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RAMPS based hot wire foam cutter?

Posted by CaptainObvious 
RAMPS based hot wire foam cutter?
July 23, 2014 06:23AM
I'm thinking of building a CNC hot wire foam cutter, looking around for options... none too good for what I see.

So I was thinking how difficult would it be to use a RepRap derived mechanics and electronics for this purpose? Or, ideally, if someone has already done it so wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel.

What I have in mind is to use a software like FoamWorks to generate the G-Code and then feed the code to the RAMPS controller, though I'm not sure if the code would be compatible with it.

It would be mostly a matter of configuring the RAMPs to run the four steppers (and maybe even the hotwire), would this be feasible?
Suggestions are welcome!
Re: RAMPS based hot wire foam cutter?
July 23, 2014 08:15PM
Running the hotwire should be simple, assuming that the current it requires isn't too much for the MOSFETs and that it'll work at the voltage you want.

eg: you might want to replace the heated bed MOSFET and use that output as it'll handle more current than say the one used for the extruder.

The main thing will be getting the G-Code into a suitable format.

FWIW: The Hackerspace I'm a member of replaced the electronics in a laser cutter (which were bricked) with a RAMPS (and later a custom board) and that works quite well. We're even using Pronterface to send the G-Code.
Re: RAMPS based hot wire foam cutter?
July 28, 2014 12:29PM
You can power the hotwire with RAMPS though you need to add some current sensing if you want temperature control.

have a look at this current sensing circuit:
hotwire foam cutter

I think it is a nice way to control the temperature if the schematic actually works.

Inkscape + Gcode tools might also get you there to make the Gcode
g-code tools for inkscape
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