Well alot a universities have vacuum forming machines on hand that's were the machine I use came from was a 40 year old broken machine that was given to my grandfather and a few years back I found it in storage fixed it up and started using it.
SOrry for the late reply, you can use IPS weldon #3 [link] most plastic or hobby shops sell it it will work on arcylic strylene, ABS plexi glass, and even Lexan and a few other polymors even butadiene.
You can also use scrap plastics in a glass jar add the #3 and let it melt over nite and make a reinforcing plastic paste you can use to fill in gaps or reinforce welds but becareful not to use it heavy but in layers still otherwise it can distort shells if it's too thick cause it's still a solvent.
sorry if I reply late especially on the RPF I don't do much lurking there about all I do is post my WIP and answer questions and post advice but some people have took it the wrong way thus I stay out of other peoples threads for the most part anymore so generally via Email or you can post here to get a hold of me faster I was planning bullet points and notes for your thread cause I noticed a few comments are some what miss leading and when doing plastic work some rules need to be set in stone if you want to insure high quality, you start using the wrong welding solvents or materials and seems will start to crack and other worse things so I'll try to get that put together for every one soon.
No problem, it's was mostly the Ironman builders like TMP that started the biggest problems but I'll still post when I have time here and there and I have something construction to add otherwise it just seems to bring me drama anymore.
well, after so many years of building and constructing using this method I think it's easy anough it's cleaner and more professional I think cause using the hard builds things are far more symmetrical smoother and far more durable.
Doesn't it feel weird to have plastic on your head? Or you put something under it? How solid is it? Like if I hit my head again the wall or something on accident. I know its 16th thousands thickness but how hard is that. Can this be used for armor? (if not answered already) If so how in armor form can it be solid and not all soft and plasticky like?
Well it's atleast 3-4 times stronger then fiber glass more flex but it's a good idea to add foam padding to steady the plastic to your headas far as armor better off with ABS plastic over styrene if you plan fighting and combat as it is more flexible and stress resistant, different plastic materials very by flex or strength the white styrene plastic is a high impact polymor and a few bumps and hits wont crack or do much but a heavy high pactic hit can crack the shell it tends rip under heavy stress rather then chip or shatter not that fragile compared to fiber glass and crap resins.
I don't understand what you used for the mold. Can you elaborate? How did you make it so smooth? How thick was your plastic? How hard is it? And what kind of specialized solvent? Sorry if I'm asking too many questions, I'm a beginner and trying to make a helmet myself but of a different character plus young so can't understand complicated stuff ._.
No problem,I used a recast 10 pound foam mask head and sculpted the helmet over the mask head with AVES epoxy sculpt smoothed with alot ofwater and sanding cut up the mold and added 3 quarter inch blocks to rise them up to keep from the edges flaring oddly were the plastic cools faster.
I used 16th thousands thinckness and weldon 3 is about the best solvent bonder for HIP's.
I'm not sure how many people own one few people build them out of old junk but not going to get a high quality form that way, this former was built in a university like 45 years ago my grandfather got it from them the thing was broken pulled it out of storage a few years back fixed it and modified it and that's about it, you can build one but you would be best to look up a few books on it for the best designs nothing good on the internet about vacuum formers.