Picture of How To Make A Hotwire Cutter...Cheap!
To enter the weekly challenge for using wire, I decided to write up my very first hotwire project.  I did this about 15 years ago, and realized now how useful it can be to those who would like to get their feet wet in the hotwire arena.  I have since made more substantial, electrically powered hotwire machines (see: http://www.instructables.com/id/Making-The-Mighty-Goliath-Hotwire-Machine/), but this was the first, was very inexpensive, and was a starting point for me. Maybe it can be for you as well. Total cost can be way less than $20.

Step 1: Concept and Materials

Picture of Concept and Materials
At work one day, I was challenged by a statement from a co-worker: "You need to find a way to recycle some of this styrofoam."  (We received shipments that needed refrigeration, and they all came in dense styrofoam containers).  Being a self proclaimed artist, I thought it would be fun and challenging to be able to reuse said boxes and containers.  As chance would have it, I stopped by a Michaels and was guided to the floral section where there was this "Wonder Cutter." (See: http://www.amazon.com/FloraCraft-Styrofoam-Accessories-Styro-Cutter/dp/B000XALM54/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1323063429&sr=8-2).   It was a device that was used to cut or slice floral foam, and it did that by heating a wire that could be used in the cutting of the foam.  Just what I needed. Please be aware that the device shown on Amazon is the latest version of the tool I used.  It is different in the switching, and case.  It should be "hackable" though, but check it out first.
sunshiine3 years ago
Very clever.
Creativeman (author)  sunshiine3 years ago
Thank you!
wilgubeast3 years ago
That is awesome. I was just reading about methods of cutting foam, and this one looks just about right for me. (I was on the verge of borrowing a friend's electric carving knife. Possibly never to return it.)
Creativeman (author)  wilgubeast3 years ago
Thanks for the comments. Easy to do, cheap, fun!
EmcySquare3 years ago

Another way to make one of this is to use a metal guitar string (the skinny "E") and an old power supply for a router/modem/house-hold item or computer PSU.

4 volts/500 milliamps should do...
Creativeman (author)  EmcySquare3 years ago
Thanks for your comment.