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14 comments
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Polystyrene Wire Cutting

01/19/2012 12:13 AM

hi friends,

I am making one RC plane.
So i need your help in cutting wing of that.
I do have one profile which is connected to ends of polystyrene.
I think it could by wire cut by heated wire.
I dont know i am right or not but if i take 1mtr 1dia aluminium wire & connect its end to Phase & neutral of mains then it will burn Or gets heat?
If It burn then how to make that or small dia cu wire heated up so that it will cut Poly. smoothly.

The sheet is 720mm.

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Guru

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#1

Re: Polystyrene Wire Cutting

01/19/2012 1:45 AM

Aluminium or copper will give you a short flash and a bang on mains. Stainless wire or inconel driven by low voltage should work, but only with the speed control of a CNC stage. And leaving adventure aside, doing all that for a single item is far from justified. S.M.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Polystyrene Wire Cutting

01/19/2012 2:07 AM

if i want to go for less dia wire i.e. Copper 0.1mm then what kind of supply i have to use.

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Guru
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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Polystyrene Wire Cutting

01/19/2012 3:31 AM

For safety's sake, keep it 12V and below....

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Polystyrene Wire Cutting

01/19/2012 3:48 AM
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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Polystyrene Wire Cutting

01/19/2012 3:57 AM

Nice link Slacky, I've been considering making one for trimming fletchings on arrows, but oh so many projects, oh so little time.
Del

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#6

Re: Polystyrene Wire Cutting

01/19/2012 8:24 AM

Nickel chrome wire is the preferred wire. These work very well after you get the cutting speed figured out.

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#7

Re: Polystyrene Wire Cutting

01/19/2012 8:34 AM

Hot Wire cutters will tackle anything from RC plane wings giant blocks of foam for mattresses.

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#8

Re: Polystyrene Wire Cutting

01/19/2012 10:18 AM

A scroll saw would cut your profile OK, I use one at work for cutting polystyrene.

Link

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#9

Re: Polystyrene Wire Cutting

01/19/2012 10:49 PM

Thanks all above after making wing i will post its pics.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Polystyrene Wire Cutting

01/20/2012 3:04 AM

That length of resistance wire will require about 15 Volts to work. However when this wire gets inside the foam, it will get hotter and you have to move the foam faster. Practice first before cutting the profile you are working on.

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Commentator

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#11

Re: Polystyrene Wire Cutting

01/20/2012 8:00 AM

Also bear in mind the drag factor when cutting the profile. When the wire is pulled through the polystyrene, the wire forms an arc and this can lead to mis shape of the profile.

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#12

Re: Polystyrene Wire Cutting

01/20/2012 8:57 AM

Take the blade and holder from an x-acto knife and put it in a cheap pencil type soldering iron. this can be used as a cheap "hot knife".

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#13

Re: Polystyrene Wire Cutting

01/20/2012 11:35 AM

I was thinking an old-fashioned soldering gun to get the voltage down, a variac or dimmer switch to vary the input voltage and some stainless wire, or even just plain steel floral wire would probably do too. I prefer the variac because dimmer switches add all kinds of funny harmonics that make strange noises in your transformer. With a soldering gun you could probably also jig up some curved shapes using small pieces of sheet metal.

Good luck with your quest.

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#14

Re: Polystyrene Wire Cutting

01/20/2012 6:30 PM

Look here:-

http://www.instructables.com/id/Hot-wire-foam-cutter/

He spent $30, it could be done cheaper too if you already have a workshop etc..

You do not need a CNC machine if you are only building one aircraft.....

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