Foam Board cutting?

qa

#1

Looking at the list of materials, I don’t see any kind of foam options.

Can the Glowforge cut paperbacked foamboards such as Adams, Elmers, and Ross?
As a secondary to that, can it cut the insulation foams?

I ask because one of the ideal uses for me would be to laser cut RC airplane kits


Gatorboard
#2

I’ve seen a similarly powered laser at the local makerspace being used to do this for the same reason. It works beautifully, and it’s very fast, since it’s just foam (Note: i’m note familiar with using foamboard, so your actual brands are unfamiliar to me). One caveat is that the cut edge in the foam is concave, as a small portion melts away from the beam.


#3

I believe you can. Here’s a youtube video of it being done (not on a GF of course): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIxXOCrdSGM

Note that the foam melts away so as @jrnelson noted, the edges are concave.


#4

Was it a 40W laser at that maker space?
Adams foam board is the stuff you can get at the Dollar Tree (also called DTFB)
Elmers is the stuff you can get at craft stores and supercenters etc


#5

Hmm that looks like a lot more under cutting then I was expecting…

Also looks like the FFF foam will cut too https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8yYHKyvb9k

but that was a 100W tube, I want to know if the Pro’s 45W tube will cut it


#6

Could this be one of those situations where the…something something zero…quality of the Glowforge laser might make a significant difference?


#7

The better focus and mode control advertised? Yes I think that would make a difference, but is it a significant difference? I guess I’m hoping someone at Glowforge can weigh in on the question


#8

Many foam types will also have charring from the laser along the edges, which makes it a pain in the ass to glue two pieces of foam together without sanding the charred parts off with sandpaper.


#9

I don’t know how powerful it was, but it was not that powerful. Certainly no 100W laser, and both Glowforges will handle foam no problem.


#10

DTFB shouldn’t be a problem at 40w. Our makerspace has an 80w Rabbit, but the best settings for cutting DTFB are well below 40w. As others have mentioned, cutting it an a single pass creates a concave pocket on either side of the cut (melting foam), but for FliteTest-build techniques, this is actually a plus!

Others striving for a straight (no-pocketing) cut have gone to a 3-pass cutting strategy, 1st pass cuts the top layer of paper, the 2nd (very low power) pass cuts the foam, and the 3rd cuts the bottom layer of paper. With the photo-registration capabilities of the GF, I bet this could be done as well.

Btw, I too am looking forward to creating foam, balsa, and ply pieces for RC aircraft!


#11

Definitely many, but not all, foams that can be cut on GF.


#12

I’m planning to cut FliteTest R/C plane plans out of Depron foam. It’s already a commonly used foam in the scratch build R/C plane world, and appears to be safe to cut, with very clean edges. Looking forward to seeing how they turn out.


#13

Ok you caught me :slight_smile: that is what I was planning on doing!


#14

That makes three of us. I love RC foamies.


#15

Now we are four, I just preordered thinking exactly the same :smile:


#16

Since you’ve had a little time to play with yours… have you cut any foamies yet? :slight_smile: This is the main reason my Pro has been on order.


#17

The new low power settings are going to make this a reality. Can’t wait to see the first one take shape!


#18

I did foamcore a couple months ago.

(half-way down)


#19

This will be amazing. Cutting foamies with the kids without the razor blades.


#20

What settings did you end up using on the foamboard? I looked through your post and didn’t see it.

Thanks!