Wednesday, 18 March 2015

How to Cut Craft/Fun Foam with Silver Bullet

There are many people who would like to cut fun foam with their cutters but just don't know how to go about it.
This post gives you the settings I used (yours may differ) and the technique I used to make it as easy and painless as possible!

First, my craft foam is about 2mm deep, including the glitter. About 1.5mm without it.

Before I started, I had to consider if I wanted to risk messing up my clean mat - no.
Did I want to risk an expensive genuine blade? No.

So what did I use? I used a piece of a plastic placemat, one of those flexible thin ones. I'd used it before with my Cameo and it already had some adhesive spray on it from then. Months ago.
For a blade, I used a new but cheap 24mm long, 60 degree one from China. They fitted the LiYu holder I used in my Cameo but are 1mm longer than the standard blades for the Silver Bullet. I used my Click holder (purchased from Thyme Graphics in the UK- love it!) I kept my holder on setting no 1 - because of the extra length of the blade. If you are using a genuine blade, you may need to go up to a much higher click holder setting.
As you can see, it sticks out more than the standard blade would on no1 - the normal one is only 23mm long.
I checked the blade depth against the foam and it looked just right.

For preparation, I took one extra step. I applied a piece of sticky backed plastic to the GLITTER side of my foam. I put the foam GLITTER side DOWN on my mat and taped it in place to make sure it could not move or get caught when moving the carriage. When designing, make sure to reverse your pattern if you need to - letters for example.
I made sure to do a blade height check before cutting, it still needs to be slightly above the foam.

As it happens, the first setting I tried worked beautifully, velocity 120, force 150. It cut all through the foam without going into the sticky plastic. The glitter was barely touched and just came away with the foam as it should. You can see the cut taking place in this video

My only difficulty was trying  to release it one handed while I held the camera!

Using the sticky backed plastic definitely would make clean up a lot quicker if you needed to use your genuine mat. Have you ever tried getting that stuff off a sticky surface? Believe me, you don't want to. Takes the patience of a Saint.

Finally, I made notes in my spiral book, along with a sample. It's good practice to do this because you WILL forget what settings you used in time!

So now there is no excuse not to have fun with this stuff!  Room decorations for children, craft projects, school projects, let me know what you do with it!

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