I am sure that some of you are aware of the new product line that I have started on, and in case you are not, here is a link to one of my threads where the product line can be seen: forums.parallax.com/discussion/171923/my-new-glorified-pcb-turner-flipper
Basically it is a collection of (4) Hot Wire Foam Cutting Bows.
Hot wire foam cutters will be my topic for the day, because I have something that I want to share. These cutters can be used for a variety of different purposes, making molds for metal casting, protecting shipments, creating sculptures, making models, dressing up your Parallax robots, etc... Normally I would not share the following information, because it could lead to a loss of potential sales, but I am getting older and kinder
and this is an electronic forum, with a large robotic base, and some of you may be interested in this subject. This information can also be useful for CNC builds.
Power supplies are a major issue when it comes to hot wire foam cutters. You want your power supply to be just right. While scouring the internet, I was unable to find a good calculator for determining my power requirements, for my new product line, so I decided to make my own, and that is what I am going to share with you.
During my research of hot wire foam cutters, I had found several different powering schemes, with some of them being very costly, while others were time consuming or unsafe. I am certainly not saying that what I propose here is the safest, but it just may work for you, in building a new cutter.
I am fairly certain that perhaps 99.99% of the worlds population probably have unused AC adapters lying around, and of course this projection includes you.
From my research it appears that several people and even companies have turned to the AC adapter for powering their hot wire foam cutters, and that is exactly what I intend to do also, because they are plentiful and inexpensive, as well as being shelf ready
Laptop power supplies and other AC adapters are now my best friends
In my case, I designed my bow sizes according to what was pretty much available in the marketplace, so I have to match power supplies to my bow sizes, but in your case, being makers and certainly having a few adapters lying around, you can design your hot wire foam cutter around a power supply that you may already have
So you have a few adapters.... Right? Okay, well I designed this MFC application, based upon common wire sizes and desired temperatures, which is basically a caculator for designing the main setup for a hot wire foam cutter, which is the power supply and the wire. By toying around with this calculator, altering the wire gauge and length, I am fairly certain that most of you could come up with a workable setup for an adapter that is just lying in a junk drawer.
I am not going to go on and on about this, but if you want to take a peek, I have included a pic of the app, as well as a zipped file which contains the app. It is a Windows application, which was built and runs on Windows 7.0.
Get off the couch, build a cutter, cut some foam, and add spoilers to your Parallax robots
EDIT: Please note that in order to make use of this calculator, you will need a power supply that is at least capable of supplying 1.61 Amperes.