Styrofoam Inserts?

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by repair_bay, May 7, 2011.

  1. repair_bay

    repair_bay Scramble Power!

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    Does anyone know how to make styrofoam inserts? I checked both Tutorials and Google, but couldn't find anything. If anyone has tips or a tutorial that'd be great. Also, I'm not totally certain that this is in the right section, but if it's not, could the mods kindly move it? Thanks in advance :) 
     

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  2. destrongerlupus

    destrongerlupus #MoreSawBoss

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    They make expandable foam packs that will get you *close* but it's not the same thing at all...

    I don't think there are any inexpensive/easy DIY alternatives...

    D/L
     
  3. Fishdirt

    Fishdirt Tin Toy Transformer

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    Seeing as it's a form of styrene I would guess you'd need a form for both the object and the shape of the outside of the foam with some sort of vaccum attachment.

    Load it with separated pieces of the styrene and pop it in a warm, not hot, oven and use a vacuum to tighten it. Just a guess based on how the elements react.
     
  4. Tigertrack

    Tigertrack Back In The Game!

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    There's a method that uses a hot-wire to cut foam. I'm not sure if it'll work for this type of foam, but it's been used in making custom cases for carrying RC helicopters and transmitters inside aluminum cases and what not.
    Again, I don't know if it'll work for this type of foam or not. Just a thought though.
     
  5. Shwiggie

    Shwiggie Likeable dryskinned biped

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    I would think you could easily buy a solid block or two of styrofoam (combined with CA glue if necessary) and just cut out the insert areas with a hot knife. As to where you get those, my soldering iron came with an attachment for an X-acto blade that should work just fine for no more than you're going to do. They're not expensive, particularly if you already have one...Radio Shack has 'em.
     
  6. Tigertrack

    Tigertrack Back In The Game!

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    Be careful with CA glue. There are some glues that would melt the foam, and some that are specifically designed to be safe with foam. Foam Safe CA glue is what you need.
     
  7. shadowfall1976

    shadowfall1976 The Alpha and the Optimus

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    I made one for my PM Prime out of pieces glued together..not perfect but it worked, and I
    made it the way I wanted it. The weapons and instructions actually fit into a space in the
    back (not shown) that I carved in behind HiQ. I had the foam insert with the box in storage,
    but my Dad threw it out....aggrevating, but I guess I should be lucky he kept the box after
    20 some years.

    I also made one for a custom Ultra Magnus box I made.
     

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  8. Shwiggie

    Shwiggie Likeable dryskinned biped

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    Just noticed that Tigertrack beat me to the punch. Let me add that, yes, a hot wire/knife will work on the type of styrofoam as used with large G1 TFs, as I worked in a factory that built panels with this stuff as the insulation and that's how they cut it. If it's hot and thin, it'll cut the stuff.
     
  9. st4rwaytoheaven

    st4rwaytoheaven Well-Known Member

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    I do custom styrofoam trays all the time to my custom boxes, i use 2cm styrofoam sheets and a heat induced styro cutter o give it smooth edges.
    I do this using a cardboard mold.
    The reason i'm using a layered option instead of a full piece is that most of the styrofoam trays that i do are for giftsets, and usually the 5/6 tranformers have different depths.
     
  10. shadowfall1976

    shadowfall1976 The Alpha and the Optimus

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    that's how I did it, all I had to do was cut the Prime shape out of every layer before
    gluing, then the head, Hi-Q and the storage part in back easier to cut layers than to
    dig out styrofoam
     
  11. Insane Galvatron

    Insane Galvatron is not insane. Really!

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    I'm pretty sure the stuff Hasbro used to use comes in pellets, and has to be shot into a mold ( meaning you need tooling and that can be $$$$ ), and then heated. The pellets expand to the shape of the mold. The reason they quit using it is because vacuum forming the plastic trays became the cheaper alternative.
     
  12. Tom_Servo

    Tom_Servo Well-read chick magnet

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    Like Tigertrack said, the best way to cut foam like that is to use a hot wire cutter. The problem is that they're tricky to use, slightly dangerous, and the fumes made by melting stryofoam are toxic. Cutting it by hand with a drywall knife seems like the easiest way, but you can't get a clean edge and the bubbles go everywhere. I'd check the nearest big box hardware store for sheets of insulation foam that could work. Hopefully, there will be one with a good carvable texture. In a pinch you could use blue or pink foam and paint it white. It MIGHT be possible to smooth the cut edges with a quick shot from a heat gun. Just do it with proper ventilation because of the before mentioned fume problem.
    Bear in mint that it's really hard to glue foam because almost everything that isn't water-based dissolves it.
    Good luck. I know I've seen people make those things, so I'm sure there's a good way.
     
  13. shadowfall1976

    shadowfall1976 The Alpha and the Optimus

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    I was trying to remember what I used to glue mine together, it was Elmers Glue.
    It works and still hold steady, it's been over a year since I made it, and like was
    said above about water based glues, Elmers is water based and won't melt the
    foam, but does hold well.
     
  14. repair_bay

    repair_bay Scramble Power!

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    Thanks for all the feed back guys! I really appreciate it :) 
     
  15. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    This is a topical discussion, so we're here in Creative GD to discuss it now :) 
     
  16. repair_bay

    repair_bay Scramble Power!

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    Thanks Superquad! Sorry 'bout that.
     
  17. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    No worries :) 

    'tis a cool topic, btw :thumb 
     

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