The application is for an in-store produce display so it must be water & mold resistant & soft, kind of like a Nerf Football.
Can anyone tell me about the feasability of extruding Foam rubber to this size?
Not only is the size a tough one but can it be accurately color matched to a Pantone color? Thanx!
I may be wrong, but doesn’t a closed cell foam need to shot into a closed mold in order to expand and harden into a shape? I can see you doing a larger mold and then die cutting 12" sections off of it. Low tooling costs but long cycle times. What if you extruded a thin walled shape of the same cross section (maybe out of polypro) with a honeycomb type structure in it to give support but with a little give? I like the idea.
What if you die cut that whole cross section out of 12" foam. Be a lot of scrap though…
You could also make this shape out of a block of foam using a CNC hot wire cutter. No tooling needed - just the profile.
if you’re not familiar with the process check out this link - has images of the machines and some samples.
Would cutting your blocks to size, & then CNC-ing them 2-up in a 69 configuration be feasable? It’ for a significant product launch but a pretty short preliminary initial run (as always). Reducing the tooling costs would be a great advantage and a good negotiating tool for the long-term tooling costs.
There is a “crosslink” EVA used for medical grade applications that is pretty close to that blue color.
If you are looking for a supplier/fabricator I’d talk to these guys:
Their blue medical grade Crosslink stuff is called “XL BLUE 2000” it comes in a variety of densities. Looks and sounds like the stuff you are looking for. They’re in Mpls. check em out.
they have three axis band saws and a variety of other neat cutting tools that could probably get you the shape you need.
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There is an 8’ hot wire cutter here in Vancouver so I would assume there is probably one near you also. -There will at least be a 6’ - Check movie prop builders they use these a lot.
At 8’ you could cut an 8’ long piece to your profile and then chop down to 8 12" sections later. If you are looking for low volume this will work as there is zero tooling cost and set-up is minimal.
Your only issue with this may be material. If you want that squishy nerf / open cell look you might have to talk with the supplier to see what that type of machine can do.