Tooling Boards: A final category of foam that should be discussed is tooling board foams. Made of dense foams, tooling boards often serve to replace the wood or metal used in models, molds, templates and patterns. Such foams can be milled on certain CNC foam carving machines, and generally are machined smooth, so that they can be used immediately for their production purposes. Depending on your project, you may find that producing a 3D template or model is a requirement. Due to their cost and to their very slow production speeds (dense tooling board must be machined slowly to avoid equipment or pattern damage) tooling boards are almost never used outside of the specific parameters listed above. Occasionally, select components of 3D projects might be made out of tooling board, as a replacement for a wood or metal feature, but this is a highly unusual event.
Finding the Right Foam: Therefore, there are benefits and trade-offs for each category of foam. Selecting the right foam(s) for your project will result in the best balance between cost and quality and this balance will most likely differ from project to project. Being aware of the production features of each type of foam helps you and your clients select the right materials the first time