Foam Cutter




Introduction: Foam Cutter

We are Otte Lowagie, Arnou Verfaillie and Mathijs Vanbeselaere from the university of Ghent campus Kortrijk. We study industrial engineer elektro-mechanics.

We designed this project in case to DIY. What follows is a brief summary of how to create a foam cutter who can make square waves out of a block EPS (expanded polystyren). It is divided into a few steps, with 3 particular parts: the frame and the horizontal and vertical movement.

NOTE: as material we propose MDF, so you can easily laser your parts. The machine is created for other materials as well but it increases the cost price and work. The other standard parts as screws you can easily get in a DIY-shop.


Step 1: The Horizontal Movement

The assembing of the horizontal movement can be divided in 2 steps. 
Parts of step 1:

Step 2: The Horizontal Movement

Assembling part 1:

Step 3: The Horizontal Movement

Parts of step 2:

Step 4: The Horizontal Movement

Assembling part 2:

Step 5: Table

The horizontal movement of the foam cutter is connected with a table, who carries the EPS. The connection is discribed in another step, but for now the parts for the table:

Step 6: Table

Assembling table:

Step 7: Wheelsytem

The table has to be moved, so a system is needed to transport it. In this case, we chose a wheelsystem. 
Wheelsystem - parts:

Step 8: Wheelsytem

wheelsystem - assembling:

Step 9: Vertical Movement:

Again, as the horizntal movement, this part of the assembling is divided in 2 steps.
Parts of stap 1:

Step 10: Vertical Movement

Assembling step1:

Step 11: Vertical Movement

Parts step2:

Step 12: Vertical Movement

Assembling step2:

Step 13: Railsystem

The vertical movement has to pull up a filament that melts the square waves out of the EPS. This is assured by a railssytem, which is connected by a U-profile with the vertical component. In later steps we see the exact meaning of this. First of all, we make these railsystems.
Parts needed:

Step 14: Railsystem

The assembling:

Step 15: Pulley

We can almost assemble these individual parts, just one small step left. The horizontal movement is connected with the table by a string. The vertical movement is also connected with the U-profile by a small string. The connection string-threaded spindle is made by pulley wheels. We create per movement 3 of these pulley wheels, which makes it possible to play with the size of the square waves.
Parts needed:

Step 16: Pulley

The assemblyschemes for the pulley wheels are similar.
This is an example:

Step 17: Box

The final step of the assembling can start. Now we just have to put all the individual steps together. We work in a few steps.
Parts step 1:

Step 18: Box

Assembling step1:

Step 19: Box

Assembling step 2:
(Add the bolt (nr 4))

Step 20: Box

Parts step3:

Step 21: Box

Assembling step3:

Step 22: Box

Assembling step 4:
(Add the length-flank with railsystem in step 3)

Step 23: Box

Parts step 5:

Step 24: Box

Assembling step 5:

Step 25: Box

Parts step 6:
(Note: Nr4 are the railsystems who are already integrated in the previous steps.)

Step 26: Box

Step 6 assembling:

Step 27: Box

Parts step 7:
(Add the horizontal movement and pulley wheels)

Step 28: Box

Assembling step 7:

Step 29: Box

Parts step 8:
(Note nr8-10 are the components of the vertical movement and are not added in the partslist)

Step 30: Box

Assembling step 8:

Step 31: Box

Parts step 9:
(Note: nr7 is the vertical movement, assembled in the previous step)

Step 32: Box

Assembling step 9:

Step 33: Box

Parts step 10:
(Note: nr 4 is the wheelsysteem, made in a previous step)

Step 34: Box

Assembling step 10:

Step 35: Box - Final

So, after you added the table and if everything went fine, this will be your result.

Step 36: Final

As example: this is our foam cutter, cutting a square wave. 
NOTE: this is only woth 1 L-piece on the table.

Comment if you have questions ;) 

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    5 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Neat! Do you have a video of it working?


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I would also like to see her in action, but try as I might, I see no video linked or embedded. Any guidance would be welcome. Good luck!


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    FOUND IT! The link is in Step 36 titled "Foam cutter - Step #36(480x320) 17 KB"


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    This is a link to our blog, but it is written in dutch. You can scroll down to see some vids from start to end. I hope i can help u with this and i'll post a better movie soon on the blog!