DIY Hot Wire Foam Cutter




About: Software, electronics, do-it-yourself

Cheap and easy to build hot wire foam cutter made from common parts.
My version is made on 6v voltage. Power supply voltage depends on wire
used, its resistance and length. No problem can be built on 12v or other voltage.

You can also see this project here:

Hot wire foam cutter

This is an updated version with PWM control

Hot wire foam cutter - Arduino PWM

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Step 1: Components

  • 1 x PVC pipe 3/4-in
  • 1 x PVC tee 3/4-in
  • 2 x 3/4-in 90-Degree PVC
  • 2 x 3/4-in Copper Fitting
  • Resistance wire
  • 2 x screws
  • 4 x nuts

Step 2: Measuring and Cutting

For this project I need to cut the pvc tube in five parts.

  • Pipe 1, 2 - 10cm
  • Pipe 3, 4 - 8cm
  • Pipe 5 - 20cm

Step 3: Drilling Holes

I need to drill two holes. I use copper overlays, to pvc pipes do not overheat when working.

Step 4: Assembling

A very important thing is a spring that tension the wire.

Under the influence of temperature, the wire stretches.

That's why I used the spring.
All parts of PVC I glued with PVC glue.

Step 5: The Project Is Finished

You can use this tool to cut styrofoam, plastic and similar materials.

I even tested this tool for opening letters. Hot wire foam cutter is a very useful tool.

See also:
Hot Wire Foam Cutter - Arduino PWM

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    6 Discussions


    2 years ago


    you just mentioned the pvc-parts, but wich electric parts did you use? could you please name from wich suppleir you bought it so that i can order it from the netherlands?


    ineke exel

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Hello, thank you for the question.

    The electrical parts I used for this project are:
    1) 2 x 3/4-in Copper Fitting

    2) Resistance wire (resistors should be choosed depending on the supply voltage)

    3) 2 x screws

    Part I bought in the electric shop and hydra shop.


    2 years ago

    Tell us more about the power supply, you mentioned 6 volts, how many amps? Is the power low enough that you could run wiring inside the pvc and out the base of the handle?

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    I just measured the current and I have 4 amps on 6 volts.

    Yes, cables can be routed inside pvc pipes. This will definitely be a more elegant solution.