Author Topic: Hot wire foam cutter  (Read 782 times)

designfugitives

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Hot wire foam cutter
« on: November 06, 2018, 09:54:35 PM »
Anyone successfully built and integrated a hot wire foam cutter from scratch?  Any good resources out there you can recommend?

Johannes @ Robots in Architecture

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Re: Hot wire foam cutter
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2018, 09:47:45 AM »
Hello,
Are you referring to the software part or the hardware part?
Software-wise there's an example on the forum, for integration you don't need much more than a relay to enable/disable the cutter (which you could also do by hand). I'm not sure if people really use a PID or something like that to control the temperature, we usually just set the power and kept it there during cutting. But these are things you could do with a PLC, for example.

Hardware-wise it's not much more than a wire (e.g. guitar string, if you're improvising) and a power supply. I'm not the electronics expert so I'm hesitant to give any advice there. Ours has got a welding PSU with an extra transformator.
But I've seen people use PSUs taken from PCs as well, as an example.

And you'll need a system for keeping the wire's tension, as it gets longer as it heats up.

Best,
Johannes

designfugitives

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Re: Hot wire foam cutter
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2018, 11:14:59 PM »
I am talking about both software and hardware.

What's an appropriate temperature range for the wire?  Haven't been able to find this info from manufacturers on the web.

Thanks.

Johannes @ Robots in Architecture

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Re: Hot wire foam cutter
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2018, 06:28:42 AM »
From my experience the wire doesn't heat up in a completely regular way - as cutting cools it down as well - and foam can also be very different. So the approach for us was mostly just to start slow and turn it up gradually.
Best,
Johannes