In the machining world, foam cutting systems are essential as foam is easy to use for various functions. Foam is ideal when it comes to creating prototypes, molds, and sculptures, among other things. There are different types of foam used for hotwire cutting, including expanded polystyrene (EPS), extruded polystyrene board (XPS), or certain polyethylene terephthalate (PET) materials. Other materials that are harder and more dense would be milled with the FROGMill™.
When choosing a foam cutting system, consider the general shape of your projects. The FROG3D® FROGWire™ is a two-dimensional cutting system, fit for linear and direct cuts. Though it’s turn-table and independent axis functions greatly increase the FROGWire™‘s capabilities, it will still be outfitted with a straight wire. This restricts the movement and the degrees of freedom the system has to freely move about. If the desired shapes are fully organic or have varying curvature to the geometry, the FROGMill™ may be the better option. Keep in mind that the FROGMill™ can also provide a uniform surface finish without extra sanding.
Another key element to consider when it comes to choosing the right foam-cutting system is the available shop space you have for a system. The FROGWire™ needs about 10’ x 10’ of floor space while the FROGMill™ needs 8’ x 12’ plus additional space for the recommended dust collector unit. These dimensions take into account the required safe operating area, but are just the minimum specs necessary and each shop may be different in its setup.
Planning for the Future
The FROGWire™ is not only great for producing 2D profiles with ease, but it is also an essential tool to help you prepare materials for processing on the FROGMill™. The FROGWire™ works in conjunction with the FROGMill™ by preparing appropriately sized foam material for milling in-house, instead of paying to have material pre-slabbed or shaped. This not only cuts down on procurement costs, but reduces waste, machining time, and lead times.
Finally, some facilities have an abundance of talented sculptors, while some shops focus more on digital skills. If you have artists waiting to be hands-on with a project, using the FROGWire™ to block out your pieces and finish them by hand might be your best approach. If your staff is more comfortable doing the work digitally, using the FROGMill™ will cut back substantially on the need for artistic sculptors.
If you have additional questions about the right foam-cutting system for you, reach out! Our experienced technicians are always available to provide you with extra information and help you with any other product needs you may have.