Homebrew CNC hot wire foam cutter

3D Printing & Imaging Computers & Mobile Robotics Technology

raul's foam eagle.JPG

YouTube player

I keep trying to persuade anyone who will listen that CNC foam cutters are dramatically underrated machines. People look at them and say, “That’s cool and all, but I don’t want styrofoam parts.” To which I reply, “If you have a styrofoam part, you can turn it into cast aluminum with an unbelievably simple garage process.” What’s more, styrofoam is ubiquitous, cheap, and so easy to cut that the Cartesian robot can be extremely lightweight and inexpensive, as for instance, this one submitted by reader Raul Aguaviva, which is hacked together from a coat hanger and junked scanner parts. Combine one of these with a Gingery-style charcoal foundry and you could conceivably produce a homebrew rapid prototyping system, capable of “printing” aluminum parts, for less than $50.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!
Tagged

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

View more articles by Sean Michael Ragan

ADVERTISEMENT

Ready to dive into the realm of hands-on innovation? This collection serves as your passport to an exhilarating journey of cutting-edge tinkering and technological marvels, encompassing 15 indispensable books tailored for budding creators.

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).

FEEDBACK