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Working with Styrene

It's much easier than most people think.
You will need some basic tools and a flat sturdy table.

Get a solid plastic top table that will give you more than enough room for the styrene too lay flat while you cut. If the styrene hangs off the edge of the table too much, Your cuts will not be as straight and sharp as they could be.

Lowes carries a large blue framing square that make it much easier to cut against. Bolt the short part of the framing square to the back edge of the table. This keeps it from sliding.

Cover the area of the table you'll be cutting the styrene with some metal flashing and glue on tape it down to the table. You can get the flashing at Lowes .

You will need a OLFA knife for cutting the styrene. Lowes has a nice OLFA knife. A OLFA knife is just a razor style knife with breakaway blades.
Always keep a fairly fresh blade going so your cuts will be sharp.

Weldon 3 is the glue you will use to bond the styrene together.
Weldon is a clear liquid that melts the styrene together for a permanent
bond. When using Weldon on .40 (Skin Material) styrene, Use very little Weldon. If you apply to much it will melt and warp the styrene.
If your bonding the frame 3mm (1/8 inch thick styrene) you will need to puddle the Weldon so the thicker styrene will bond.

To be Continued
ar2de2

Make sure you close the lid on that weld on glue. It does evaporate when its hot in your garage. Make sure you store it in a cool place. I learned that lesson.
psycogremlin

How sturdy are the styrene frames once done? still trying to figure out which type of frame I want and Styrene sounds like a great option but kinda worry about durability.
ar2de2

Once you build the frame and put the skins on it is very sturdy.
Blsith

Those with Styrene droids please correct me, but what I read is that if you want a lot of opening doors/hatches, the styrene frame isn't going to be for you, as the skin + frame is what gives it the durability.
admin

You can have all the doors the a aluminum droid.
The styrene will work fine and you will not loose any of the frame strength.
Dave included this in his plans, You will have a little styrene brace on the back of the panels to retain the curve of the body.
Calvin
psycogremlin

I am planning (hoping) to build a droid with all the bells and whistles. I know I will not get it all done at once but want to do my best to make it so I can keep adding one functionality keeping what has already been complete. Since I do not really have any working knowledge of styrene or its durability I'm worried about how it would hold up against extra stresses or the added functions.

For the added functions I'm talking about things like all the gadgets behind the doors, 2-3-2 and so on. In the end, when ever that may be, I want to have a droid that does just about everything. ideally this would be with as little duplication of effort as possible. (if that is possible even)
admin

The Styrene droids can do everything that a aluminum droid will do.
Dave is working on a 2-3-2 for the styrene and I am also working on a 2-3-2 for my styrene droid.

One thing that will help in the droid doing the 2-3-2 is light weight.
The aluminum droids are so heavy you really need strong motors and that adds more weight.

In my opinion, Styrene is the perfect material to build a droid.
Durable, Light weight, easy to repair.
Calvin
Spanner Murraan

Hey calvin,

I was wondering if a rotary cutting tool like the ones used for fabrics, would work with styrene.  They are basically pizza cutters on steroids.

My girlfriend has one, and i was thinking abut giving it a shot.
admin

Cool, I've never seen 1 of those before.
Calvin
psycogremlin

had not thought about using one of those. My Mom has a sewing business and has one of those, may need to swing by the parents house and grab it to try it out.
eagledancer

yea calvin is sometimes still living in the stone age, i also have one of those but i use it for cutting fabric for my r/c airplanes. i have not tried it on styrene i am afraid it would go through blades too fast

todd
kerrie

I have the styrene frame done, I would like to purchase some aluminum vents, octaports etc that are on a run.  Can I glue aluminum to styrene or do I screw these in?  I just want to know before I buy anything I cannot use.  Thanks!
drazen96

you can glue it but over time they will prob need to be reglued either just from a time factor or kids love to push in things. counter sunk mini screws are really nice. one thing if you are going to put hinges on doors or the skins screws would be my recommendation. but others might have some different suggestions
eagledancer

i have found a glue that works well with glueing alum to styrene is GOOP also seems that silicone works well. they both have a bit of give to them yet if you really need to remove something you can.
kerrie

I did purchase skin snaps from Darren, has anyone used these before?  I will also load pictures of Chani's skins, but they look like what is posted in the tutorial, how do I post a picture?
drazen96

the skin snaps are more for use with an alum frame/skins as far as i know. the styrene frame gets a lot of its stength from having the styrene skins glued to the frame to hold it together as one big piece.
admin

Yea, If your building Dave's plan. The skins are not removable.
We're waiting to see some pics Very Happy
Calvin
kerrie

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kerrie

These are the rear outer skins.  There are three lines going around the boxes.  Do I cut along the inner lines or outer lines?  All of the skins have multiple lines and this is what is confusing me.  The skins are difficult to photograph well, this is the best picture I have so far.  Calvin, I will post more pictures on my facebook account so I am not eating up a bunch of room on the forum.
Danf

Normally you would cut out the door frames and then have to trim a little off all 4 sides to get the gap. Channi made it easier by moving them down and to the left so you only have to trim the top and right side.

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