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  1. 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
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