View Full Version : Need Help! What Cutter?

06-03-2008, 10:02 AM
Hi Guys, We haven't long bough flatbed cnc router from axyz. we manufacture flight cases, and the router bits we have are great for the wood and plastic we use. but where we are finding real trouble is with routing the foam inserts.

Im just not sure what cutters we should be using. At the minute for cutting through the foam we use a 12.7mm straight twin flute. but sometimes if the foam is a bit thin walled it pulls over.

Has anyone got any suggestions?


06-03-2008, 10:11 AM
What kind of foam are you cutting? Generally higher density foam is easy to route, maybe like a 6 or a 9 lb. Also a crosslink cuts better than a PE or a PL.

As far as the thin walled there is not much you can do but slow down the feedrate. If it is thin foam have you considered die cutting? That is generally a lot quicker and more accurate?


06-03-2008, 11:12 AM
hi thanks for your reply. We use a plastazote froam with varying density's. die cutting would be good but we make bespoke flight cases so the foam inserts we route are always different So die casting wouldnt really be cost effective for us.


06-03-2008, 11:33 AM
Check out http://www.vortextool.com/standard/productDetail.cfm?groupID=277. I've had good success with these bits.

06-03-2008, 12:25 PM
Brilliant thanks nick

06-15-2008, 04:24 AM
Check out http://www.vortextool.com/standard/productDetail.cfm?groupID=277. I've had good success with these bits.

I don't know my foams but I want to cut pelican case inserts. Will this Endmill do it? I have a Tormach already and was looking into a wire cutter machine but if I can make do with a mill... it would be even better since I will have depth control as well.

On the Vortextool site... it mentioned "High Feed Rate". How high of a spindle speed is needed to cut foam inserts?


06-16-2008, 03:54 AM
Hi We use a spindle speed from about 18,000-24,000 to cut our pelican inserts. Sorry i don't know about your machines.
Wire cutters are good but you are far more flexible with a router.

07-16-2008, 09:05 PM
I heard of individuals freezing the foam first. No first hand knowledge of the quality of the results.


07-17-2008, 08:22 AM
Just a follow up: How are the bits working? Any other tips, always open to ideas. I've tried freezing the foam, nothing very complicated, just with a spray, and it seems like it could work. I did some research and to do it requires a lot of setup, also that nitrous is some nasty stuff.

07-21-2008, 11:13 AM
Hi Guys,
we bought a 12mm up spiral cutter This is just a high speed steel. (no Coating)

the cutter works great on our foam and has given us far more flexibility. it has allowed us to speed up our cutting of the foam (deeper depth per cut) and the wall thickness that we are now able to cut are a lot thinner. so i would definitely recommend these cutters.

A good tip is to leave .5mm at the bottom this gives thin foam walls added strength and stops them flapping about.

Cutting foam
08-11-2008, 06:00 AM
would cnc hot wire machine not be quicker that routing?

I know hotwire machines aren't suitable for all foams but they do work on some.

There are a number of UK based companies that could cut foam for you.