Volcano Stage Display
A volcano stage backdrop display with realistic lava made from foam with hot wire tools.
By Omar Sfreddo
I used a combination of the 4ft Compound Bow Cutter and Industrial Hot Knife. I used the bow to make the big cuts and some of the rocky textures. The Volcano was made out of 10 pieces of 4’x8′ insulation foam panels.
Once I have my pieces cut. I glue the layers of the foam on top of each other to give it depth and dimension.
I use Great Stuff which I purchased from Home Depot to glue the parts together.
(Cutting through glue lines that are made with the two part Great Stuff polyurethane will give off toxic fumes. We recommend using the less expensive and nontoxic Foam Fusion whenever possible. )
Once the pieces are put together, I begin cutting the detail of the rock formations with the the hot knife, bow and some of the sculpting tools that come with the Foam Factory Kit
. I do this by simply laying the hot wire from the bow parallel to the foam to make valleys and dips on the surface, sliding it down and changing the direction from time to time to make it look more random. When using the hot wire tools, I like to use the Freehand Router
to make deeper valleys and dips.
I then paint a primer using latex paint.
(Make sure it’s water-based.)
The detail of the lava, which is also created with Great Stuff, is painted with neon spray paint.
(Be careful, some spray paints can actually melt foam.)
If time and budget allows, I seal the whole piece with an epoxy resin to give it a hard
lightweight shell. This is done at least 3 more times to give it at least 1/4″ thickness to prevent any dents
in transportation and also makes the piece last longer for multiple events.
(Another option is to coat the foam with All Purpose Foam Coat before painting it, to protect the foam, since some resins can eat through the foam over time.)