I found that Art Friend sold individual sheets of this brand called "Shrink Me". Can't find it online, though. Now, different brands have different shrink rates and temperatures. This is supposed to shrink 3x.
Ok the main problem with this material is that it can't be cut with the Silhouette, regardless of force or passes. If your designs are simple, you can partially cut them, then finish with a knife, which is what I did here.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Making-a-Laser-Cut-Planetary-Gear/, which looked more interesting than individual gears.
They recommend using a kitchen oven or toaster oven, but I didn't want to put plastic in my oven. Another source is a hot-air gun (not hairdryer), which I don't have but could be useful for shrink plastic, heat-shrink tubing and embossing powder. Shrink plastic needs about 140°C to shrink so hot water won't work. I had a hair straightener so I tried it, because it's portable and flat. However I think it runs about 200°C, which is too hot. The plastic will warp if it's too hot, especially since my hair straightener is only about 2 cm wide. I'm thinking of getting a better hair straightener, one with temperature control, to use with this and heat-shrink tubing. I believe with temperature control from 120-200°C, it'll work.
I tried another type of plastic from Amazon: Graphix shrink film http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000KNPKIE/ This material is supposed to shrink by 2x. It can't properly be cut by the Silhouette either, but you can force the pieces out and they leave a layer behind:
So, before I can use this type of material, I have to:
- Find a way to cut it (already got one)
- Find a good way to shrink it
Update 22 Apr 14
I bought a hot air gun, because I thought, instead of spending $50 on something that's not designed to do this and only might work (hair straightener), I might as well spend $50 on something that's designed to do this, and I can also use it for other things. It works beautifully. Better than a toaster oven would, I think:
- Fast - finishes shrinking in about 30 seconds
- No plastics in your oven
- Very little curling