Cutting Foam in Sheets

A machine to cut foam in slices

I want to show you my machine that I use to make sheets of soft materials that serve me for many applications in this beautiful hobby that we practice.
Let’s go to the technical part.

The machine can cut materials like: EPS, XPS and similar ones.

Machine Parts
    • Flat and shiny surface
    • Nichrome wire
    • Wire support
    • Power source
Flat surface (glossy)

For the material to be cut it has to slide smoothly while the hot wire does its job. If the surface had a lot of grip, it would be difficult to achieve the laminar shape and you would even end up wasting material. In my particular case, I “laminated” with packing tape (economical and efficient) the pine wood board.
superficie cortador de espuma

Nichrome Wire

It’s an element that by reaching a certain temperature by its electrical resistance cuts the material. I tried several types of wires and the one that gave me the best result was a resistance wire from a hair dryer (Nichrome). This can be bought or obtained in different types of electrical appliances, such as electric ovens, dryers, irons, etc.

Wire holder

Structural arch where the wire is placed and in an ideal case the adjustable tensioners to maintain the tension that avoid the deformation of the cut. Generally, if this does not maintain a certain structural rigidity, undulations perpendicular to the direction of the cut of the plate are generated in the sheet. The tighter the wire, the cleaner the cut will be, without any type of undulations or differences in thickness along the sheet.

Power Source

For this machine I used a source from a “Modem” that has a 9V and 1A output.
To extend the useful life, it is recommended that the source is only connected when one is cutting material, we must not forget that we are working with a “resistance” that is short-circuited to generate heat (if the dimensions of the wire do not correspond to the characteristics of the source it will probably burn).
For this reason, with the mentioned source (9v and 1A) I perfectly heat a 20 cm wire that has the positive connected at one end and the negative one at the opposite end.

There are many tutorials on how to calculate the dimensions of the power source according to the length of the wire that will change proportionally to the size of the plates that you want to achieve (I recommend that you look for all that information before starting your machine).

By BMB Taller – See the original article here

Translated by Joyvel Osorio (Joyplanes)

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