Watch This 5-Axis Hot Wire Cut Beautiful Foam Shapes

3D Printing & Imaging CNC & Machining Workshop
Watch This 5-Axis Hot Wire Cut Beautiful Foam Shapes

Watching a hot wire cutter do its work is always a pleasure. Especially in this case, where the cutter is 5 axis. The wire tips this way and that, melting through the foam like it isn’t even there.

Created in just two weeks by Victor Leung for Professor Olivier Ottevaere, this machine was designed to create foam pieces which would go on to be made into concrete sculptures.

5 Axis Custom-made Hotwire Cutter from Victor Leung on Vimeo.

The frame is comprised of Makeblock beams, and runs from an Arduino Due with the TinyG 2 shield for CNC. The hot wire itself is attached at one end and has a weighted tension at the other. This ensures it is always taut during operation.

80/20NiCrom wire of various diameters (0.25 to 1mm) was tried. 0.25mm seems to work best for our machine. The wire has to be thin enough to bend around the V-Slot bearings of 9mm diameter, it also has to be thick enough to withstand the tensioning force so that it will be stretched straight between the two XY stage. Approximately 1.5N of tensioning force is applied.

The goal of this project was to cut these interesting foam designs that can be turned into molds for concrete. In the example below you can see the initial foam cuts as well as the resultant concrete form.

To learn more about this project, you’ll need to go to Victor Leung’s website.

5 thoughts on “Watch This 5-Axis Hot Wire Cut Beautiful Foam Shapes

  1. Mike Senese says:

    Get this guy to Maker Faire, stat!

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    help makezine i started working from home, doing various simple jobs which only required desktop or laptop computer and Net access and I couldn’t be happier…It’s been six months since i started this and i made so far total of 37,000 dollars. Basicly i profit about 80 dollars every hour and work for 3 to 4 hours a day. And the best part about this job is that you can decide when to work yourself and for how long .and you get a paycheck weekly……..

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  5. Amrish reji says:

    Which software did u use to generate the Gcode/Toolpath?

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I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity I see in makers. My favorite thing in the world is sharing a maker's story. email me at hello (at)

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