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Need a unique switching system

  1. May 21, 2007 #1
    Need a custom switching system for a model

    Let's say you were building a small toy that such as a remote control car. I need parts cut from plastic. Is there a kit to do this at home or would I need to go to a specialist?
    Last edited: May 21, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. May 21, 2007 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    How thick is the plastic?

    If thin like 1/16", just use scissors. If a little thicker like 1/4", use a scribe tool like you can get at Tap Plastic, and break over a sharp straight-edge table.

    Thicker than that -- I usually pay Tap Plastic to cut those pieces for me.
  4. May 21, 2007 #3


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  5. May 21, 2007 #4


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    Most hobbiest do this with a cutting edge attached to a soldering iron. Rough cuts can be done with a Dremel. I've been known to use a straight pin held in pliers and held over the gas flame from my stove.
  6. May 22, 2007 #5


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    Industrial applications use a bit more complex version of what Danger mentioned. They use a wire that has a current running through it to heat it. It acts like a coping saw. Cuts like buttah.
  7. Jun 13, 2007 #6


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    The other options are to try casting,
    thermoforming, or fiberglass modeling, or stamping
    some of the parts.

    If you can cast them from liquid rubber/plastic, just make
    a mold from clay or such and pour away then trim when

    If you thermoform, just make a mold out of something like
    clay, plaster, sand & glue, or whatever, take the
    appropriate semi-thin sheet of thermoformable plastic,
    drape it over the mold, heat gently (e.g. hair dryer,
    heat gun, or very carefully controlled time in the oven on
    low heat), and apply gentle pressure to form the pliable
    soft warm/hot plastic over the shape you're trying to
    mold it to fit. Cool and trim.

    Fiberglass modeling is like paper mache, just get your
    resin and some small pieces of matrix (fiber glass cloth,
    cheese cloth, gauze, newspaper, whatever is appropriate),
    dip/paint them with a thin coat of the resin, let dry.

    Stamping, just like using cookie cutters to make
    shaped cookies. Make the outline of a stamp shaped
    like the part you want in something like sharp sheet
    metal from a tin can, or carve the outline with a dremel
    tool, sharpen the edges, and press it hard against a
    relatively soft / thin plastic sheet to make as many
    copies of that cutout shape as you need. Works well
    with stuff like soft vinyl, thin HDPE (plastic milk jug), styrofoam, rubber, teflon, etc.

    Some kinds of plastic like delrin, teflon, HDPE,
    paraffin wax, etc. you can just directly carve and file
    and cut with tools like x-acto knife, dremel / rotary tool,
    files, etc.
  8. Jun 13, 2007 #7


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    Nice post, Xez. :cool:
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