Our CNC hot wire cutter runs a tensioned Ni-Chrome wire, heated by electrical resistance, through polystyrene foam, instantly melting it as it passes to create precision shapes and contours. The 1/64 inch wire and the generated heat produce cuts 1/16 of an inch wide through the foam blocks. The wire cutter has an operating area of 96 inches wide by 96 inches long and is 48 inches high. Wire temperature is able to be adjusted, though most reach approximately 392° Fahrenheit. To prevent scorching, we typically reduce wire temperatures to 90 percent heat, which is around 350°. On extremely delicate projects, the cutter can be run as low as 35 percent heat; approximately 137°.
Once programmed, the wire operates on a horizontal and vertical plane simultaneously, to produce contours and smooth edges. It is also able to reverse direction to make cuts in and out of foam. Once a side has been fully cut, the block is rotated manually and the machine continues the process. The hot wire cutter produces products like inserts for hot tub covers, packaging, and pipe insulation. This machine also allows us to create lightweight architectural pieces like balustrades, columns and crown molding, as well as toys like airplane gliders.
Examples of products fabricated by this machine:
NOTE: Rough edges and markings will be cleaned for any and all finished products.