Features and overview of foam cutting machines

In recent years, a large number of modern thermal insulation materials appeared on the construction market. Nevertheless, the foam, as before, holds the leading position in this segment and is not going to give them.

If you intend to insulate the floor in a private house, then with the cutting of polystyrene foaming you can cope with the help of simple tools, but if a significant amount of work is expected, special machines will need.

Description of species

Modern manufacturers offer specialized foam cutting machines in a wide range of varieties. You can find models for performing laser, radius, linear, bulk cutting, stores are offered to prepare stoves, cubes and even 3D blanks. All of them can be divided into three groups:

  • portable devices – structurally similar to the knife;

  • CNC equipment;

  • Horizontal cutting machines or across.

Regardless of the modification, the mechanism of action of any types of machine tools in the most common features. The edge dropped to elevated temperatures passes through the foam plate in the desired direction and cuts the material like a hot knife – butter cream. In most models, string protrudes as a similar edge. In primitive devices there is only one heating fishing line, in the most modern tools they are 6-8.

With CNC

Such machines are similar to milling and laser. Typically, CNC installations are used to create billets from foam, as well as polystyrene. The cutting surface is represented by wire with a cross section from 0.1 to 0.5 mm, it is made from titanium or nichrome. In this case, the performance of the device directly depends on the length of these most threads.

CNC installations usually have several threads. They are in demand in situations when it is necessary to cut complex 2D- or 3D blanks. And they are used if necessary to release products in a large amount.


Such machines visually resemble a regular logby or knife. Most often in them there is one, less often two strings. Such models have received the greatest distribution for self-making in living conditions.

For cutting across or horizontally

Depending on the method of processing foam plates, the tools for transverse and longitudinal cutting of blanks are distinguished, as well as installations for the production of complicated configuration products. Depending on the type of tool, it can move either thread or foam itself.

The most popular includes several models of aggregates for cutting foam of Russian and foreign manufacturers.

  • FRP-01 – one of the most popular aggregates. High demand for it is explained by multifunctionality in combination with simplicity of design. Equipment allows you to cut letters, numbers, intricate figures, producing handling elements. It is used for cutting insulating plates and many other structures. Control operation of the device is performed by means of special software included in the kit.

  • “SRP-to contour” – Another common model that helps perform all sorts of elements of the facade finish, as well as formwork for the fill of building mixtures. Manual control method, but this is fully compensated by a relatively low power at 150 W. Refers to mobile modifications that are convenient to transport from one workplace to another.
  • “SFR Standard” – Installation with CNC allows you to perform figured cutting of polymer plates and foam. Management is carried out via the USB port, the possibility of turning one or several functional circuits. Involves connecting up to 6-8 heating threads. The output allows you to get billets both simple and complex shape.

The following products are slightly less common.

  • “SRP-3420 leaf” – The device for cutting the robust elements from the foam, is characterized by increased efficiency and high quality cut.

  • FRP-05 – Compact installation in the form of cube. Allows cutting in 3 planes. The design provides only one nichrome thread, if necessary, its thickness can be changed.

  • “SRP-3220 Maxi” – a tool for creating garage, packaging products, as well as shells for steel pipes.

How to make it yourself?

There are quite a few ways to make it possible to make installation for cutting expanded polystyrene. Most often at home made simple hand tools.

When applying a simple knife, preference is given to models with jar. Preferably before the start of work, lubricate it with automotive oil – it optimizes the process of cutting, besides significantly reduce the noise level. And at the same time, this method is the slowest.

Therefore, in practice it is applied only if a small amount of foam is required to process.

With a minor thickness of polystyrene foaming allowed the use of a conventional stationery knife. This is a very sharp tool, but it has a property with time to fascinate. To increase the performance of work, in the process of cutting it takes from time to time to warm – then it will be more smoothly under the material.

For cutting foam, you can adjust a special knife with a heating blade, you can buy it in every economic store. All operations such as a tool must be made strictly from themselves, otherwise high risk of slipping and injury. The minus of such a knife is that it allows it to trim the foam of strictly defined thickness. Therefore, to obtain smooth blanks, you need to accurately mark the markup of the foam, and a lot of time can go to it.

Alternatively, the heating knife can be taken a soldering iron with specialized nozzles. This tool has an increased heating temperature, so in the course of the work it is important to be careful. If the molten foam will fall on the skin, then it can cause a burn, cause substantial discomfort and painful sensations.

For cutting plates of foam, you can use a shoe knife with an elongated blade to 35-45 cm. It is important that the tip is blunt, and the blade is as wide as possible. Sharpening should be as sharp as possible.

Tip: Preferably every 2 m sliced ​​foam plastic make sharpening adjustment.

The course of cutting expanded polystyrene with such a tool is usually accompanied by a strong squeal. To minimize discomfort, it is better to stock up headphones before work.

Thick pieces of polyfoam are cut with a tree with shafts, be sure to. The smaller the teeth – the higher the quality of the finished product. However, it is impossible to achieve the perfect cut in this way. Whatever careful work, scales and chips will be present anyway. Nevertheless, this is the easiest way to cut polystyrene foam, which does not require an application of significant physical effort. Most often used for cutting straight slices of polyfoam large length.

The most sought-after method is cutting board by means of a string. The performance of such a self-made device can be equated to the use of specialized industrial equipment. At the same time, the string can be used for polystyrene of the most varying degrees of density and grain parameters.

Make such a tool is easy – you just need to score a pair of nails into the wooden planks, stretch the wire from nichrome between them and connect to the AC network. The main advantage of such equipment is increased speed, the meter of foam can be cut in just 5-8 seconds, this is a high indicator. In addition, the cut is very neat.

However, this method is one of the most dangerous and can harm human health. To avoid the risk of injury, use cutting “cold string”. In this case, a steel string is used, it works on a two-handed saw manner. This technique is considered one of the most productive.

Sometimes there is a need to apply Bulgarian. It usually works along with a slot thick. Keep in mind – such work implies increased noise formation and the formation of garbage from foam fragments, scattered around the site.

There is a more complex method of making a machine for cutting foam in everyday life. It usually uses experienced masters, having good skills to work with drawings, electrical nodes and details. To assemble such a device, you will need:

  • nitel from nichrome with a cross section of 0.4-0.5 mm;

  • Wooden rail or other dielectric for creating a frame;

  • pair of bolts, their value is selected with the thickness of the frame;

  • cable bustle;

  • 12 V power supply;

  • insulating tape.

Step-by-step instructions implies the following stages of work.

  • From the rails or other primary materials, the frame is collected in the form of the letter “P”.

  • At the edges of the frame form for one perforation, bolts screw into these holes.

  • From the inside of the frame to the bolts attach nichrome wire, with an outdoor cable.

  • The cable on the wooden frame is fixed with a tape, and its free end is summarized to the power supply terminals.

Tool for cutting polystyrene foam is ready. It can be used not only for cutting foam plastic, but also for plastic bottles and other polymer blanks with reduced density and low thick.

Important: Keep in mind that when cutting foam plastic, volatile toxic substances will begin with a heated tool or laser. That is why all work should be performed in a well-ventilated room and in a protective mask, otherwise high risk of poisoning. The optimal solution will be cut out outdoor cutting.

More about how to make a machine for cutting foam, look in the video below.

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