Hot Wire CNC Foam Cutter
A foam cutter cnc uses an electrically heated wire to melt through expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) used for home insulation and similar products. It is an automated machine that can be controlled by a computer and can cut both straight and curved lines in a variety of shapes. It is ideal for creating scale model terrain, table top wargames and other hobby projects that require clean and accurate cuts.
It’s easy to set up and use, with most customers assembling their machine and getting it cutting within two hours of receiving their kit. The jog controller and software are simple to learn, with all components laser cut and powder coated. The kit requires an old PC – it’s best to use one that has a parallel port. If not, a USB to parallel port adapter can be used.
Efficient Foam Prototyping: Hot Wire CNC Cutter Tips and Techniques
The hot knife is a safer option for sculpting or cutting EPS than using physical saws and sanding. The fumes given off by the heat of the wire are primarily CO2 and water vapor, which are much less harmful than the toxic tars, resins and creosote fumes released when using wood saws or sanding EPS. Ventilation is still recommended as cutting EPS will generate dust and aerosolize tiny particulates that can be inhaled.
The Foam Factory hot knife is a fantastic choice for heavy foam work and for sculpting large sculptures or building scale models. The tool has a powerful heating element with a long-lasting life that can handle the high temperatures required for liquifying foam material. It also has a convenient on-off switch that makes it easy to control.