GF Newbie & Foam Board

I’m partial to headliner fabric. (a nice open-cell foam with a fabric cover)

Looks great in a box:

not quite as much, but you’re still going to get a concave edge. the bigger difference is that the whole board is stiff enough that even those edges hold up if you don’t put too much pressure on them. whereas foamcore is easy to fold/spindle/mutilate. we make 72x30 boards that stand vertically and lean against a wall that have lasted longer than i’ve been with the firm (14 years) and are still going strong. if that was foam core, it would have bowed and folded by now.

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I have cut some foam core [I think the brand here is readi-board] and also had worries about the possibility of flare ups. For foam core [and also corrugated cardboard] I tend lower the power and do multiple passes. My theory [which may be unscientific] is that the lower power/higher speed reduces the chance of flare ups. For the foam core I am using 500/45/3 passes [on a basic]. 3 passes does increase the print time.

I don’t get flare ups with my settings. I found a scrap, it’s Elmers brand. You can see the soot from the paper/cardboard, though.

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You are probably right that I am being a bit overly cautious with the settings for the foamcore and cardboard.

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Nobody here will criticize you for caution when it comes to the GF!


I will deffo be taking this approach with non GF material till i get the hang of things.

Totally - we have a rule that graphics never go to set on foam core, only gator or better.

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i only use foam core when it’s a one-use visual that’s going inside of a display frame. 99% of what we do is large-scale (40x30 or bigger) and foam core just isn’t strong enough to do that well.

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Definitely not. Our issue is that foamcore potato chips overnight and is completely lacking in durability.

we’ve actually built model stands that can hold heavy models out of four sides of 1/2" gator that stood for a decade. it’s tough stuff.

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Very! If only not such a pain to cut with xacto knife!

at least a utility knife. i’m happy that most of the cutting of gator board is done by our vendors after they mount prints and not my job.

Once upon a time I had a panel cutter in the office, heaven for gator! These days if it’s not coming from a graphics house, I have the construction dept table saw it.

hah, you actually just reminded me of the one time i did a monster custom cut on gator.

the old assistant managing principle of our office (who’d moved on to manage our atlanta office) was coming in town for a big meeting. he runs our boost mentoring program (special program that a small group is chosen for) and they do four in person meetings in a year. this one was in our office. our executive committee was also in our office that day for their quarterly meeting (matching up with the mentoring program intentionally). i managed to get someone in the atlanta office to take a full head to toe photo under false pretenses. then i printed it out life-size and mounted it to one of those aforementioned 72x30" gator boards (we save some of the old ones just in case we need them for building stuff). then i took a jigsaw and cut him out silhouette style. put a perpendicular base on it and stood it up in the lobby of our office next to the elevators with a “welcome to the office” sign hung around it’s neck.

the mentoring meetings started earlier than i get to the office. so when i walked in and past the main conference room (called the fishbowl because of the glass wall opening into the open space and communicating stairs to the 3rd floor) i saw JP in the conference room giving me the slash across the neck sign. :slight_smile:

the executive committee told me they loved it.


It’s remarkable how much fun people have with cut outs. We had a show where one of our team members couldn’t make it to the wrap party, so we made a life size cut out of him. After a few rounds of drinks it ended up someplace on Hollywood Boulevard.

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