Year 8 - Plastic Dish Project

Designing the dish:

  • At this stage design sheets were given for homework and a possible design was created.

  • This design was then transferred to a piece of card and the design was made and a model/mock-up.

  • The model design was then tested to give some idea what it might look like when fully completed.

  • The card template was then attached to the chosen piece of acrylic to act as a guide when cutting out. 

Cutting and shaping the plastic:

  • To cut the acrylic to shape a scroll saw was used.

  • When using the scroll saw it is necessary to remember a number of things,

    • Ensure your are wearing goggles, an apron and long hair is tied back. Keep your fingers away from the moving blade.

    • Hold the plastic down so it does not bounce up and down.

    • Make sure the dust blower is in place to blow the dust away from the part you are cutting.

  • Once the acrylic is cut, a linisher, bobbin' sander, files and wet and dry sandpaper are used to clean the edges of the dish. 

  • After cleaning the edges of the plastic dish the pedestal polisher(polishing machine) is used to shine the edges of the acrylic. 

  • After these processes are complete the plastic dish is ready to form. 

Forming the plastic:

  • When the acrylic edges are cleaned and ready for forming it is placed into the oven at a temperature of 180⁰C for 9 minutes.

  • If the acrylic is in the oven longer then this time or at a higher temperature it will start to deform and air bubbles will appear on the surface. These bubbles remain in the plastic permanently. So it's important you don't leave your plastic dish in the oven for too long. 

  • When the plastic dish has been heated in the oven for 9 minutes it becomes flexible.

  • The dish is removed from the oven using an oven glove and it is placed into a jig.

  • The jig is held in the bench vice and it is constructed from a “G” clamp with a specially made base.

  • A hot plastic is set on the jig and a small mould is chosen to press the acrylic into shape.

  • The G-clamp is turned and the centre piece is held firm and not allowed to move, the required shape is then developed.

  • The further you turn the clamp the more the acrylic will shape, at this stage it is your own personal judgement as to how far the clamp is turned. However your teacher will help you with this.

  • The plastic dish should then be left to cool. Once the plastic has cooled down it will no longer be flexible and will hold its moulded shape.

Possible designs:

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