Anyone have any advice on cutting that two colored foam for toolbox inserts?
I’ve read a high speed using a straight bit should cut fine.
Any advice on the creating of the toolpaths themselves? I came across this company that makes custom cutouts, by simply just uploading your dimensions, using 4 quarters in the corner of the drawer for scale reference and take a picture, and they then trace your tool layout and do the cuts. https://tracemyspace.com/products/custom-foam-insert
Is there a tool/program on the market I could use for tracing my tool layout out? the actual modeling/toolpath creation is what i’m stuggling to move forward with. running the machine and cutting into the foam is easy enough in my tests.
I use inkscape for stuff like this. Take a contrasting photo with a pair of rulers layed on the side (quarters are harder to work with lol). Import to inkscape, and use the “Trace Bitmap” function to “vectorize” it. This creates a “path” object that hopefully looks clean and cuttable. There may be little zits here and there that can be annoying to work with. You can edit “nodes” on the path object to make small tweaks, delete zits, etc, or rerun the trace bitmap with different settings as needed. Next square it up using the object/transform tool to skew the object.
Now check the scaling. Lots of ways… for this I’d probably just use inkscape to zoom the ruler images next to the side rulers in inkscape, and use object/transform/scale until they match. Next delete the ruler part by “editing nodes” (or leave em and just don’t select them in CAM later on). Once it all looks pretty and sized correct, save as svg. Your CAM app should be able to import that svg and use it for 2d pockets etc. Verify after importing to CAM that the scaling is still correct. You can usually tweak scaling in CAD/CAM as well if it isn’t perfect.
That site you linked uses quarters on the corners for scaling/squaring; they probably have custom software that works well with that.
Take a look at this topic, which explores a similar question.
There are special bits for milling foam, but they are pricy. Also, if I remember correctly, best results are had with conventional milling instead of climb milling.
I recently bumped into an interesting phone app that I wondered if it could be used for this purpose. It is called Adobe Capture. It is free but it does require a (free) Adobe account to do anything significant with it. It can directly take vector (SVG) images, and it has some object recognition built in.
I too like Inkscape for this. The automatic tracing sometimes works, but it’s often easier to do it by hand. You might think it’ll take ages, but with a bit of practice it’s pretty quick.
Read up on the various types of nodes, how to split and connect them, and how to select things. Draw straight lines around an object, then just drag the middle of each line to turn them into curves. Then decide if the nodes are smooth or angled. You can check any critical dimensions with the ruler, or just print (on paper) for a real-world test.
I’ve traced a couple of model aircraft plans, and you get a lot quicker as you work out how you’re supposed to use the software.