Past Projects

My Second CNC machine

Not long after I built my first cnc machine I decided to build a second one, this time a hotwire foam cutting machine. The machine uses 4 stepper motors to control two seperate gantry systems, which can move independantly of each other. A wire is stretched between the two towers and heated by electrical current, then the two towers basically pull the wire through the foam creating the part that you are after. I've used it to cut wing sections, as well as foam patterns for metal casting.

This was the first second machine I built. It was a 4 axis hotwire foam cutting machine

The design is pretty straight forward and the plans for the machine came from the internet. Unlike my first machine this one is all metal and required a bit of welding, on the vertical posts, I needed to add the base plate to them so I could bolt them to the slide. What is really cool about this machine is that there isn't a lot of fabrication for it, it uses store bought parts like plastic tool hangers used for the motor moutns, drawer slides for the slides, etc.

Here's a shot of it hooked to the same controller I used for the Routerzilla project. I had this set up just to test the motion of the motors and gantries, plus I needed to check the travel on each axis to make sure nothing was binding or going to cause any problems.

This is a wing section I cut from regular pink insulation foam. It was basically to test some new software and to try out the machine. It wasn't intended to be used for anything, just a test.

As you can see it does a really good job of cutting wings.

This was another test part I cut with the machine. I was reading another guys website who also likes metal casting and cnc machines and he had come up with this cool design for a linear slide system, this was a part that was modeled after his. It's designed to hold bearings in the slots and ride on a solid rod through the middle. It's a very cool design and a really cool approach.

Here's another shot of the foam casting pattern cut with the cnc machine.

Stay tuned, when I get a chance I'll upload a video clip here of the machine in action and the cast part.