Foam Insulation Board

Has anyone cut letters or shapes out of 1" foam insulation board from home depot?


Huh, welcome!

So I haven’t seen anyone try that stuff. That said there are some tricks with foam to be aware of.

One: foam is easy to cut but it can be melty. You’re going to need to take the tray out first (it’s too thick) and then cut it on some sort of supports that are about 0.5” tall.

I’d line the bottom of the machine with aluminum foil in case it does melt.

Two: when you laser foam it tends to shrink away from the cut line. Count on that effect to make your shapes a little imprecise. Not sure how much it will happen but it can.

Three: foam tends to be flammable, and like a lot of synthetic materials it can have a lot of energy in it. Be ready for fire suppression as you watch it cut. In fact I’d precut the material to be only as big as you need, so you’re only putting in the minimum amount of foam to be Lasered. If a fire does break out it’s less fuel.

So will it work? I dunno, maybe? People have done really thick EVA foam, which is a similar set of challenges.

Be sure you know what material the foam is made of (if it’s PVC it’s a no go because it can damage your machine) and do small tests before you try a larger piece.

I’d do a material test to get the setting dialed in, as described in #6 here:


I’ve never cut foam, EVA or otherwise. But welcome to the GF community! Hope to see you here more, and be sure to show us what you make. Especially if you do the HD foam.


From what I’m reading these foams are polystyrene:

Traditionally polystyrene hasn’t cut too well, it has a tendency to melt from what I’ve read… but not all formulations of polystyrene are equal.

I went digging and found this post from 2018 that seems to be cutting the exact type of foam you mean.

Good luck, let us know how it goes!


I don’t think you’d have much luck actually, trying to cut Corning pink insulation.
Probably a lot better luck cutting out templates and the using a hot wire to cut the foam.


No letters but I have done tombstones for Halloween decorations and a bunch of stuff for theater props.

@evansd2 is spot on about what to watch out for. If you have a CNC that’s a better tool for this. Watch for fire. I do high speed runs with lower power & a couple of passes. Too hot or too slow and it can flame on you. If it does then it can really burn.


Welcome @clippers to the forum.
You will find a wealth of information and a bunch of friendly people ready to help you out bring your ideas to life with the :glowforge:.
We look forward to seeing your projects here also.