Styrene can easily be cut with an exacto knife or matte knife. Just Score (or scribe) it, and fold over. The styrene will snap at the score mark. Do not attempt the cut all the way through, as it is typically much more work than it is worth. This technique will work with straight lines and gentle curves. Note that the edge left behind from this is crisp, but almost never perpendicular to the sheet. Meaning it tends to break at a slant. If you need pieces to come together tightly, you may need to sand or file the edge to make them flat.
If the styrene is thin, you can cut it with scissors.
Styrene can be spray painted, but it is recommended for best look, that you sand and Prime it before doing so.
A plastic solvent such as Weld on 3 works great with this, but because of it's hazardous nature, you may want to consider something else like Zap-A-Gap.
Plastic solvents work the best when you want a seamless connection as the solvent melts the styrene essentially making it a single piece.
- Give allowance around your shape so sanding and leveling will remain accurate
- Start with coarse sand paper, alternate with the hand file, finish off with really fine (600) grit. Circular motions are good.
- Try wet waterproof sand paper!
- File in one motion
- Use a jig (90 degrees); try making different angles
- With ruler, hold down, 2-3 passes with utility knife, bend and snap off
- Think about how much you have left before snapping and how much leverage you'll have. The smaller the piece or space between the edge of the styrene and your cut, the harder it will be to get your fingers under there and bend the styrene
- When laying perpendicular faces, it's better for them to protrude just a little rather than be embedded. You'll be always be able to sand off the extra parts and besides, it's a lot harder to add/fill.
Available in the Metcalf Store in sheets (4' X 8') (if you need a smaller size, you can place an order, and they will cut it for you. 24 hour lead time required). Available in thicknesses from 1/16 in to 1/4 in.
Also available from most local plastic suppliers, such as Modern Plastics, and online.