5 Axes CNC Foam cutter
As of August 2017 Foamcube is available as a full 5 axis CNC Foam cutter. The cube itself has 4 independent axes : 2 axes known as X & Y on the left side, and 2 axes known as U & V on the right side of the cube. The portable rotationplatform is the 5th axis of freedom and can be positioned anywhere in the cube.
With 5 axes of freedom it is now also possible to cut complex twisted and tapered shapes.
Normal 5-axis CAD/CAM systems are extremely expensive and complex to operate but Foamcube has solved this problem in a new and intuitive way. This means Foamcube is extremely cheap compared to industrial 5-axes systems and is now very intuitive in operations, even for novice users.
Simple solutions for complex shapes
Foamcube’s 5th axis is triggered by standard GCODE, but runs on it’s own arduino controller. When the GCODE interpreter sees an “M08 / M09” command it triggers the rotation controller and runs the external program for the 5th axis independent of , but simultanious with, the 4 other axes in the Cube. This way you have maximum freedom and very simply programming to cut complex shapes.
With just a 2 button clicks you can set the rotation-speed and rotation-angle of the 5th axis on the controller. It then waits for a trigger-pulse from the main program to execute it’s turn.
3-D rotation : cut-turn-cut
In it’s simplest form you could for instance tell Foamcube to cut a triangle out of your foam-block. After the triangle is cut, the new gcode automatically triggers the rotation platform to turn 5 degrees at low speed. It then cuts another triangle and repeats this process. The result is a perfect cone. The same goes for a cylinder that will transform into a perfect sphere, or for any simple 2D outline like shown below.
A simple .DXF ouline drawn in inkscape
| process gcode through our online coder and run through foamcube.
object was cut @ 5 degree angles.
| the result is a round shape. Use larger angles for angle-cornered shapes
Online .gcode builder
There is no need to look for complex software to turn your existing 2 or 4-axes .gcode into Foamcube 5-axis code. Simply go to our online code builder and upload your existing gcode. Next select how many angles you want in your piece and the code builder will automatically prepare your new rotational code for you. Simple cut and paste the code into a text file and import it into the Foamcube controller software.
3-D rotation : cut & turn – turn – cut & turn
You can also trigger the rotation platform anywhere in the GCODE and as many times as you like, even while Foamcube is cutting a part with it’s 4 other axes. For example, when we cut a simple contour of a lighthouse shape and trigger the rotation platform to turn by 300 degrees when the hotwire reaches the top of the lighthouse you end up with a complex hexagonal, twisted and tapered shape as seen below. Naturally, tapered, twisted, screwed and angles objects are no problem here.