Small Tool Storage

UP  HOME

Foam Insert Cutting with a Laser

I bought a sheet of 1/2" Poly Ethylene Foam (aka cheap Yoga Mat) from The Foam Factory to make inserts for boxes and cases.  The Laser cuts through this stuff like a hot cleaver  through creamed cheese!   Playing with the settings the neatest cuts were three passes of 25mm/sec at 44% power.  While it is possible to make a single pass cut at higher powers, the opening has considerable outward taper.  Three lighter cuts provides straight sides of the opening.  The part being removed does have a bit of taper, growing larger as the part gets smaller.  As I am interested only in the resulting holes, this is not a problem.

Foam Cut I   Foam Cut II

Results of foam cutting tests.  The hexagon on the left was cut at 25mm/45%/3X.  Samples on the right show the taper of the cut.  The two on the left resulted in a quite tapered opening.  The right sample came from a cut that had straight sides.

 

Setup I  Setup II

A photograph of the part is imported into Light Burn.  Using the free hand tool an outline is drawn.  The image was left grossly oversize to make outlining the part easier.

 

Setup III  Part Cut Out

Then the part is scaled,  I merely measured the height of the part and set the outline to the same dimension in the Light Burn software.  Test cuts could be done in cardboard, but I nailed this one on the first try.  Fit is exceptional! For thick inserts layers of thinner sheets will be stacked.

Finished Sample I   Finished Sample II

Two half inch layers.  Top one is cut to fit the item.