A robotic styrofoam cutter consisting of one rotational and two translational axes. It cuts a variety of shapes out of styrofoam-like materials using a hot wire.
For the horizontal axis we used an old dot matrix printer. The other two axes are made of fischertechnik(tm) - a construction set that features aluminium profile elements.
Our planning software runs on a PC and either imports STL files or lets the user create rotationally symmetric forms by drawing their outline. In both cases we generate a program in our CNC language. This gets compiled and commands are sent to the microcontroller which controls the stepper motors.
The hot wire has to be cooled by two fans to prevent overheating outside the styrofoam.
This project took place in 2006 at the TU-Berlin. The team consisted of 4 students who worked on it for approximately 4 months:
Manuel Borchers, Ingo Bre▀ler, Jonas Pfeil, Tobias Kaufhold
There is also source code documentation for the controller software (m68k) and the pc software (for desktop, Qt&OpenGL), as well as a short documentation overview page which is in german.
Don't miss the follow-up project at raumschaum.org
Its goal is to further develop hardware and software into an user friendly application.
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