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Hello If you paint a solvent/cement onto your styrene (HIPS/Plasticard) model, it briefly dissolves the outer surface and when it evapourates it leaves a nice smooth finish. Do you have any tips about how to do this? I have tried Slaters MEK-PAK but it's pretty agressive and doesn't smooth itselve out very well as it dries. I also tried Tamiya Extra Thin Cement, but that seems almost weak and doesn't do a particularly good job of smoothing. I tried pure acetone but rather surprisingly, as I was led to believe that it was the strongest solvent out there, but that doesn't dissolvethe styrene at all! Cheers J PS Also what happens if you paint your solvent/cement onto your styrene model TWICE? It seems that the new deposit of smooth styrene that forms after the solvent evapourates is slightly different from the original, virgin styrene. For one thing it seems to be slightly harder than the virgin styrene when you are sanding it. Also, one of my test samples seems to have formed an outside layer that then cracked and ended up looking like a surface of old paint(!). I've not been able to replicate this, so I don't quite know how that happened...
Hello I am new here. I am more of an 'inventor' than a model-maker. I am looking for the best materials with which to do quick prototypes in order to test the functional qualities of various designs of new/inventive products. I recently watched this video: "Tutorial: The Basics of Working With Styrene" by CustomsByZ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3gabIJ3Ono And I was rather inspired by it - I had forgotten how quick it is to knock up designs in styrene! However, given that I am more interested in mechanical function than in appearance (e.g. the ability to take paint), is there a better material for me to work in? i.e. I know styrene is rather soft so I am wondering if there are any other plastics that are available in reasonably cheap sheet and extruded form, that are similarly easy to work with (particularly to quickly form a very strong bond) but which have better/stronger mechanical properties? For now I will not be vacuum forming (unless wait, can I do that at home in my oven??), but will be cutting (with sharp X-Acto blades or similar / hack saw), filing, sanding, drilling. e.g. I just bought: A. Plasticard a small pack of Plasticard white styrene sheets "a quality virgin grade material" (from Station Road Baseboards ) http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00TWOHJE0/ref=pe_385721_37986871_TE_item B. EMA Plastic Weld And I am planning to bond it with "Plastruct EMA Plastic Weld - Liquid Polystyrene ABS Cement" http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/121672870352 (as I couldn't find any "Ambroid Pro Weld" described in the US-based video - but I understand that they are both Methyl Chloride based, yes?) C. Plastic Fusion For stronger bonds I have also bought Plastic Fusion epoxy glue from Super Glue which apparently sets in 10 minutes http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/261508621516 but obviously it's slight pain mixing it up. QUESTIONS: - How does ABS compare to Styrene, mechanically? - HIPS (High Impact PolyStyrene) vs. regular "styrene"? Are there any other plastics I might consider if I need something stronger/more springy etc but which are reasonably easy to machine and easily available e.g. - Polypropylene sheet - PE (Polyethylene High Density) - Nylon6 sheet - Acrylic ?? Also what are the pros & cons if/when I need some thing transparent: - Polycarbonate - PETG (Poly-Ethylene Terephthalate Glycol) - Perspex Acrylic - Acetate - Axpet Polyester Sheet Acrylic ?? And how well do all the above respond to extremely strong quick-setting glues/solvents/cements? On reflection, I think I need quick primer on material for model & prototype building...! Any quick thoughts? J