Reflective Material

Can you provide any guidance on reflective materials we can use?

Sadly, our testing has shown that off-the-shelf mirrors do not have the curvature required.

We have tested many materials attached to 3D printed bases we’ve designed and have had problems with each. For example, some once heated and shaped onto our base are no longer reflective and others we cannot deform enough to fit the curvature.

Looking at last years’ posters that are published in this forum shows very interesting designs, but little insight into the actual materials. For example, one team shares that they’ve used vinyl acetate - but our samples loose their reflective properties once shaped. Other teams simply list that they have formed the reflective material - but do not indicate what it is.

This seems like it is such a simple concept, but our team has been stuck on it for months.

Any advice would be appreciated.

We have the same problem…
Last year we asked a team from Japan how they did it and they showed us a really strong mould out of thermal plastic, mentioned the material that you mention and said that they then used a heated hydraulic press to get the required shape.
This is I think a real problem since not all teams have access to such resources and equipment for that kind of R&D. We tried to print the mould with our printer and press it with our hands but every time it deformed and formed wrinkles (as you mentioned).

Our team used a reflective plastic Christmas ornament cut in half. It’s not perfect, but provided a reasonable image for about $1