File puptcrit/puptcrit.0603, message 165

Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2006 23:01:23 -0500
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] foam patterns

>By the way, the laser discussed earlier could very easily cut this type 
>of foam, though you'd need a laser with a big cutting area.

  Another method of mass-producing this type of thing is a dye.  Basically,
this type of dye cutter is a block of wood with a strip of metal put onto
one side to outline the shape.  In use, this dye is placed into a press, and
is forced down on the material being cut.

  A friend made plastic animal carriers this way.  The cost of the original
dye is based on how many inches the outline is.  His was made (about 15
years ago) for only about $40.  The cost for stamping out the material was
also pretty low cost, even for fairly low quantities. (sorry, I don't recall
the price). I considered this as a method of mass-producing foam shapes for
kids to use to make puppets (like the pattern you are considering using).
But, I decided that having the kids cut the pattern out was part of the
learning process that I didn't want to eliminate.

I am not sure where to refer anyone to if you are interested in this process
for foam or even shadow puppets. I know the printing industry sometimes uses
this process to make custom shaped paper cutouts.  So, there is the best
place to start.

Joe Dunfee
Gordonville, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

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