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The Cost of 3D Foam Projects

Discussion in 'Foam Talk' started by jovian, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. jovian

    jovian Member

    Trophy Points:
    All as you may or may not know while developing the 3D printer Mark and I were looking for a way to slice a model into cross sections. While researching this Mark came across a neat idea to try and create a ton of slices then stack them as he did here http://www.phlatforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=211&p=29299#p29299 in the slice gun project.. This offers some advantages over the technique I am using in the Jakuta project here http://www.phlatforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=2624 mainly due to the fact that each layer is thinner. A disadvantage to Marks style is that it takes longer to construct (more layers to stack and more sanding required). Cutting times were about the same for same sized object. and waste material would be about the same for the same project on each style.

    While the project should determine the technique many 3D projects could use both. So which to use? For me personally at this point it comes down to which is cheaper provided the results are roughly equal, so I decided to find the cost per cube foot of material. The results surprised me and may you too. Mind you the cost here is for a solid cubed foot of the material. It is up to the individual to select the material that will best suit their situation for a project.

    Prices found from RCFoam.com and Lowes website set to my local store so prices may vary

    50'x4'x .22"
    for 41.95
    Total Volume in cubed feet 50x4x (.22/12) = 3.66 cubed feet
    $/Cubed Ft = 41.95/3.66 = 11.46 $/Cubed ft (final price will be slightly higher due to unusable space from the folds)

    1" Dow BluCor
    4'x8'x1" 1 sheet
    for 16.47
    Total Volume in cubed ft = 4 x 8 x (1/12) = 2.66 cubed ft
    $/Cubed ft = 16.47/2.66 = 6.19 $/cubed ft

    1mm x 100' Depron Roll

    for $100
    Total volume in cubed ft = (40/12) X 100 X (0.0391/12) = 3.33x100x0.00325 = 1.08 cubed ft
    $/Cubed ft = 100/1.08 = 92 $/Cubed Ft

    6mm depron sheets

    27" x 39" x .24" 20 sheets = 27" x 780" x .24"
    for $135
    Total Volume in Cubed Ft = (27/12) x (780/12) x (.24/12) = 2.25 x65 x 0.02 = 2.925 cubed ft
    $/Cubed ft = 135/2.925 = 46 $/cubed ft
  2. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Member

    Trophy Points:
    Maynard, MA, Eaarth
    Another aspect that can be part of the equation is when you have an object that needs to have the *inside* formed in 3D, as well; like my CarBEN EV. I am slicing it in nominal 2" thick slices, and when the taper is on the top face of the slice (while it is in the Phlatprinter), it would be great to have it shaped. But when the taper is "undercut" and is therefore not accessible by the bit on the Phlatprinter, it would be great to just have the maximum plane cut straight through; leaving the material to be shaped by hand later.

    I need to form both the inside and the outside of the passenger compartment, and in the battery bay, and under the hood, and in the wheel wells of the CarBEN EV, so by definition in most cases, if the outside taper can be cut from the top of a slice, then the inside taper cannot -- or vis versa.

    So, for the time being, I think I'll just make straight cuts, and do all the shaping by hand. But, if the software could be set up to do the carving when possible or just cut the maximum plane if it is not possible -- that would be great. And ultimately, if the sheets could be flipped over and indexed, and then carve the tapers from the "back", that would be awesome!
  3. 3DMON

    3DMON Moderator Staff Member

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    Sebastian, Florida
    Thanks for posting this Nick. Good stuff.
  4. kram242

    kram242 Administrator Staff Member

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    Wow this really changes your perspective!. Seems like the idea of using the hot wire attachment as a planer to create custom thickness sheets would save a lot of money :)
    If you used a 2" thick piece cut down to 1/4" slices(discarding, or at least not counting the last one I believe due to kerf) You may get nicer sheets and they may be more affordable?
    Great information Nick thank you
    Mark and Trish
  5. dhc8guru

    dhc8guru Member

    Trophy Points:
    San Antonio
    I would disgard FanFold from being useable for stacking. The FF I have gotten is too wavy. I have pretty much so given up on FF for anything other than test cuts and mock-ups.
    Thick Blue Core 1/2-3" too me seems to be a good way to go depending on the project.

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