Can a fiber optic fiber be bent 90 degrees and still work?

Thereal9thdoctor

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Hey all. Got a question. On my Enterprise build, the shuttlecraft is a 3d printed piece with interior. I installed a fiber into it to light the interior, and was planning to run it directly behind the shuttle and bend it to go through the bay floor right behind the shuttle so it cannot be seen, but this will require me to bend it 90 degrees straight down through the floor. Is this even possible without it snapping? Will it still transmit light if I do this?
 

Wolf Star

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Depends on the diameter of the strand. I have been successful in bending a 1/16" FO strand with a lighter. Smaller diameter FO's you'd have to test a scrap piece. I have also successfully cold-bent thin stuff, but it's tricky. If you have some scrap bits, give it a shot.
 

Thereal9thdoctor

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Depends on the diameter of the strand. I have been successful in bending a 1/16" FO strand with a lighter. Smaller diameter FO's you'd have to test a scrap piece. I have also successfully cold-bent thin stuff, but it's tricky. If you have some scrap bits, give it a shot.
What I have is 0.40 fibers. 20210907_202924.jpg
 

Wolf Star

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If you're careful, you might be able to bend it with heat, but I think that thickness is too stout to cold bend, it would most likely break. If you've ever used stretched sprue, heating it in a similar method might work, you just have to watch it very carefully so that it doesn't get too hot to melt or just pull apart in 2 pieces. Give it a shot if you have a couple of small pieces as a test. If it works, you could probably bend it around the corner of a piece of wood or something.
 

urumomo

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b3cb65b97f3a12dc7dab2e7a251fb358_w200.gif
 

Thereal9thdoctor

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If you're careful, you might be able to bend it with heat, but I think that thickness is too stout to cold bend, it would most likely break. If you've ever used stretched sprue, heating it in a similar method might work, you just have to watch it very carefully so that it doesn't get too hot to melt or just pull apart in 2 pieces. Give it a shot if you have a couple of small pieces as a test. If it works, you could probably bend it around the corner of a piece of wood or something.
Yeah, I have stretched sprue. I will try that. Thanks for the advice.
 

trekriffic

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I had to bend some fiber for the porch lights over the main shuttlebay doors in my Ent-E.
I bent the fiber at a 90 degree angle by placing the fiber on top of a section of small diameter brass rod held in my vice. Then I heated the brass rod holding one end of the fiber horizontally using my tweezers. As the metal rod got hot the fiber naturally sagged and bent like a limp noodle until it hung vertically on the side of the rod opposite the section that I was holding horizontal. When I removed the flame (I used a BIC lighter) from the rod, the fiber cooled instantly and I had my right angle. I tested the fibers afterward and they worked great. nice and bright:

50781250811_462cac607a_z.jpg USS Enterprise E - Nemesis-WIP- Saucer Shuttlebay Unmasked by Steve J, on Flickr
 

Thereal9thdoctor

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I had to bend some fiber for the porch lights over the main shuttlebay doors in my Ent-E.
I bent the fiber at a 90 degree angle by placing the fiber on top of a section of small diameter brass rod held in my vice. Then I heated the brass rod Holding on end of the fiber horizontally. As ithe rod got hot the fiber naturally sagged and bent like a limp noodle until it hung vertically on the side of the rod opposite the section I was holding horizontal. When I removed the flame from my BIC lighter from the rod the fiber cooled instantly and I had my right angle. I tested the fibers afterward and they worked great. nice and bright:

View attachment 87587 USS Enterprise E - Nemesis-WIP- Saucer Shuttlebay Unmasked by Steve J, on Flickr
Very cool. I have a couple metal tubes, not brass though. Think that could work?
 

trekriffic

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Anything metal will conduct heat so they should work. Keep the flame about 4 or 5 inches away from the fiber when heating and pull the flame away the moment the fiber sags.
You don’t want the flame to get too close or touch the fiber or it will burn like a torch. Practice makes perfect.
 

Thereal9thdoctor

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Anything metal will conduct heat so they should work. Keep the flame about 4 or 5 inches away from the fiber when heating and pull the flame away the moment the fiber sags.
You don’t want the flame to get too close or touch the fiber or it will burn like a torch. Practice makes perfect.
What I did was to use my stove heated to medium and to slowly move the fiber over it till the end started to bend, then I kept moving it away from the burner and then back till I got a usable bend. It worked fine and still shows light. Its not a perfect 90 degrees, but enough for my situation.
 

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