A CNC router enables Foam Fabricators to create the typical order of 20 sample models in two days compared to the five days required to cut the foam pieces by hand. Along with time savings, the CNC router frees up engineers who previously needed to pitch in and assist cut foam pieces when a large quantity of samples were required. With the exception of one person who loads the foam stock and gets rid of finished pieces, the router can run unattended 24 hours a day if necessary to transform out a sizable order. Another advantage of automating the sample production procedure is that it enables the company to battle work it would have lost before. “If the form of the customer’s component was too complicated to cut by hand, we were required to transform away the work,” says Nathan Musgrove, an programs engineer at Foam Fabricators’ Jefferson, Georgia regional design and test center. “That hasn’t happened since we set up the CNC machine. It can accurately reduce even probably the most complex 3D shapes.”


Foam Fabricators, headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, is a coastline-to-coast network of 14 facilities providing shape shaped foam products, packaging, and components. Its foam products are utilized in the packaging of items including electronic devices equipment and home appliances, nevertheless they can even be found in other applications including inside bicycle headgear. The company, which includes 250 employees, molds a complete range of components such as expanded polystyrene (EPS), broadened polyethylene (EPE), broadened polypropylene (EPP), and copolymers including GECET, ARCEL, and RMER. These raw components are injected as beads into molds, then heated up with steam that causes those to expand and firm up into the completed form. Foam Fabricators also fabricates flexible materials like polyethylenes, polyurethanes, polypropylenes, and EPS, both shaped and extruded.

Examples for screening

Each one of the company’s regional style and test facilities is staffed with degreed packaging professionals and completely built with the newest in fabricating, decrease screening, computerized information purchase, and CAD techniques. Each time a customer concerns Foam Fabricators with a new product that should be packed, step one is always to work using one of the company’s designers to discover the appropriate material. As soon as this has been selected, the professional utilizes the customer’s specs and CAD geometry to develop a tough form of the foam component. The Foam Fabricators professional specifies the fabric, size, and gratification characteristics for that product and uses the SolidWorks CAD system to make a three dimensional model of the initial concept. Around this point, most customers request among 20 and 30 examples for drop testing. Some customers have this screening done by Foam Fabricators while some choose to accept the examples and perform the screening in-house. There was an additional disadvantage to producing samples by hand. Some of the designs that customers needed had been not possible to create in this way. For instance, a jet ski manufacturer requested Foam Fabricators to make a bow flotation device, a piece of foam that fits inside the bow of any 4-man jet skiing to offer buoyancy. “This part had a lot of complex geometry plus it was impossible to shape it by hand,” says Musgrove. “We weren’t able to make the sample, therefore we were not able to consider the job.” One third drawback was that the handmade designs were not highly precise since the entire process of cutting them needed some interpolation between areas. It was appropriate to some clients, but other people wanted greater accuracy.

Certainly one of Foam Fabricators’ bigger clients, who typically requests a sizable number of examples for the substantial screening program, asked the company to consider using a CNC machine to cut the foam examples. Since the company looked into this, they discovered two choices: heavy and expensive machining facilities mainly created for metalworking, and cheap routers that may not supply the accuracy Foam Fabricators required. Chances are they found the Techno Design 160 Production CNC router from Techno Isel, New Hyde Park, New York, which provided a perfect give up. The router was really accurate and sturdy that was created for creation routing and drilling on numerous components including timber, plastic, MDF, solid surfacing components, and nonferrous metals. The purchase price and the abilities contained in the Techno CNC system appeared great for Foam Fabricators’ needs, and so the company chose to buy it. The technical specs in the Techno router they selected incorporate a working area for the router of 59″ by 50″ and Z-axis height of 12″, a vacuum hold-down desk, 5 horsepower Columbo spindle and a elevated gantry for big part clearance. The table features a fast travel velocity of 800 inches per minute, a Z-axis cutting force of 200 pounds optimum, .0005-inch resolution and repeatability, and .003 in ./foot total precision.

Automated test creation

Now, whenever a customer involves Foam Fabricators using a request for a brand new product, the engineer produces the SolidWorks model, because he did previously. But instead of making a drawing, he exports the strong model into the Techno router system’s Camera system. Initially intended for metalworking, this Camera system can also be well-best for foam due to the capacity to generate by far the most complex contours with small programming work. In the Camera system, the professional affords the command and also the software produces the toolpaths for cutting the test. The sole extra enter needed is details like supply prices and cutting rates of speed. Total programming time, from when the SolidWorks design is brought in to the CAM system up until the system is able to reduce foam, ranges from half an hour to two hours based on the complexity of the component.

Right after some foam carry is fastened towards the Techno router, the owner strikes the “start” button and the test will be etched instantly. The machine fails to require any guidance, other than to remove the finished piece and affix a whole new foam block to repeat the process. With this machine, an average order for 20 examples is done in 2 days. Large test orders no more need the creation aid of designers. The machine is simply kept provided with stock and run up until the order is finished.

Foam Fabricators has become very pleased using the longevity of the Techno router. With just normal lubrication, it functions flawlessly. A part of its dependability is because of the materials found in its building. As an example, the machine utilizes anti–backlash ball screws. These screws have excellent energy transmitting due to the rolling ball get in touch with between the nut and anchoring screws, and this type of contact guarantees reduced rubbing, reduced put on, and long life. The ball screws also have the ability to create parts to the machine resolution of .0005 “. In addition, the machine built on steel stress relieved bases with hardened steel linear methods, and ballscrews with servomotors regular, that provide the best accuracy performance, velocity capacity, and machine durability. This shaft-and-having system produces really sleek, play-free motion and is certainly a rigid system that creates high-high quality slashes.

Customers value the quicker turnaround on examples. Those that need to have a higher degree of accuracy inside their examples are noticing a marked improvement through the Techno router here, as well. Most importantly, customers who visit Foam Fabricators seeking packaging elements have confidence the company can undertake their work, regardless how complicated the shape with their components. As the CNC yvctke imports CAD geometry and replicates that shape precisely, regardless of the intricacy, Foam Fabricators is no longer limited to easier designs.

Getting the CNC router has repaid for Foam Fabricators in a number of methods: faster turnaround on samples, better samples, much better satisfied clients, and the ability to undertake more complex jobs. In addition, using a CNC router helps the company compete towards other injection foam molders. “Creating samples on the CNC machine it becoming the standard within our business,” clarifies Musgrove. “With the Techno machine, we found a cost-effective way to fulfill this requirement.”

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