Introduction: $5 DIY Hot Wire Foam Cutter

About: So basically i am a crazy person, who loves to think the most odd way ever possible,who makes what he thinks and also let other also make those . Check out my crazy projects if you like do follow me :D

Hey Guys, It has been a long time I have not written an instructable.
In this instructable, I will show you how to make a StyroFoam Cutter using things that are lying in your home.

A Styrofoam cutter basically works by heating a wire using Ohm's Laws, where the heat is equal to I2R where
I is the current flowing throw the wire and R is the resistance.
Now Nichrome has a resistivity ranging from 1.10 × 10−6 Ωm to 1.50 × 10−6 Ωm.and a very high boiling point (~1400 °C).

btw guys if you like this Instructables please make sure you hit the vote button, to let me win for the plastic contest.


Step 1: Cut the PVC Pipe

We first start by cutting a PVC pipe, I had a 2 feet foot long one so I needed to cut into the following length

  • 12 " long
  • 4 " Long

Step 2: The Connectors

Now for this whole build, I had used three PVC connector.

  • 90 degree Corner
  • PVC end Cap
  • PVC Table Screw

The Corner was painted, Black by a Spray Paint

The PVC Table Screwand End Cap was actually 3D printed as I was not getting in the local market so I designed my own in Fusion 360.

You can learn a lot from Instructables Classes about Designing in their class.

Step 3: Fix the Connector

Now it was time to fix the table mount connector to the melamine board. So I drilled some holes using a 3 mm Drill bit.
I used my Black and Decker Drill Cordless drill for that. Then using 3 1/4 inch Screw I have attached the mount to the melamine

Step 4: Assemble the Pipes

Now it was time to assemble them. I first fixe the 12 " pipe and 4" pipe using the corner Connector.
Then I connected one end of the 12 " pipe to the table mount. The other end of 4 " Pipe will be connected to end cap.

Step 5: Preparing the End Cap

Now it was time to prepare the end cap, the end cap will be holding the spring which will stretch the nichrome wire. Now since an end cap doesn't have a hole, I didn't design that rather took my drill to make a hole. I mounted an eye hook then to end cap and fixed it with a nut .

Step 6: Adding the Ni-chrome Wire

Now it was time to add the main thing, the NiChrome wire.I had got this Nichrome wire by salvaging it from Hair drier. The Wire was then mounted with a spring to the eye hook. The wire was stretched to keep the tension on the wire so that it won't get deformed while cutting.

Step 7: Preparing the Wires

Now it was time to add power to wire so that it can cut like butter. I used a 12V 5 A Adapter to Juice the system, to connect the system all I did was to solder the wire to the Crocodile clip and then attach the crocodile clip to the wire when needed to be used.
One more advantage of the system is that by changing the position of the clips the resistance change and hence the current, so the max temperature also changes. This helps when dealing with thin foam sheet.

Step 8: Adding Rubber Feet

Lastly, I added some rubber feet so that this won't scratch the table when used on it. you can skip this step, if you want but this makes the station more usable on the table and also it won't slide here and there when used to cut foam.

Step 9: Enjoy Foam Cutting

So what is the material it can cut ??
The foam cutter can cut

  1. 2-inch Foam sheet
  2. 10 " Depron
  3. Foam sheet
  4. Foam Block

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