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Routing Foam?

Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 1:47 am
by Defy
So has anyone used their Shapeoko to route foam decking material? I have a hobie PA 17T and I want to do something like this -->

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but Seadek quoted me 900+ when I can buy the material for less than 200.....

Anyone know where to start? This is going to be my fist real project once I get check'd out on the Shapeoko 3.

I am thinking I would need a v carve bit to do the detail work and the angled sides.

Re: Routing Foam?

Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 2:23 am
by WillAdams
Looks more as if it was cut w/ a ball-end bit. A V-bit would create a lot of tiny grooves and such which would accumulate dirt and be difficult to keep clean.

Can’t recall that anyone has cut it, but it should cut similarly to most other plastics.

Re: Routing Foam?

Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:02 pm
by Hans
The most polished way to do it is to use a v-bit for the edges and a regular square-nose endmill for area clearing, but that'll only work if you can match everything up really well after a tool change. Will's suggestion of a ball-nose endmill is spot on, because you don't need a tool change to complete the part. I believe foam rubber will need a sharp new tool to cut well and looks best with a conventional cut. It sands poorly IME so do test cuts so you can get it 100% right when you cut the real thing.

Re: Routing Foam?

Posted: Mon May 11, 2015 1:05 am
by UnequalTech
https://vimeo.com/127438403
I've been using my shapeoko 2 to cut designs in foam. Not sure how it relates to your material but this is a polyurethane type foam at about 18lb density. I've noticed that 2 flute straight bits give me the cleanest cut.
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Re: Routing Foam?

Posted: Mon May 11, 2015 1:56 am
by Defy
Sweet that looks like it might work.