QC#89 - The "Styro-Slicer"

A homemade, hot-wire foam cutter, is used to slice styrofoam into guns, swords, and 3D foam fighter jets .. for cosplay, decoration, and backyard metal casting.

Some quick links to a few of the materials I used:

[✓] 12 v transformer (3 amp): http://amzn.to/2cmkPFo
[✓] 3 position switch: http://amzn.to/2cGZjKL
[✓] Push on/off 1000w dimmer switch: http://amzn.to/2c9gXEm

Full project: The Hot-Wire "Styro-Slicer": https://goo.gl/AO7ZaJ

Next Video: QC#90 - Making The "Styro-Slicer": https://goo.gl/dKsSXI
Previous Video: QC#88 - Bullet Shell "Brass Knuckles": https://goo.gl/qmrmJ0

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"Quick Clips" are clips of random experiments in a minute or less.

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Music by Scott & Brendo “One More Time” Instrumental
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Project Inspired By:

The need to cut clean styrofoam models, for "backyard" metal casting projects.

WARNING: The electrified wire of the "Styro-Slicer" can reach temperatures well above 1,000ºF, which can cause burns, and potentially start fires. This project should only be attempted with adequate knowledge and training, and under constant adult supervision. Have fun, but always think ahead, and remember that any project you try is at YOUR OWN RISK.

Project History & More Info:

When I started casting aluminum, well over a year ago, I learned about a technique called "lost foam casting" from watching an online episode of a show called "Stuck with Hackett".

Hackett made a foundry to melt aluminum, then buried a piece of styrofoam in the sand to make a custom part for a project he was working on. I didn't quite understand how it worked, and it blew my mind!

I wanted to try some experiments of my own, but working with styrofoam was more than frustrating.

Scissors couldn't cut it properly. Knives broke it into sticky styrofoam balls that clung to everything. And I couldn't make anything useful, that looked very good at all.

In my moment of frustration, I somehow remembered back to an experience I had back in pre-school, or kindergarten, where there was some kind of machine we got to use a couple of times to cut styrofoam shapes.

I could only remember that it had a hot wire that sliced through styrofoam no problem, and left really clean cuts.

Inspired by that thought, I got on the internet and searched around for "hot wire foam cutting", and found a lot of commercial devices from about $100 and up.

I also found a couple videos on YouTube of some DIYers showing their own variations using wood, PVC, or other miscellaneous items.

The common theme amongst all versions was that they were all basically just a thin piece of wire connected to electricity, that gets hot, and cuts foam. Everything else is just details.

I got some scrap wood, a piece of picture hanging wire, and in just over 15 minutes I had a crude wire-cutter of my own, powered by a transformer I ripped out of an old stereo.

Unfortunately the prototype was really crude and I didn't have time to make a nice version for my metal casting videos, so I never did mention it. But it was the device I used to craft the styrofoam handgun in my styrofoam casting video. (https://goo.gl/w9Z6EC)

I've loved the wire foam cutter ever since, and used it so much and wanted to share it with the world, but I couldn't do it until it was developed "King of Random" style.

My goals were to make it function like a commercial foam factory, take up as little storage space as practical, and do it for as close to $10 as possible.

It's taken this long because I've been so busy with other projects, (mainly rockets), that it just sat on the shelf for over a year.

But I finally devoted a couple of days to prototyping, and came up with this!

The build is fairly easy, but also very technical, and the video is very long.

So I broke it up into segments. One video shows it's features. The other video shows how to build it.

As a side note, my 6 year old can't get enough foam slicing. He uses my old prototype to make anything and everything, and it's become one of his favorite hobbies.
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