lenses you need an aluminum polished surface on the mould. Everything will show on the lenses surface. Ie. Trap a hair on the mould and sheet when forming and peel away the hair from the formed lense and you will still see the outline of the hair.

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