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Thread: Working with Foam

  1. #11
    Variable Bitrate
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    your result is very nice - I must say. It [I]looks[I] like a well made quality part.

    The foam you're using, however, is used to make plugs for molds and is not meant to be used in a structural way whatsoever. I'm quite surprised you managed to keep it in one peice, your skills with it must be great. What I am saying is that your part should be made of something with at least a bit of structural strength and stiffness. I'd say you've made an excellent prototype for your product. Thats a good use of this foam, prototyping, but not for the actual part.

    Essentially you've used a foam plug to make a mold out of bondo and paint. Your paint is cured so now it is the structure of the part. Too bad you didn't use some kind of mold release on the foam, since you could seperate your 'shell' and use it as a mold for an actual strong part, made of plastic or fiberglass.

    I dont mean to say you did it wrong, I just mean to say you aren't using the products in the standardized way that they are intended to be used for good results. It just so happens you got good results anyways... just be careful you dont drop it. Correct me if im wrong and you did infact use some kind of a structural layer other than the bondo.

    The paintwork looks fantastic. Did you match it to the exterior finish of the car? Did you do it yourself?

  2. #12
    Maximum Bitrate GoHybrid's Avatar
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    Vinister, you're right about the standard use of the foam. I will say that not all foams are created equal. There are far lighter foams like 2 and 5 lb which offer no real structure beyond the shape that they hold. I usually use 15 and 20lb foams which get to be like working a piece of balsa.

    Regarding it's use, I agree that it should not be used as a load bearing part. A trim bezel however is rather far from it. I've made other variations of the bezel including one that incorporates a few plies of carbon fiber on the lower portion which makes the whole piece (unreinforced otherwise) more rigid than the ABS part that came on the car... but there is no bondo on the part. it's just foam/primer/bc/cc. I am experimenting further with creating a silicone rubber mold based on this and using polyurethane resins to create multiple parts... so to say, using the foam for that which it was intended.

    i did do the paint myself. I went and had a lady at the paint store match my two interior tones for me. Provided you take care not to contaminate your paints with anything, it's actually quite easy to get that finish. No wetsanding or buffing was needed there.
    Et ipsa scientia potestas est.

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  3. #13
    Variable Bitrate 3g Jester's Avatar
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    wow thats tits. thank you sooo much for posting this. i was tryign to think of a way to make a decent lip for my screen but i could imagine making somethign with fiberglass for mset up it would be a crazy little shape that although small in size would be crazy difficult to make it look half decent) and bondo was out f the question. thats soooo hot man. wouldnt fiberglass resin melt the foam though?

  4. #14
    Maximum Bitrate GoHybrid's Avatar
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    Renshape is essentially polyurethane that was aerated to give it a certain density. Urethanes don't contain styrene like EPS (pink foam at home depot) so it will not dissolve in the presence of styrene monomer as is found in polyester resins. If you are using a styrene foam, you can also use epoxy resins which don't melt styrene foams.
    Et ipsa scientia potestas est.

    Worklog for my 2007 Civic Si ...f*** it...
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    Need to make something? Here are a few ideas.

  5. #15
    Variable Bitrate
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    no the foam is resistant to almost any chemicals and heat, including fiberglass resins and the like.

    I could see it looks a little stiffer and denser than most stuff i've seen or worked with. The results are great anyways, so that's that!

  6. #16
    Variable Bitrate 3g Jester's Avatar
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    you sure know alot about foam mister.

  7. #17
    Maximum Bitrate GoHybrid's Avatar
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    the more foam dust you breathe....


    ps- thanks Vin
    Et ipsa scientia potestas est.

    Worklog for my 2007 Civic Si ...f*** it...
    Pictures of the Corolla (retired)here
    Need to make something? Here are a few ideas.

  8. #18
    Low Bitrate jay_tu's Avatar
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    looks awesome...
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  9. #19
    Constant Bitrate KaBoOoM's Avatar
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    Genius imo, and very easy to cover in glass for reinforcement. I like it a lot!

    *Edit* You think it would be possible to use a hot wire to cut the foam without damaging the plastic? If you could it would make it flush almost instantly and require only a small amount of sanding (if any). Don't know anything about working with foam though.

    Also it would be interesting to just use a crappy cheap foam, maybe with a very low melting point and put a glass shell on it. Then cut out/poke a whole in it and melt the foam out or just dissolve it out. Just throwing some ideas out there ...
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  10. #20
    Maximum Bitrate GoHybrid's Avatar
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    the renshape can't be cut with a hot wire unfortunately. It can be bent with a heat gun in thicknesses of 1/4" or less though. Kind of an oddity but it works. I have seen links using the "lost foam" method. Google lost foam and you might find some hobbyists that shape foam cores for model airplane fuselages and then do exactly what you say. For that though, you'll want to use EPS foam and epoxy resin.

    good ideas!
    Et ipsa scientia potestas est.

    Worklog for my 2007 Civic Si ...f*** it...
    Pictures of the Corolla (retired)here
    Need to make something? Here are a few ideas.

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