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CNC for foam

Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by WilliamsWorkshop, May 4, 2017.

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  1. WilliamsWorkshop

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    I need some guidance. I don't have much experience with CNC machines in particular, outside of designing parts for them (design engineer) but I have plenty of experience building stuff. So I need some help getting started with my new project. Also, not sure if my expectations are realistic (I know they definitely aren't for buying a new CNC), hoping that building it will make this practical for me.

    To give you an idea of what I'm going to be using it for. I need to CNC large foam plugs for aircraft (think really large R/C planes or really small UAVs). So, length is more important than width and I don't plan on using it for anything other than foam. Being able to use it for wood is a huge plus but not needed. I would need about 1.5m in length and 1m width min with appox. 300mm z-axis. The larger the better but anything more than 2 x 1.5 m won't be necessary, just a bonus. As for price, like anyone, I like free so the cheaper the better, but I'm willing to put the money in that's needed. I'd rather not spend more than ~$1250, though.

    Min Dimensions : 1 X 1.5 X .3 m
    Prefered Dims: 1.5 X 2 X .3 m
    Material : Foam
    Price: >$1250

    If it's possible, to get a kit for under that with those criteria, then that's fine. This is more about the end product rather than the build but time and labor isn't a factor for me.

    I'll be pairing this with something like the C-Beam.

    All help is appreciated! and Thanks!
     
  2. Rick 2.0

    Rick 2.0 OpenBuilds Team
    Staff Member Moderator Builder

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    As Grantman noted, a hotwire system may be the best approach as the other issue with your request is the .3 m cutting depth. You can only cut as deep as your longest bit and bits tend to max around 100mm.
     
  3. WilliamsWorkshop

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    I figured I was being a bit too cheap. The hot wire CNC was the first thing I thought of but decided to try going for a router so I would have less finishing to do, but it's not really that big of a problem. Any input on which hot wire cutter would be good for me. I've only used a handheld hot wire bow that I've made myself.

    Also, I'd like to be able to cut as long of a wing as possible. One build I have in mind has a 4m wingspan and doing it in many chunks would not be best. Shorter wings on the other hand aren't an issue.
     
  4. WilliamsWorkshop

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    Interesting, didn't realize hot wire cutters were used at that scale. Makes sense though.

    Looks like that's what I'm going to go for then. Any good completed and documented builds you can think of. I'd rather not design my own, I already do enough designing at work and for other personal projects. haha
     

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