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Hot-wire cutting machines are the perfect tool for fast, easy and precise cutting of polystyrene and polystyrene rigid foams. They are not suitable for cutting or separating pure plastic or duroplastic materials. Foils made from thermoplastics that are up to 1 mm thick can, however, be neatly trimmed with the hot wire.
The most typical use of hot wire cutters is in the realm of architectural model making - primarily in the building of so-called planning models (undetailed) that have a scale from 1:2000 to 1:200 and display the sculptural and spacial dimensions of the main bodies in urban developments or in working models. The fact that hot-wire cutters can guarantee precise workmanship together with the fact that polystyrene panels in different thicknesses from 1 - 80 mm are readily availability leads to the conclusion that extremely good looking and detailed presentation models can be regularly created.
But it is not only in model making that the hot wire cutters are of great use. Such things as three-dimensional letters, presentation platforms or advertising displays can be quickly produced using a hot-wire cutter.
As the name implies, the hot-wire cutter cuts by means of a heated wire. The wire is normally placed vertically between the worktop and an extension arm. (Angle cuts are easily executed by setting the wire at a slant angle). To cut rigid foam blocks you just slowly push the block along the guide bar and against the heated wire.
One of the most essential work aids for hot-wire cutters is the foot switch. It not only frees up your hands when working but is also important because the hot wire should not remain continuously heated (otherwise it will rip much faster and also cause ever widening cuts and, when making angle cuts, the corners will not be clean or sharp). Styrocut cutters come with the switch included but for the Proxxon version it must be ordered separately.
There are a lot of different hot-wire cuttings machines out there in the marketplace. We have limited our product line to the high quality Styrocut machines and one inexpensive version from the company Proxxon. The Proxxon hot wire cutter can normally meet basic demands for precision and ease of use. For professional or just plain heavy-duty use we recommend the Styrocut products because of their outstanding workmanship and durability as compared to the much less expensive Proxxon machine.
We offer the Styrocut cutters in two versions that only differ in the size of their working area. The Styrocut 2 and 3 make especially precise cuts because they both have ball bearing supported guide bars and are also very comfortable to operate (exterior wire clamp screw, adjustable guide bar on both sides of the table, clamping lever on the extension arm). Both models have an integrated and adjustable blower for cooling the cutting wire ensuring that polystyrene will not burn or vaporize unnecessarily. In addition, it also cools the free end of the wire and thereby hinders the expansion of the top-side leading edge - in other words, it enables a more precise cut.
When choosing between the two models, things like cutting heights and widths must be taken into account: the Styrocut 2 has a maximum cutting height of 180 mm, the Styrocut 3 205 mm, The opening or cutting widths are 260 mm and 460 mm respectively. More information about the Styrocut 2 and 3 can be found at the separate machines.