Think You’ve Got a Great Idea For Foam? Let Some of Our Favorite Projects Help Inspire You!

We’ve all had flashes of brilliance while trying to find the answer to a difficult problem. Tossing out awful idea after awful idea, until you surprise even yourself with one that takes care of every issue at hand. It’s hard not to be proud when these moments happen, but it can be harder to tell whether we enjoy solving the problem more, or the amazement from people who, upon hearing your solution, proclaim, “I wish I had thought of that!”

With our fleet of precise machinery and skilled employees who can make crisp, intricate cuts by hand, The Foam Factory has seen quite a spread of off-the-wall ideas come through the doors. Whether somebody is looking to make a prototype for their Next Big Thing, or a customer has a new purpose for an old product, people never cease to surprise and impress us with uses for our products, even after more than three decades in business. We learned long ago that when it comes to foam, there is always new a idea around the bend.

Simbex’s illuminated XLPE foam cloud

In its varying styles, shapes, and types, foam can be light and soft, strong and resilient, and impact-absorbing and cushioning. As such, there isn’t much foam can’t do, and what follows are three of the most clever and interesting projects we’ve recently completed for customers. These jobs showcase some of the best qualities of foam, while putting the creativity, practicality, and ingenuity of our customers in the spotlight!

Our first project takes the light and airy characteristics of foam and applies them to something with a particularly similar set of traits.

After a customer came to us with plans to add some levity and inspiration to their office in the form of suspended décor, we knew we had a great idea on our hands. With a warehouse-style office featuring high-ceilings, it only made sense to break up the space with something subtle, but pleasant, inspiring, and creative. As such, suspended foam clouds made perfect sense! Providing intricate and detailed plans from the very start, it was a breeze to cut sheets of our white XLPE (cross-linked polyethylene) into their desired designs. Taking these different pieces of foam, they were strung together with spacers placed between each foam sheet, to create 3-D installations that are equal part inventive, attractive, and interesting.

Another memorable project was one for the workplace as well, albeit one that’s about as far from an office environment as you can get.

While some types of foam are soft and fluffy, others are designed to hold up to much more rugged use. In the case of this job, that use centered around about a ton, of horned, bucking, barnyard animal.

Frankie “Punkintown” Smith, safe and sound!

As a bullfighter (known by some as rodeo clowns), Frankie “Punkintown” Smith needed a padding material to cushion the inside of his rodeo barrel. For anyone familiar with the rodeo, you can understand the forces at play with a bull charging and stomping around a ring, and the few escape routes riders and bullfighters have if they get in a tight spot. For the bullfighters, tasked with distracting these animals while riders safely sneak out of the ring, the barrel is the only place within the ring where they have any degree of safety, making its padding incredibly important. Even if the bull can’t get through the barrel, the bullfighter needs to be protected from being tossed around inside that barrel. To get the right mix of durability, comfort, and resiliency, we cut 2.2LB polyethylene foam to line his barrel. We also cut foam for the outside as well, to help protect the animal.

Lastly, is one of the most original and inventive uses for one of our products that we’ve seen in a while, coming to us from the Lone Star State. As many of its residents are fond of saying, “Everything is bigger in Texas,” and when the skies darken and the wind picks up, hailstones are included under the blanket of that statement. As ice begins to fall from thousands of feet in the sky, vehicles parked outside can quickly go from looking like a showroom model to the pock-marked garage door of a pee-wee hockey player.

To mitigate potential damage from a hail storm, our customer came up with the idea of taking one of our flexible sheets of closed-cell foam and wrapping it around his vehicle before a storm hit, to pad against the hail. We suggested neoprene regular, as it fit the bill as a flexible, resilient, and weather-resistant material. Draped over his truck and secured in place, hopefully the next time weather rolls into town, he can rest a little more easily!

As you can see, the uses for foam go much further than the traditional ideas of mattresses and cushions. The next time you think you’ve figured out an ingenious foam solution to one of life’s problems, give us a call or e-mail; we’d love to help you accomplish your goals!

Foam Cloud image provided courtesy of Simbex.com.

Rodeo image taken by Eve L. Scofield. Provided courtesy of Frankie and Laurie Smith.

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