As a material, foam is as versatile as it is varied. Options include acoustical, cellulose, and hydrophilic variants, as well as any number of specialty felted, pre-polymer, and reticulated foam products. Each boasts different benefits, and many types of foam are perfectly engineered to meet specific criteria, expectations, and demands. But what if you’re looking to tackle your own foam cutting or simply wish to understand the benefits of one cutting method over another? That’s where knowledge of CNC foam is invaluable. To demonstrate, we’ve delved into the three main types of CNC foam cutting. We’ll also briefly examine other options, including kiss cutting and precision die cutting.
Yet, whichever foam material is required, they all invariably need cutting to size. At Reilly Foam Corporation, we offer all the above types of foam and more, cut to size and ready for use. We specialize in engineered foams for all manner of consumer, medical, and industrial applications. Since we manufacture our products using cutting-edge equipment and the latest fabrication technologies, the possibilities are endless.
Of the various types of foam cutting currently available at Reilly Foam Corporation, our preferred methods rely on computer numerical control or CNC. Benefits of CNC cutting include incredible accuracy and little to no waste. It’s also an extremely fast and efficient process.
CNC foam cutting relies on software embedded in a microcomputer attached to a particular tool. By and large, computer numerical controlled foam cutting falls into a trio of primary categories. These are water jet CNC foam cutting, router CNC foam cutting, and contour CNC foam cutting.
Water jet CNC foam cutting is primarily used to replicate identical cuts during production. Both computer numerical controlled and non-computer numerical controlled water jet foam cutting equipment is available. However, CNC-equipped solutions benefit from the abovementioned advantages, such as super-accurate cutting and reduced waste.
Water jet CNC cutting also delivers superior edge quality. This superior edge quality, in turn, saves time on secondary finishing. The same equipment also allows different types of foam material to be cut back-to-back without changing tooling.
In addition to foam, water jet CNC cutting tools can further be used to cut cardboard, fiberglass, glass, metal, paper, plastic, stone, composite materials, and more.
Meanwhile, router CNC cutting is most applicable in creating packaging foam material. Among the benefits specific to router CNC cutting are precision foam carving and the ability to cut to greater depths than with many other alternatives.
The results of router CNC foam cutting tend to rely on one or more chosen router bits. Among the most popular are high-speed steel foam cutting bits. These include straight, spiral, ball end, and various other options. Different coatings are available, too, offering faster, smoother, and more efficient results across various foam types.
Contour CNC foam cutting allows for the most efficient and typically most cost-effective overall creation of particularly intricate shapes. To achieve such results, contour CNC foam cutting uses more specialized equipment than either water jet or router CNC foam cutting.
Contour CNC cutting often further relies on CAD technologies. CAD or computer-aided design speeds up the cutting process by employing detailed diagrams, tolerance information, and more for a particular job.
Strictly in terms of contour CNC cutting, that means increased cutting speeds, outstanding consistency, reduced foam dust, and improved operator safety. That’s in addition to the exceptional accuracy and minimal waste common among CNC cutting in general.
Various alternatives are available where water jet, router, or contour CNC foam cutting isn’t an option for one reason or another. At Reilly Foam Corporation, these include kiss cutting—a type of die cutting process—and traditional precision die cutting, a die cutting process in itself that offers incredible accuracy.
Reilly Foam Corporation’s foam cutting options are as follows:
Each, of course, has its advantages. One or more cutting methods may also be employed alongside either flame or adhesive lamination.
Flame lamination is widely used in the medical, automotive, and industrial sectors to create foam-based laminates. Elsewhere, adhesive lamination is perfect for facilitating additional thickening or strengthening before or after cutting. Adhesive lamination is ideal for sheets of many of the most common foam materials, especially where they need reinforcing.
Take the worry out of cutting any required foam products by relying on Reilly Foam Corporation’s custom fabrication services. Whether you require water jet, router, or contour CNC foam cutting or want to explore one or more alternatives, we’re here to help.
As a go-to source of professional foam cutting, we have over four decades of experience and knowledge in creating custom foam solutions. Moreover, our four separate U.S. locations ensure that customers’ needs are met quickly and efficiently, no matter how large or small an order. Contact Reilly Foam Corporation today to find out more.
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Our goal at Reilly Foam is to recycle anything and everything that is not fabricated so it can go on to have a second life elsewhere. 100% of our scrap materials are collected and bailed together. We then send our scrap materials out, either back to our suppliers or to other companies that will take them to use in recycled products!