Certified FOCBOX Suppliers | Get Focbox Unity

Thermoforming Materials - What works for enclosures?


#1

For those of you that have wanted to build your own enclosure, here’s a sampler pack with a bunch of heat forming materials. I’ve seen ABS and styrene so far. Can anyone weigh in on which materials work (or not) for an esk8 enclosure?

I’m most interested in those I can form with just a mold and a heat gun.

ABS
Acrylic
Expanded PVC
Polycarbonate
Kydex
Polypropylene
High Density Polyethylene
PETG
Styrene


#2

I’ve only used polystyrene and so far not used a mold or anything, only done straight bends, but for that it works pretty well, should be able to use a mold for it too.
Though it seems to become pretty rigid once heatformed, so it isn’t flexible. Might be i apply too much heat to it.


#3

ABS works great because its super tough and impact/puncture resistant.

I wouldn’t use Acrylic because its gorgeous but cracks easy. I have no opinion on the other materials as I’ve not used them.

Lexan/Plexiglass is a bad idea, but it isn’t listed here. It tends to bubble and deform a bit.

I forget which one of these it is, but one of them will disolve if directly exposed to the chemical reactions of epoxies/resins while hardening. I learned this because i have two seperate stacks of souflet cups. One I can use while mixing bondo, the other I cannot.


#4

Interstate Plastics is the site! They’re local to me and have great selections for ABS!

Kydex works great if you can’t heat it up as hot as ABS.


#5

Abs. For me it has been the best to work with. I just made this glossy enclosure today and it turned out really nice!