Essential tools for sculpting in HDU

Watch this video of the process of sculpting a figure out of HDU foam and the variety of tools used to make it.

First we took this indian figure and used Photoshop to create this black silhouette.

Then we took the silhouette into the CNC software and layed it out to cut out multiple profiles out of 2″ thick, 15lb. HDU foam. HDU can be purchased from local sign suppliers.  SignFoam 4 and Precision Board are the most popular brands.


Next, we used expanding polyurethane Gorilla Glue to laminate together the profiles to create figure blocks suitable for carving. The urethane glue bonds well with the urethane foam.


 The live Amazon link below shows the type and size of glue perfect for HDU lamination.


The live Amazon link below is the perfect super glue for quick fixes if a small piece of HDU breaks off.


Next, a battery powered chainsaw is used to round out the form getting rid of the blockiness.

Stihl makes a great battery saw I highly recommend. The MSA 200 C.


Next, the dremels were used with 4 special bits – 3 burrs and 1 sander.



The live Amazon links below will lead you to these essential dremel tools. These burrs will meet the majority of your needs for detailing HDU. If you are interested in trying these bits, please use these affiliate links to purchase them. It doesn’t add to your cost, but it does give me a small kickback, which helps me to continue sharing and creating these types of posts. Thanks!

taper   flme  sphere

After using the Dremel bits to detail the HDU, two sanders were used to smooth it out.  A flap wheel that goes on the dremel as well as this foam hand sander with replaceable 80 grit velcro strips.

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The Amazon links below will bring you to the appropriate page for reviews and purchase.

     good      afafaf

When using HDU, because it is a synthetic foam, you do not want to breath this in. I highly recommend the use of goggles and a mask. The dust can be gritty and if in the eyes, it is not comfortable and could scratch your eye.

Click the live Amazon links below to check them out. (Pay attention to whether or not you want clear or tinted goggles).

  mask        goggles

Thanks for looking!! Let me know if you have any questions by clicking the contact page to get in touch. Let me know if you find these post helpful.