When I was last at Maker Faire Rome, I saw this really cool machine that was cutting foam boards with precision. I really liked how it gave another method of working with easily sourced materials very quickly and easily, so I kept an eye on them. They’re now ready to sell machines in the states, so I thought I’d share this cool device.
The Polyshaper Oranje is the smallest in their lineup of CNC foam cutters. The system is pretty simple, it is basically a tiny wire with electricity run through it, so that it gets hot, then moved on two axes, allowing for you to cut 2d shapes out of a sheet of material. The hot wire is extremely thin, allowing for incredible precision.
The software workflow may not be as polished as you’d expect from 3d printing ,but it is pretty easy. Everything is 2d, so you work within Inkscape which is free. After you have your design ready, you export GCode to the controlling software, which pretty much only has the ability to set the wire temperature, and select what file to cut. You manually move the machine to the starting point, and press go in the software. That’s it.
Of course, you’re a bit limited on materials. I tried all the various foams that I already had around my house and it worked fine, but you won’t be cutting wood or cloth with this system.
The Oranje is 349 Euros right now and you can get more information on their site.