Design and Technology (D&T) KS3: Line bending
This short film explains the process of line bending, which is a technique used to make precise folds in plastic components.
The process is demonstrated using a strip heater and a hot wire line bender. Acrylic is used in this demonstration but the process can be used for a variety of thermoplastics and across a wide range of RMT, engineering and graphic projects.
Points for discussion
- Discuss the polymer structure of thermoplastics and the heat/soften, cool/harden repeating cycle.
- Discuss the types of commercial products made using similar processes.
- How you might scale up for much larger or thicker pieces of plastic?
- What are the limitations of the process? For example, only being able to bend/form in one plane.
- What are the processes you might use to create curved or compound shapes?
- When should you apply finishing techniques – before or after bending? Why?
The process is used in lots of products and components:
- Mobile phone stands/holders
- Clock base in conjunction with a vacuum-formed clock housing
- Stands for point-of-sale displays
- Desk tidies/pen and pencil holders
- A cookery book stand
- A handle for a box or similar product
- Prototype model furniture
- For KS4 students, a huge range of components for product design, graphic or engineering solutions.
Suitable for teaching design and technology (D&T) at KS3/KS4 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and 3rd/4th levels in Scotland.