Cutting/Shaping acrylic at a 45 degree angle - Overclock.net

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post #1 of 12 Old 03-03-2008, 01:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello everybody,

I am a complete noob at acrylic and this is my first ever mod. All of my inspiration has come from the mods that Syrillian, radodrill and CyberDruid and the others have done and perfectly logged in this forum.

I plan to do a mod that involves cutting acrylic at a 45 degree angle.

Its actually a top cover for a rackable server. Here are a couple of pictures to make it clearer.

The cover will look like this. It has a flat top and 4 sides that are joined to it at an angle of 45 degrees.

My major reason behind the 45 degree angle is the finishing. I dont want the edges to look rough because I was too lazy to cut them.




This is exactly what I plan to do. I plan to cut four pieces of acrylic for the sides and then use a dremel routing bit to shape the edges to 45 degrees.

This is how I plan to do it.




The acrylic sheet that I plan to use.

Performance PC's


Eplastics Plexiglass Glue


Glue Applicator

The tools that I plan to use:

in combination with the for the 45 degree angle.

I also intend to cut 2 holes in the acrylic. for which I will use the Dremel

I only have access to a Dremel that I bought a couple of months back.


Here are my questions.

1. If i just have to cut the acrylic to make the sheet smaller which dremel attachment should I be looking at? this is because the existing sheet is 480mm x480mm and I will need around 350mm * 350mm

2. Which dremel attachment will work best along with the circle cutter to make the circular holes ?

3. Will the tool for the 45 degree angle work with a thin sheet of acrylic that I am using ? its just 3mm.

4. Should I be using a thicker acrylic sheet because it will support 2 fans that will be attached to it on the underside. These fans will act as intake fans.


5. Will i really need a 45 degree angle because I am working with such a thin sheet of acrylic or can I just use a cement filler to cover up the gap? If yes which filler should it be?

Here is a picture to explain how it will look.The violet portion is the filler/cement




Any other comments/suggestions regarding anything is more than welcome


Peace,
wastedtime
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-03-2008, 04:34 AM
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I am really lost as to what the purpose of this shaped top is going to be, but whatever. I would cut the 45 degree angles with a table style saw with the proper blade. I am in no way experienced with cutting acrylic, but I think that is the best way to do it. Just make sure all of your measurements are correct because I think you are going to have to factor in a2 + b2 = c2

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post #3 of 12 Old 03-03-2008, 06:18 AM
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post #4 of 12 Old 03-03-2008, 06:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcus000 View Post
Would it not just be easier for you to bend the acrylic sheet?
Maybe he doesn't have a heat gun, or his mom's hairdryer wasn't up to the task ...
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post #5 of 12 Old 03-03-2008, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wastedtime View Post

1. If i just have to cut the acrylic to make the sheet smaller which dremel attachment should I be looking at? this is because the existing sheet is 480mm x480mm and I will need around 350mm * 350mm

2. Which dremel attachment will work best along with the circle cutter to make the circular holes ?

3. Will the tool for the 45 degree angle work with a thin sheet of acrylic that I am using ? its just 3mm.

4. Should I be using a thicker acrylic sheet because it will support 2 fans that will be attached to it on the underside. These fans will act as intake fans.


5. Will i really need a 45 degree angle because I am working with such a thin sheet of acrylic or can I just use a cement filler to cover up the gap? If yes which filler should it be?
Greetings.

1. The "sideways" bit and a guide will do what you require. Note that you will need to do some sanding to clean the surface up in order to bond it. There are 2 types of guides that I know of:

This is the router atachment that can also be used to cut circles.



This is the circle cutting attachment, it can also be used to cut straight lines with the guide that is also in the picture.



2. See the second image above.

3. Cutting at a 45-degree angle with a Dremel can be tricky. I have found that the thinner materials will have a tendency to vibrate. A way to work around this is to sandwich the thin piece between 2 other pieces, and clamp them together. This sometimes causes the pieces to bond a little from the heat, but they can readily be separated. This alos wastes some of the material.

4. Acrylic is really tough, especially if you are introducing angles in to the piece. 1/8" acrylic is strong enough to support fans alone.

5. I would imagine that a filler might work, but then then strength of the bond may be compromised. Additionally, it will mar the clean finish of the acrylc (at least it did when I tried it - the results were less than satisfactory, but note that I am not very experienced with bondo).

You might be able to use a plastic cement, but those adhesives generally are not designed to bridge a gap.



P.S. Heating and Bending is definately possible, but requires some specialised tools and equipment to get it right. If you want to know more about that just lemme know.
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post #6 of 12 Old 03-03-2008, 06:55 AM
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Quote:
2. Which dremel attachment will work best along with the circle cutter to make the circular holes ?
I've found that the dremel 1/8" plunge router bit works extremely well with the circle cutter to make the holes in acrylic.
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post #7 of 12 Old 03-03-2008, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syrillian View Post
Greetings.

1. The "sideways" bit and a guide will do what you require. Note that you will need to do some sanding to clean the surface up in order to bond it. There are 2 types of guides that I know of:

This is the router atachment that can also be used to cut circles.



This is the circle cutting attachment, it can also be used to cut straight lines with the guide that is also in the picture.



2. See the second image above.

3. Cutting at a 45-degree angle with a Dremel can be tricky. I have found that the thinner materials will have a tendency to vibrate. A way to work around this is to sandwich the thin piece between 2 other pieces, and clamp them together. This sometimes causes the pieces to bond a little from the heat, but they can readily be separated. This alos wastes some of the material.

4. Acrylic is really tough, especially if you are introducing angles in to the piece. 1/8" acrylic is strong enough to support fans alone.

5. I would imagine that a filler might work, but then then strength of the bond may be compromised. Additionally, it will mar the clean finish of the acrylc (at least it did when I tried it - the results were less than satisfactory, but note that I am not very experienced with bondo).

You might be able to use a plastic cement, but those adhesives generally are not designed to bridge a gap.



P.S. Heating and Bending is definately possible, but requires some specialised tools and equipment to get it right. If you want to know more about that just lemme know.
Thank you Syrillian. That was exactly what I wanted . I am not sure if I want to heat and bend cause I do not have access to a heat gun or for that matter even a proper workbench. I will have to borrow the bench from my friend for a couple of days when I do this. i guess I will go ahead and order all the stuff that I need. I will surely need a lot of help from you when i actually start doing this

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post #8 of 12 Old 03-03-2008, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Is it easier to use the table attachment and a cutting bit for cutting acrylic in a straight line or is it better to use a circular cutting blade ?

Never agrue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and then beat you with their experience.

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post #9 of 12 Old 03-03-2008, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lavieinjuste View Post
I am really lost as to what the purpose of this shaped top is going to be, but whatever. I would cut the 45 degree angles with a table style saw with the proper blade. I am in no way experienced with cutting acrylic, but I think that is the best way to do it. Just make sure all of your measurements are correct because I think you are going to have to factor in a2 + b2 = c2
This top is going to be a top for a rackable server.
The reason I need to elevate the top is because i need to add intake fans to the top on the underside. A flat top does not leave me with enough clearance for the fans.

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post #10 of 12 Old 03-03-2008, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcus000 View Post
Would it not just be easier for you to bend the acrylic sheet?
Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterKromm View Post
Maybe he doesn't have a heat gun, or his mom's hairdryer wasn't up to the task ...
I dont have access to a heat gun.

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