Constructing models with transparent faces?

For general discussion of polyhedra, not necessarily Stella-specific.
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robertw
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Constructing models with transparent faces?

Post by robertw » Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:11 am

Has anyone built physical models with transparent faces? (Either some or all faces)

I'm thinking more of thin materials, like clear plastic, rather than solid glass/perspex tiles.

I tried once, but it just fell apart. Plastic doesn't glue well.

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Peter Kane
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Re: Constructing models with transparent faces?

Post by Peter Kane » Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:10 am

Rob,

Funny you should raise this now as I'd been thinking about it the other day. I posted a reply on a different topic recently, on the gluing together plastic drinking straws. If you can get your hand son it (not too literally), try UHO Por; it seems to work well with many materials, but especially "difficult" plastics. If I can get some thin plastic sheet, I'll try it out and let you know.

I'm also investigating the Perspex, but for display boxes, rather than models. I've seen a few adhesives (solvents) advertised, but with mixed results.

PS: The revamped site looks great.

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Re: Constructing models with transparent faces?

Post by robertw » Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:35 am

I think it was your post about straws that reminded me about transparent faces and prompted me to ask about it here.

Looks like that should say UHU Por (not UHO). Apparently it's intended for gluing styrofoam to other materials. Let me know if you try plastic to plastic, or plastic to paper.

One thing I thought of was having a kind of paper frame along the edges with transparent tiles between. With double thickness paper, the plastic could be sandwiched between, and possibly not even require gluing, or at least the glue wouldn't be stressed much. Not quite sure of the details though of how to construct something that way.

Thanks for your comment re the site. Glad someone notices these things :)

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Peter Kane
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Re: Constructing models with transparent faces?

Post by Peter Kane » Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:31 pm

Rob,
Yes, you are correct - its UHU, not UHO.

I just experimented with a piece of plastic which I cut from the box containing the plastics straws. It is that tough, transparent stuff that feels similar to the shrink-wrap plastic that you find on many items these days - difficult to get off unless you resort to a chain saw. OK this was an open box, so it was easy enough to cut using scissors.

In the case of plastic to card & plastic to paper, I applied Por to both sides and left them for about a minute before joining them together. This gave a good, strong join.

With plastic to plastic, I did the same at first, but the glue didn't set properly, so it was easy to prise apart. I wasn't surprised, because the instructions say to apply glue to both sides and leave to dry for about 20 minutes. I'm too impatient, so I left the pieces for another minute or so, then pressed them together again. Much better this time.

So I think it would work well, but you might have to modify your technique, because once both sides have dried, you have to position the pieces precisely; you don't get a chance to slide the pieces around like you would with adhesives that you join when wet. There is another snag - one that I didn't anticipate - the plastic-plastic join is not pretty, in fact its pretty ugly, because you can see the glue that is sandwiched between the two layers. This isn't a problem for the plastic-paper and plastic-card joins though. I guess you'd have the same issue when gluing any two transparent surfaces. So perhaps paper tags is the answer. Good idea.

Pete K

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marcelteun
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Re: Constructing models with transparent faces?

Post by marcelteun » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:15 am

Late reply, but I haven't been active on this forum so much (forgat checking actively)

Anyway.. The answer is: yes, I did. I made some models of polychora. I use plastic overhead sheets, on which I printed a little bit of colour. One result is here:
Image

Here you can clearly see that I glue a very small paper tab (white) on the plastic. This is because paper is easier to fold.

Here is another one:

Image

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Re: Constructing models with transparent faces?

Post by robertw » Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:14 pm

marcelteun wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:15 am
Late reply, but I haven't been active on this forum so much (forgat checking actively)

Anyway.. The answer is: yes, I did. I made some models of polychora. I use plastic overhead sheets, on which I printed a little bit of colour. One result is here:
Image

Here you can clearly see that I glue a very small paper tab (white) on the plastic. This is because paper is easier to fold.

Here is another one:

Image
Excellent. That second one is the first one I was thinking of making. What glue did you use? I found that it just peeled off later.

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Re: Constructing models with transparent faces?

Post by marcelteun » Thu Sep 26, 2019 6:58 am

robertw wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:14 pm
What glue did you use? I found that it just peeled off later.
Nothing fancy, really. In the picture below I show the glues I used. The Karlsons (yellow) is the one I used. Nowadays I use the other one (Casco, black). Cannot explain why, I just think it is a better glue. It did happens sometimes that part of the plastic got loose, but I just glued it again and then it was fixed.

Image

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Re: Constructing models with transparent faces?

Post by marcelteun » Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:42 am

Yesterday evening I suddenly remembered that I made another model with transparent faces. One that isn't a polychoron. This one:
Image

It consists of equilateral heptagons that look like regular heptagons. I made this one transparent, because otherwise you cannot see that there are heptagons in the model. Besides that there are pentagons (black) along the order five symmetry axis that are completely inside the model.

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Re: Constructing models with transparent faces?

Post by robertw » Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:18 am

Looks great! And a great example for using such a method.

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