Thursday, March 29, 2012

Student Tips: Model making with Styrene

I used styrene to make a 1/4" scale model for the first time.

  • Very easy to use in terms of score it, fold it along the crease in the opposite direction and it snaps out. Compared to acrylic, this is super easy to cut. 
  • Also gives you nice clean edges. 
  • Also much easier to glue than acrylic. 
  • Much cheaper than acrylic. I was able to purchase a 1/16" thick 4' x 6' (48" x 96") sheet for $ 30 tax included.

  • Can't laser cut, it melts. Scoring is possible and snaps off pretty easily after scoring 
  • I still haven't mastered the art of gluing it neat. I have to use gloves when I use the plastic welden and I leave smudge marks that catches dust so that makes it pretty undesirable. 
  • If you were sensitive like me, all the glues I've tried so far that work with styrene gives allergies.

Types of glue to use: Plastic Weldene, Locktite.

  • If you have access to a laser cutter, score all the line work.  Use a mask when laser scoring styrene. The burn fumes are pretty toxic.
  • Make a jig (a contraption that helps you maintain consistency and control quality) 
  • Use little glue
  • Definitely wear a mask (a respirator recommended). Weather you use the toxic or the non-toxic glue types they all are very strong in smell and the vapor causes breathing trouble.
  • Work in a well ventilated area. 
 Using a jig to make a floor plate using styrene - (c) Manori Sumanasinghe 2012

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