TranspArt (also Transpa Art) is Worbla’s option for those looking for a resilient, non-toxic and solvent stable clear plastic that can be hand formed and vacuformed with ease. Fantastic for ice, crystal and fire effects, ‘invisible’ foundations, and anything else you can imagine, Worbla’s TranspArt has similar flexibility and weight to Worbla’s Finest Art and shares the ability to reblend scraps to recycle everything, while being incredibly resilient to stress. Lighter than acrylic sheeting and more durable than PETG, TranspArt is resistant to cracks, fractures and shattering under pressure, maintaining a unique flexibility that returns to form when bent.
As TranspArt is injection moulded, the injection lines are present in the finished sheets. Please note that because TranspArt is not an optically clear plastic, it is not suggested for eyewear that will see heavy use and is best for decorative pieces. Looking through plastic that is not optically clear can be unpleasant after long periods of time.
Worbla’s TranspArt is non-toxic and skin safe and can be shaped by hand without requiring special safety gear. TranspArt can take deep curves and be deep drawn. A heat gun is the best way to shape it as it requires a higher activation temperature than other Worbla products.
Worbla’s TranspArt does require a higher activation temperature of 120° Celsius or 250° Fahrenheit compared to Worbla’s Finest Art (WFA)’s 90° Celsius. As such it’s strongly advised you wear smooth work gloves when using Worbla’s TranspArt. (Remember, you are heating it above the boiling point of water). It’s also recommended that you use a damp sponge for shaping, to avoid marks and prints, and a firm toothbrush or other sculpting tools can be helpful to get small complex curves to shape.
When the scraps are blended, they take on a milky, frosted look that’s great for using to diffuse light. Scraps can’t be reblended into ‘sheet’ form, and the more they are worked the more milky they will become.
You can paint the interior of your shape, leaving the high gloss finish of the plastic to remain. It’s also easy to restore rough areas by applying lacquer or clear nail polish to dull areas. TranspArt can be painted with acrylics, spray paint, glass paint, spray tints, and also dyed with polyester dyes such as iDye Poly and Rit Dyemore.
While TranspArt is similar to Finest Art, they are not the same product and you will find that TranspArt does not have the same adhesive qualities as Finest Art, and TranspArt will require more patience and time to achieve the look you want. It is possible to stick TranspArt to itself, but the temperature range is very narrow, and so glue is strongly suggested. Check below for a video by Worbla’s creators discussing the process of working with TranspArt.
Kamui Cosplay also shared a video discussing the differences between TranspArt and Finest art.
Things to know!
- TranspArt does not have any indication to show when it is activated. It’s best to work with test pieces to get the hang of the material before starting a large project.
- TranspArt works best when heated gradually, compared to using a lot of heat in a short time.
- Work gloves are STRONGLY suggested. Smooth gloves and a damp sponge will prevent you from leaving marks in the plastic when it is heated.
- If overheated, TranspArt will start to form small bubbles or blisters in the plastic. These can’t be removed, though they are useful if you are trying to make something appear to be water.
- Once kneaded together, TranspArt scraps will take a milky, frosted appearance instead of the clear transparency.
- It is best to form shapes working one side at a time. You can use parchment paper to support the section opposite while you work.
- TranspArt works best over positive molds. If using a negative mold, you may need to use clamps to keep sections in place.
- You can tint TranspArt with thermal tint films (usually used for headlights), dye it with iDye Poly and Rit Dyemore, and paint it with acrylics, spray paint, and glass paints. a
- Clean TranspArt with acetone or nail polish remover if you have residue from the mold process.
- Join TranspArt pieces with glue. Unlike other Worbla products, TranspArt’s adhesive properties are difficult to use neatly.
- Solvent free glues are best, but all glues should work with TranspArt and TranspArt is solvent stable. Always test your glues before using. Instant style ‘crazy’ glues work especially well and remain clear.
- A soldiering iron works very well for adding details such as lines or inscribing text. Apply carefully so that you don’t burn the edges brown, and work in a well ventilated area.
- You can also use a soldering iron to ‘weld’ your TranspArt edges together. Again, please use proper ventilation.
- If you create a solid ‘stone’ out of TranspArt, use a soldiering iron to carve out space for your led.
More photos of Worbla’s TranspArt in action!
This amazing crystal sabretooth skull was created by Naruvien Art&Design using Worbla’s TranspArt and Worbla’s Finest art, and has a red and green led for interior lighting!
Pheonix headpiece by Gothichamlet of Cowbutt Crunchies Cosplay.
TranspArt rose by Calypsen Cosplay
Kuchiki Rukia Bankai Version by LadyShuCosplay, photos by Harui.