Took a while to dial in feeds and speeds and there wasn’t a lot of info on cutting EVA with a CNC. Currently running a 1/8 2 flute spiral upcut (although a downcut would probably give me better edges) at 20mm/sec, 4mm DOC. Using a Dremel at the moment, but I have a Makita knock-off that I’m going to mount up shortly. Still have a lot more to cut, so I’ll post more pictures as I make progress.
Please post the finished piece(s). It’s been a few years since I tried cutting EVA foam using a router. I think I got my best edges using burr bits rather than fluted bits. If you are going to be doing a lot of EVA foam projects, a laser cuts it exceedingly well (darker colors). And, as easily as it cuts, you don’t need a very powerful laser.
The trick to foam I’ve found is to move as fast as possible with the lowest RPM’s you can manage. When we were building my sons boat. I was cutting at 50mm/s at 1" DOC in EPS. I probably could have gone faster. Only problem is that if you start to melt the foam it reshapes your cutter and starts making jaggies. Maybe an air assist would help.
Okay, the plastic itself might be considered safe, but what about products of combustion?
Vinyl itself is safe, heck it’s even safe for food storage, but burning it (or cutting with a laser) is definitely not. The fact that there is vinyl as one of the components there makes me think that laser cutting this stuff might be a very bad idea…
At the very least I would consider this as “Use a well ventilated environment, and stay away from the smoke.”
For the record - when the day eventually arrives that I get a laser (someday, probably in the distant future…), I fully intend to have it in an enclosure and have it properly vented. I already have some respiratory issues, so I try to be very diligent about fumes.
Was wondering. Would a drag knife not work to cut the foam? Obviously detail would be routed. I use my drag knife to cut vynal. It’s a bit small for Eva foam but there is designs on thingyverse that use a utility knife blade.
In some cases, yes, a drag knife would work. In this case though, I don’t think it would work very well. The foam I’m using is 8mm thick shore 60 hardness - it’s a pretty thick, hard foam. It can be cut with a knife, but it takes a significant amount of force. But a nice sharp endmill cuts through it like butter!
I have some other pieces of foam that are thinner and more pliable, a drag knife would probably work really well. At some point I’ll experiment with those.
Front and back both glued up. I put the straps on the front to test the fit. Still have a long way to go, but it’s really starting to come together. Next steps: seam filling, sanding/smoothing, and using the heat gun for some final shaping. Then we get to my favorite part - painting!