This week, playing with acrylic, the laser cutter, and the acrylic heater.
After seeing the beautiful examples of bended acrylic in class, I wanted to test out the acrylic heater myself. The idea I had in mind was to bend the acrylic and form it as a piece of folded fabric.
Before playing with the heater, I made 20 more business cards with the laser cutter, the final results can be found here. This time I etched the letters 6 times, to achieve a deeper carved feeling. At one point, maybe because I left the back sticker on, the laser caught on fire and burnt the surface of the acrylic a bit.
Before bending the actual acrylic, I prototyped with paper, thinking about the angles and pressure points. I was pretty confident that this would be an easy project.
Yet, of course, it's always more complicated than it seemed. It wasn't difficult to bend the acrylic, but the timing had to be supervised carefully. My first test failed because I left the sheet on the theater for way too long, and the final bend part was overheated which had all these tiny bubbles. The sides were also too straight which didn't appear to be soft like fabric.
The second test, before folding the sheet, I started with heating up all different parts of the sheet and bending them to mimic fabric wrinkles.