Alternatives to the strip heater


One of the breakthroughs in our design process was discovering we could use the strip heater at Techshop to bend the acrylic. It made the design much more fluid and helped reduce material costs.

We were lucky to have the strip heater available to us. For many of the home builders, it doesn't make sense to buy the expensive tool for such a nuanced use. Not surprisingly, some ingenious members of the OpenROV community have devised ways around it.

Sliptonic is going for a square cornered design that uses separate pieces of acrylic.

Dominik just posted his attempt using a soldering torch.


I’ll try with a heat gun soon… Stay tuned :slight_smile:


Rather than trying to custom build a box shape, wouldn't it be easier to base the design around some kind of standard heavy duty plastic box which is readily available, cheap and easy to obtain worldwide? Any DIYer could then just cut sections out of that box to make it the right shape using basic hand tools.

These boxes spring to mind as the right sort of thing:


That would solve the problem of cutting the shell and bending it, but will have a new problem attached: in case such things are also easily available in Europe, there will be for sure a difference in sizes.
US models will come in inch sizes, while EU in mm, making it impossible to buy exactly the same size: this means that all the internal pieces would have to be adapted to fit in different sized boxes (same problem happening with the electronics’ tube)


I think the laser cut acrylic provides tremendous upside. Laser cutters are becoming more and more prevalent, and offer a lot of flexibiity for creative adaptations. The strip heater is turning out to be trickier for DIYers, but with more experiments like Dominik and Simone's, we'll hopefully have a alternative figured out soon.