Custom plastic case


#1

Hey,
i thought about making a custom plastic case, or some other material that can be shaped like it. anybody made a case from plastic? if so, how did he do it?
what kind of plastik is recommended and how to process it?


#2

Here’s one option you could consider.


#3

i thought more about something like “injection moulding” (thats the word the dictionairy said).
like making a form from silicon or something and then using liquid plastic or something like that.


#4

If you don’t know anything about making things out of plastic, that might not be the best medium to shoot for to start with.


#5

Getting a proper mold made for injection molding is EXPENSIVE. For one the size of an arcade stick, that’s a couple of thousand dollars.

You could do your own resin casting pretty cheap though. Check google for ‘resin casting’ and you’ll find a lot of information on it. Chances are your local hobby store already has the materials you need. I have no idea what the material properties of resin are like though; I don’t know how well it will work as an arcade stick base, but if you want to do your own molding, that’d be the first place I’d look.


#6

Sheet acrylic is popular with some high-end customs I’ve seen. You work with it in a similar way to wood, although I’m pretty sure that you need much finer teeth on you cutting equipment to keep things smooth, and you also need polishing equipment to make the cut edges look shiny afterwards.

Another option would be to use fiberglass. However, as with plastic injection, you would need some kind of mold if you wanted it to turn out well. I am not terribly familiar with fiberglass so I really probably am not the best guy to ask about how to make it work, but I know that as a material it is VERY solid and looks nice when it’s correctly made.

The last option I know of is vacuforming. Basically, you take in an object that’s the shape of what you want, the machinist heats up a big sheet of plastic, and then the vacuum in the chamber sucks everything down so that the plastic takes on the shape of the object. However, again you need some kind of mold, and I have no idea what a machine shop would charge to do a vacuforming job. I also do not know if vacuformed plastic is durable enough to make a stick out of, so this one is kind of a shot in the dark.

My best advice, if you want a “plastic stick” would be to research using sheet acrylic. I’ve seen some very beautiful sticks made that way, and it’s probably your best option unless your plan is to go into full production.