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Thread: Curving Polycarbonate

  1. #1
    Redirect Left's Avatar
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    Does anyone know the best way of curving or otherwise shaping polycarbonate?

    In the past, i've used a pan of boiling water and placed HDPE into it, then shaping immediately after, and a high powered heat gun works as an alternate. Do these methods work for polycarb, and if they do - does the polycarb loose its famous strength after being subjected to the shaping?

    If neither of the above work, i'd love to hear an alternative shaping method, if any exist.

    cheers for reading

  2. #2
    Hi Adam
    Heres a link to all you need to know about polycarbonate site
    https://www.creativemechanisms.com/b...lycarbonate-pc

    HDPE melts and becomes pliable at a much lower temperature than polycarbonate
    I held my heat gun on some 6mm polycarb( 10cm x 70 cm)and it was still reluctant to bend.
    Larger pieces -have them done at the manufacturer.

  3. #3
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    For thinner polycarb, you can use a hot air gun, however that can make it brittle. If it's thin enough, it's not even worth heating it on some cases

  4. #4
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    Well. I was thinking of making a battle arena for antweights, by making a square out of polycarb, either one sheet with lots of curves, or seperate pieces for walls. Then a single sheet of curved at the edges polycarb to make a basic debris shielding roof to neatly fit over the walls, and allow even spinning antweights (which i youtubed, and they exist! Surprised you can get spinners with antweight sizes)

    antweights wouldn't need any more than a few mm of polycarb to contain, even the low force spinners i suspect (I'd probably need to build or borrow one to double check and do safety tests here), so perhaps a heatgun approach would work. however that style of arena wouldn't upscale to even beetlweights and still be able to guarantee debris containment i suspect.

    I'm trying to think of ways of containing things, for an upcoming tournament I'm going to try hosting. Antweights is the first challenge, then beetleweights and featherweights is where the awkwardness will begin I suspect!

  5. #5
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    Remember there are rules for official Antweight AWS specified arenas, and some are that all sides are polycarbonate minimum 4mm and that includes the roof.
    The link to rules including arena is below but netting will not be enough and a spinner could easily get through that.

    http://www.robotwars101.org/ants/rules.htm
    Last edited by Roboteernat; 6th April 2018 at 21:39.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roboteernat View Post
    Remember there are rules for official Antweight AWS specified arenas, and some are that all sides are polycarbonate minimum 4mm and that includes the roof.
    Will find the link in Dec, but netting will not be enough
    As stated above, it wouldnt be 'netting', it'd be a roof that simply lifts off the entire thing, but has enough weight that any debris through up from an antweight fight wouldn't be able to lift it again, with curved sides so even if it did, it'd be directed downwards - well away from the spectators / roboteers about a metre away and I was aiming for 5mm thickness, so i was on the spot there.
    I wasn't able to find anything specific to beetleweight & antweight arenas on the FRAs official rules, and i wasn't intending on being part of any sort of series or ranks (which is what 'AWS' sounds like), or maybe I am alone in not being too bothered about the existance of ranks? I find they just cause often excess expectation from others, and pressure on the team holding the rank.
    Last edited by Redirect Left; 6th April 2018 at 21:55.

  7. #7
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    Yeah AWS is the league which oversees battles with the Ants
    I built an arena which is housed at the Swindon Makerspace, and it is a polycarbonate lid with sides that fits onto the wooden arena. It was made for AWS specs as the cost of the material, i decided it be a shame if it couldn’t be used for an AWS in the end.

    Maybe a sketch to show your idea and suggestions can be made as to design.

    With the curved polycarbonate, if it is big enough, then you can get the flex from a sheet, there is a curved battle box in the AWS leagues... will find a pic

  8. #8
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    Well, this is part of a grander scheme I am hoping to work on, and attempting an end goal of launching an event, or 'circuit' that focuses on the North of England, and into Scotland. So i'm working on cost effective methods of building things, especially considering they'll need to be maintained and replaced frequently to ensure safety.

    I've run into a little problem though, as the FRA documentation for arena specs seem to be somewhat old, I'm not sure if I'd trust them to manage the beasts of recent development in damage wreaking, specially from spinners. However that is a way off, I need to work on smaller things before going anywhere near heavyweight scale arenas. I'll be working with antweights, beetleweights and perhaps the less dangerous (aw, i know) featherweights to begin with.

    A curved piece of polycarb for the main walls may look aesthetic, but won't be as flatpack as four seperate walls i suspect, although if I run out of room storing just antweight stuff, I don't have much hope long term, so I don't think it'll be too much of an issue.

    The AWS stuff certainly seems sensible and logical, so I'll definitely work towards doing the antweight stuff towards their preference.
    Last edited by Redirect Left; 6th April 2018 at 23:09.

  9. #9
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    More Northern events? Yes please.

    The insect classes are the way to start; however the arena classifications need to be updated

  10. #10
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    A northern circuit would be excellent news!

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