Custom Flip Flops (CNC)

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About: My name is Will. I am a Mechatronics graduate, working as a manufacturing Engineer in an Engineering company. I love to make things or try to improve on something I have seen on instructables.

This is a fun instructable, something I would take on holiday...

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Step 1: Design and CNC Settings

I used the free application easel, to create the file for my CNC router. There are several different fonts available, I settled on Bangers. Once I typed in the message to go on the flip flop, I flipped/mirrored the text, so the message will appear correctly on sand. I scaled the letters to about 4 cm/1.6 inch high.

I choose a depth of cut of 5 mm and made it a fill cut so the inside of the letters will be cut out. Easel adjusts the cutting speeds based on the material, but it doesn't have flip flops as a material... :) I choose expanded PVC and changed the depth per pass to 2 mm, to reduce the overall cutting time.

Step 2: Tools and Equipment

I used my DIY built CNC with a Makita trimmer router. I used a 1/8" single flute solid carbide router bit which I had used cutting plastic before, so I decided to try it out. The flip flop material is a soft foam, so I wasn't sure if it would leave a clean finish.

Step 3: Setup

Securing the flip flops to the work space is difficult due to the non uniform shape. I decided the best method was to use two strips of wood and screwed them to the work table. Due to the straps on the flip flop, I inserted a piece of foam to support to underside of the flip flop.

Step 4: Routing Letters With CNC

The first cut turned out surprisingly well,the carbide single bit worked well. It did leave some rough edges which I cleaned up with a sharp knife.

Step 5: Different Flip Flops and Texts

I decided to try a couple of different flip flops, to see if the cut was better or worse and I changed up the text style also.

Travel Contest 2017

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Before and After Contest 2017

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Before and After Contest 2017

Unusual Uses Challenge 2017

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Unusual Uses Challenge 2017

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