Check out this dual 7 axis arm robot from ABB being used by ETH Zurich to hot wire cut foam.
Crafty as Feck
They hold a thicker wire which is deformable tight to the ends of the arms.
Then use physics sims to calculate the optimal deformation of the wire for sweeps which will extract the most material. Genius
I see a potential for sweet wing cuts here
Wow that must have taken a lot of work. Don’t quite see the application yet.
The steps are all logical. Adapting skills like the deformation modelling and path minimization into this process allows applications like making much larger form developments for 3d shell structures than the likes of 3d printing allows. Monocoque shell structures can be incredibly stiff for their weight.
Making large volume lightweight foam is easy. Large volume, fine detail prints are very laborious.
Yes this is subtractive manufacturing but it looks like an enabler to me.
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I think there will be a problem in wire deformation from “cutting pressure” (even if that is minimal in hot wire cutting) when you increase the cutting speed for production speed cutting. But there is a simple solution of just changing the wire to a “flat wire” like the blade on a Hacksaw. But then you also have to have a mechanism to rotate it to always present the leading edge to the cutting direction.
I think maybe the wire is not even touching the foam. Still the wire’s mass may limit the speed.
Alternatively you could be using this to rapidly form a mold. Which gets plenty of rapid reuse.