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Grooving EVA and PE foam advice thoughts


#1

I\Hello everyone this is my first post. I have ordered my complete kit. I am wanting to mill/route grooves into Pe foam sheets. I was wondering if there is any advice on cutters/bits and feed rates to be had. The lines need to be clean but not complex.

Thanks


#2

Hi @NewGuy ,

I did not cut plastic yet on the Maslow. Yet, let me share what I have seen and red about it with the context of MalsowCNC.

Now grooving is not exactly cutting, and the difference is about depth. The lighter a cut, the lower the forces and the heat…

Do you have some information about the EVA or PE foam product? A product description, ideally a product specification from a manufacturer might give you important details like the melting point temperature or the health and safety advices to prevent problems.

One thing is for sure: plastics are often described by their core matrix (poly ethylene , and poly ethylene vinyl acetate here?) and almost never list the set of additives, which are important because they set most plastic properties.

Basic Poly Ethylene typically has low meting temperatures. But some products are made with insdutrial manufacturing process in mind. @aluminumwelder here points out some material and distributor

Now the Maslow is based on a router of your choice. Some Maslownians also opt for a spindle, which offer advantages on speed and noise.

Typically, a router will spin fast: too fast for plastics (heat will build-up and plastic softens) which may lead to poor quality edges. That was pointed out here with the idea to create jigs on maslow then cut plastic parts with the jig.

One might seek a balance by accelerating router movement speed, but note that the standard MaslowCNC will produce 800mm/min at best in x/y directions. And you might look for a fast Z axis mod to avoid idling too long while the router is diving in.

The router bit shape (upccut) would be important according to @aluminumwelder here

That is why you might also seek for a slow router / spindle, speed, and a single flute cuter. To that extent, there exists speed controlled router but the slow speed setting might be too fast still (typ 10 000 rpm). Some improved additionnal speed control migh provide stable speed down to 5000 rpm. Is that slow enough? Well here are:

And @mrfugu reports several point for

Over all you need to try or find someone who did. :slight_smile:

Anyone?

Hope this helps.


#3

Cutting eva foam will most likely leave some pesky bits on the edge. PE I’m not sure. Its so soft I wouldnt think it would cut well but give it a shot. Definitely anchor the foam down well sonce its light and the sled may not slide well on it.


#4

While some have had great success with PVC. For plastics move on to a spindle. You can find a spindle on Amazon in the under $80 ranged with a dial speed control but capable of lower speeds plastics would need.

2 cents of free advice

Thank you


#5

Thanks guys. A spendle with the c rail is a great idea.
I am thinking I may have to use something over the surface that can be sacrificed some type of paper to reduce friction.

I am also thinking to make a vacuum table for the bed. Possible using peg board.
I have found one video that I think was very informative although they are using a cnc mill. Said to use conventional machining techniques cutting the outside of details first and shows a special foam bit. I’ll go back and get the name and manufacture.


#6

So I remember the end mill producer.