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Hot Wire 4-Axis CNC V1.0

by addennis Apr 15, 2018
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Hello! I would like to know how to build this machine and what materials are used in it

Hey. Great design. When to wait for version 2?

Sincere apologies that I have not been able to post replies on this thread or help with people having issues understanding how this machine goes together. Due to family issues, I've had to step away from all my hobbies for a while, but am not getting back in the swing of things. I am now in the process of testing V2 which among other things, simplifies and strengthens the design, as well as using the standard eccentric nuts for the v-slot system instead of my custom tensioning cams, and also cleans up the belt system. I will post designs and a video of its construction soon.

I'm just embarking on a build based on this design. I have now received my V-channel and last night printed the first x-cap (8hrs) so that I can test my printer calibration/part fitting. Looks good.

I was just about to start printing the other three x-caps. Hearing that you are testing v2, should I wait before embarking on a very long print run?

Also it would be great to have a list of how many times I need to print each piece (so I 'think' for example I need 4x x-cap).

I built a machine based largely on this... thank you for the design. Using the keychain tensioner, I wasn't able to cut anything more dense than 1lb foam without significant sagging / twisting of the wire. I left the pulley in place as well as the welding tips and reduced my wire size to .008" nichrome and just added a 1.5lb weight at the end of the wire after it routed around the pulley. This (with higher current) has been giving me excellent cuts in XPS as long as I don't overspeed the wire. I have been gradually reducing kerf and increasing speed looking for a sweet spot. A constant current DC supply helps a lot. I also printed the main carriage plates in ABS, which helped quite a bit with stiffness. Thanks again for a great starting point. For those struggling with how to assemble, I was able to gather a lot of information from the video provided. Pause it and you can see where the parts go / how they interact. There's a bit of guesswork but I was able to figure it out.

Thank you for the feedback! Would love to see some pictures of your machine. I also gave up on the keychain spring and opted for normal springs to tension the wire. The weight approach sounds interesting as well.

hi, you should upload an assembly file to how this parts connect together, i cant find any information about how to assemble structure

hi it is possible to know the measures of the bearings of the guideline width diameter and internal diameter thank you very much I am really interested in his beautiful project

Hi..great design. I'm planning to start a build in a couple of weeks. What size V-slot wheels do you use?

This is a really most elegant foam cutter I've found here.
I will go forward to make my own, could you pleas advice if it's able to cut nice foam cores for RC model wings?
I' am a little confused with the wire tension and how it goes if you cut long cores? (80cm-100cm)?
Is it possible to shape nice trailing edge without middle deformation due to wire friction/bending?
Would appreciate any info.
Thanks and congrats on your design - great job!

Thank you! Wire tension / heat to keep the wire from bending in the core is an art form in itself. Ideally your speed and heat is such that the wire does not touch the foam and that lack of drag stops the distortion. The goal of this cutter was to be able to cut wing cores up to and above 1 meter in length, so yes, I believe it is suited for that. As the wire gets longer, more power is required to heat it and wire diameter can have a significant impact as well. For this design there is a wheel with a coil spring that tensions the wire, however I am now experimenting with a setup that will give it a bit more tension using a standard spring.

How did you get on with that experiment? I like the look of your design. My second 3D printer is a CR10S and I really like the v-slot and wheel arrangement compared to the smooth rod and linear bearing setup on my i3. I've been wanting to build a foam cutter for years. This will save a lot of time not having to design my own - thanks for sharing. I'm going to start a shopping list...

What type of wire and supply are you using?

Could you please provide more pictures of the built machine, its not completely obvious now what goes where!

I am back at it and will update this design with more details this week!

Yes I will! I'm very busy with work right now but will do this in the next week or so. Haven't even had the chance to start any new projects with it yet.

I actually was able to advance the build to a degree by importing the STL files into Fusion360. All the parts take right place after inserting to Fusion360!

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Great design. Just minor objection for Z axis. I think it is better to place motor for Z axis on bottom of this thing with bearings to use it as a counterweight. Greatings

I had many designs like this, including using 2 2020 rails and having the vertical axis motor mounted within the center of the horizontal carriage. I found that when the towers were extremely light, vibrations in the machine really shook the wire. Adding the motors to the top seemed to dampen the vibrations transmitted to the wire for smoother cuts.

Are the plastic 3D printed parts sufficient to withstand the forces needed to keep the hot wire tension?

Yes they are. The X carriage is stiffened by the vertical rail as well as some cross members. I’m also printing in PETG with around 40% infill for the plates to make them strong.