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  1. #1
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    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    175

    Sponge and foam cutting. Which machine do I use?

    Ive been asked to source a CNC foam cutter and tbh have had absolutely no experience with hot wires or oscillating blades.

    A portion of the company I work for outsources cutting out foam for beds and cushions. Its quite a stiff foam. I have seen hotwire machines and also oscillating blade machines and I am unsure which is the better or more suitable for ops. It also appears the blade machine is a whole lot more expensive.

    If there is anyone out there with sponge and foam cutting machinery experience I would like to hear which is best? I am a relatively experienced router machinist, but am just unsure which machine to focus on. Its always a lot nicer spending someone elses money.

    B

  2. #2
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    5172

    Re: Sponge and foam cutting. Which machine do I use?

    Hot wire machines are only used on certain types of foam, usually just the styrene-based ones (eg Styrofoam, EPS). Some other foam products produce toxic combustion products, so you can't cut them that way. What type of foam are you trying to cut?

    The trouble with an oscillating blade type machine is that you need clearance under the piece being cut, or the blade is constantly banging against the spoilboard.

    Is there really a compelling reason to do this in-house? The best way to cut foam materials is with a water-jet, but these machines are fairly expensive. If you're just trying to save money, maybe shopping around for a different shop to outsource to would make more sense than shopping for machines.
    Andrew Werby
    Website

  3. #3
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    Jun 2013
    Posts
    175

    Re: Sponge and foam cutting. Which machine do I use?

    Appreciate the reply. My company is a relatively large player in the medical market NZ. There is definitely enough work to warrant doing this inhouse more than trying to get a better price. I do know there will be a capital expenditure on this, just not sure if they will go as high as $100k for a water jetter although I dont know what a Chinese one is worth direct.

    You have raised a point I needed to clarify too. The foam is memory foam, and also the type in the attached pic. I did think immediately that there must be toxic fumes with the wire? But back to the identification, do you know what the attached is? I have only been able to get numbers from the supplier.

    So in short, if we didn't want to go down the water jetter road, which machine would you advise on with this info I have just given you?

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