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

  1. #21
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    I have worked with two places in southern California that might be of interest to some, at least for small runs of products. The first company is good for small parts and very reasonable, even on orders of four or five units. Of course you have to make the tool and send it to them. The second place, American Design in Chula Vista, is more into production runs and larger parts. They can do “pressure forming” which is a combination of vacuum from the bottom and pressure on top. This allows extreme shapes and even embedded fasteners. Bruce is a car guy and might do very small runs if it is an interesting job. Again, you would have to provide a tool (pretty robust to withstand the pressures).

    http://www.mmglidertech.com/services.php

    http://www.adiplastics.com/products.php

  2. #22
    Senior Member 275NART's Avatar
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    I would be worried that the resin from the carbon could fog the inside of the acrylic or polycarb, and the parts would definitely yellow over time. You would have to vaccuum bag to laminate the carbon and plastic layers together in order to avoid trapped air bubbles.

  3. #23
    Senior Member murcie-me'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.
    I made compound curvature lenses for my headlights, its not hard to do.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ie5HwWqqJw
    Without talent experience is worthless

  4. #24
    88.5countach
    I'll have to make up a sketch of the contraption that I'm thinking of doing when I get home tonight and a picture of the headlight plug. At the moment all I can show you is a link to my a picture of it on my web site. http://mychimaera.com/Gallery/Plug/Lights/Lights_Front_3.0/index-s.html At the moment I'm still trying to make plug for the light bucket then make another plug and make fiberglass mold as template for the lens.
    One think I'm worried are the little polishing marks as you had mentioned that could be transferred during the the molding process while the sheet is very plyable.
    Last edited by chimaera; 02-17-2017 at 11:45 AM.

  5. #25
    Murci-me
    I had seen your video and was one of influences of thinking that I can make the lens my self. Yours is more flat thou my will need to be more of semi curved or convex depending which side you are looking from. I was thinking of making a positive fiberglass mold just as the lens should look like out of fiberglass with tooling gel on top, polish it to a mirror shine and stretch the hot sheet over it. I noticed that you had a ring that you used to pull edges down. I was thinking of maybe making a negative form and putting on top after i drop the sheet down and press the entire assembly down while its cooling down.

  6. #26
    Senior Member murcie-me's Avatar
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    That sounds like exactly how you should do it, I think it will work perfectly as you have described. Always use cast plexiglass to do this, never extruded.
    Without talent experience is worthless

  7. #27
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    Guys this thread has been a wealth of info. Now if I only had an oven big enough to do these parts haha

  8. #28
    You can make an oven from an actual oven.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drewbdo View Post
    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.
    Wouldn't try to make strakes (what you call 'fins' on a Testarossa) out of any plastic. Tried that twice. Looked pretty good until the car got left out in the hot sun. Spent hours cutting, shaping, painting, and installing these pieces only to see them 'melt' in the hot sun and warp. Aluminum is the key here.

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