APMM Community Forum : Laser Cutting
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 Subject : Re:Laser cutters...cutting foamcore.. 09/08/2021 01:00:36 PM 
Alika Brooks
Posts: 4
Laser will melt the foam part leaving a concave edge, comes out a little burnt and the smell is not all that pleasant, not to mention its toxic and corrosive. High fire risk too. Cutting metal of any thickness with a laser gets complicated and requires higher powers and assist gasses. Router cuts gatorboard quite well.
 Subject : Re:Re:Laser cutters...cutting foamcore.. 09/08/2021 12:47:02 PM 
Jenny Tommos
Posts: 7
Foamcore should not be lasercut. The off-gassing produces carcinogenic fumes, that also can damage the lens. In addition it looks like bad student work, with a melted foam filler. Avoid.
 Subject : Re:Laser cutters...cutting foamcore.. 09/08/2021 12:40:30 PM 
Posts: 1
Not a Laser but for volume study models of appliances we have considered adding a drag knife to our CNC router. [url]http://https://donektools.com/[/url]
Haven't done it yet so can't say if it works great or not. Maybe someone else has experience with one.
 Subject : Re:Laser cutters...cutting foamcore.. 09/08/2021 12:36:48 PM 
Charles Overy
Posts: 10

I have to +1 Jill's answer. I think you need to do this mechanically not with a laser. If you cut foam core with a laser the middle always shrinks back in an ugly way because the laser has to be hot enough to get through the art, the top sheet and the bottom sheet. When it set for that, it is too hot and slow to keep the foam center looking good.

Jill thanks for the lead on the Silver Bullet, it looks amazing.

 Subject : Re:Laser cutters...cutting foamcore.. 09/08/2021 12:20:57 PM 
Posts: 12
Chris you might want to look at heavy duty cutting machine instead. Much less expensive. I have a CO2 laser and a cutting machine and they both absolutely have their place in the shop.

I purchased a Silver Bullet Platinum: https://silverbulletcutters.com/24-silver-bullet-platinum-series.aspx.
It has an onboard camera and embedded method for lining up the photo with the cutting pattern using cross hair targets. I had pictures professionally printed with targets and hit the alignment perfectly first time out simply following their step by step instructions. Pretty cool for around $2k.

Its hearty enough to cut fairly thick styrene. Haven't tried thin metal yet, but it claims it can. Low learning curve. If you call, usually you can get to Sherri, the owner/engineer. She speaks model maker.
 Subject : Laser cutters...cutting foamcore.. 09/08/2021 12:02:20 PM 
Posts: 3
All, I am looking for a laser cutter for the purpose of cutting out 2D renderings which are laminated to foam core/gator board. My goal would be to print out 2D renderings, laminate to foam /gator board, load those boards in the laser and cut them out. I know it is more complex than that (registration marks, DXF line files, GCode....)

Ideally I would like to be able to cut thin metal with this as well (multi use). I generally know the types of lasers and am looking for a turnkey solution rather than an experimental project.
If you use this type of equipment or actively do this type of process, I would love to hear from you...pros/cons, machinery type etc.

Send me an email or respond here on the forum for others to chime in/learn.

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