A foam model, or foam volume study, is a 3D shape made from urethane foam board.
Foam models can reveal ergonomic flaws in the design that cannot be detected in CAD, as well as giving you a realistic preview of the scale of your designs. Several concepts can be made and evaluated very quickly, sometimes in just a few hours. During the evaluation process, changes can be made to the model and incorporated into the design. The quick, iterative process of foam models can save thousands of dollars in development and reduce time to market.
Urethane foam board is available in varying densities from hard to soft, but usually a low-density foam is desirable to make the model quickly and easily. A foam model can be made by hand from a napkin sketch or CNC machined from CAD data.
Once created, the foam can be left natural or painted. Part lines and graphics can also be added to achieve a more realistic final look. A larger foam volume model can be broken up, machined in pieces, and put back together again as one unit.