Home Built Hot Wire CNC Foam cutter
Day 1 - Vertical Y Axis
Day 2 - Horizontal X Axis
Day 3 - Lead Screw
Day 4 - Electronics
Day 5 - Finalizing the machine
Other CNC foam cutters
A New Design - Hot wire CNC Foam cutter
Foam Sample Cuts
Foam Cutting Videos
Links - RC stuff, Stepper Motors, Lead Screws
More information - about stepper motors

Links
DIY Mach3 with Joystick and gamepad
FoamLinx Site - Foam Cutting CNC Machines
CNCLinx Site - CNC Router Tables
Foam Cutting Services - EPP, EPS, XPS
All About Foam Forum - Beta
Composites Prototyping and Design
Large and Configurable CNC Machines *
Online Store



Articles
How to coat EPS foam (Crown Moldings)
How to build an EPS Foam Recycler
How to build an EPS base and Cap cutter
How is EPS manufactured - molded
How to make RC foam planes
How to cut EPS, XPS, EPP foam
How to cut Polyurethane foam ( PU )
How to cut Acrylics - Laser cutting
DIY CNC Foam Cutter Blog - New

What is - more info about foam
What is EPS foam
What is XPS foam
What is EPP foam - Expanded Polypropylene
What is PE foam - Polyethylene foam
What is Polyurethane foam
What is Memory Foam


 

 



             
Home Built Hot wire Foam recycler - work in progress

It turns out that there is a lot of foam left over after cutting moldings.
Here is a very in-expensive way to cut down the excess foam into small pieces.
Once in small pieces, you can use them as packing material or have an easier way
to transport them to your local recycler.

We first start with a cage design. in this example we used an instrument rack,
But you can build a wooden cage that will perform just as well.



The next step is to set up a wire mesh that would cut the foam as it falls and then cuts
it again into small squares.

The closer the wires are to each other, the smaller the EPS foam cubes will be,
But the closer the wires are to each other, the higher the power you will need
to get the wires hot enough.

At the local hardware store, find metal eye-hooks and place them about 1.5" apart.

Run a hot wire from the 1st eye hook to the one across it and back to the 2nd eye
hook, the end of the hot wire will be connected to the spring.
We used a spring to make sure that the hot wire will be nice and tight even when it
is heated, if you don't use a spring, the wire will sag, and it may hit the 2nd row of wires
causing a short circuit.
We use an isolated variac on each set of wires (two variac in total)


Above is a simplified diagram showing how to wire the wires and springs.
The variac above, the green lines are power lines, any 12 guage wires will do.
the red lines are the NiCrome wires (the hot wire). In this example we used two
hot wires, but on the real machine we used 5 sets of wires plus another 5 sets for
the wires below. Take a closer look at the 1st picture on this page to see the wire
sets.

Here is a video of the system in operations.
We first cut / break the foam into smaller pieces so it would fit on top of the mesh
Then simply let gravity do its business



If you have the money, an EPS foam compactor would be the better way.
The below machine will shred and then compact the EPS foam by a ration of 40 to 1