DIY CNC Foam Cutter version 1
After the succes with my CNC Router build I started thinking about building a 4 axis CNC Foam Cutter. The CNC Router originally started as a low budget build with small second hand stepper motors, threaded rods and rods from old printers. But I ended up buying big Nema 23 steppers, ballscrews, linear bearings and Gecko 540 stepper driver etc. I donīt regret spending a lot of money on the CNC Router. It works great and will last for the rest of my life. BUT the idea of making a CNC machine with free second hand parts was still there. So I decided to build a quick and dirty Proff of Concept CNC Foam Cutter " without spending a single $ (well "kroner" in my case, as I live in Denmark).
4 Nema 23 steppers salvaged from old thermo label printers.
8 drawer slides. Surplus from server racks
2 8mm threaded rods + nuts
2 6mm threaded rods + nuts
Flexible fuel line as connectors
Wood. Planks and plywood I had lying around.
Screws for wood
The whole thing came together rather quickly as the photos reveal. I opted to mount the vertical axis stepper motor at the bottom of the axis in order to avoid having too much weight at the top of the tower and risking toppling over. The wire was mounted in a bow and rested in a groove as shown in the photo.
In spite of the crude design I was pleasantly surprised by how well the machine performed and the precision of the cuts. Of course the threaded rods with the ends flapping freely didnīt make things move fast - on the contrary But a Foam Cutter should only use cut feeds of 100 - 200mm/min. So all in all the machine cost me nothing and cuts with sufficient precision.
More to follow on my version 2 of the CNC Foam Cutter
- Michael Hammer
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