in 2015 we were on kickstarter … here’s how
This information is now outdated, upgraded and surpassed. It is still here to preserve some history and to remain transparant towards future Foamcube users.
imagination turned in to reality
With a foamcube at your disposal you can turn any simple image or vector file into a 3 dimensionally cut object within minutes. With the built-in text-maker you can turn any text into huge boxletters and even taper them if needed. For more advanced uses you can directly convert G-code, import DXF files, input just about every kind of data to create airplane wings, or create tapered colums, mathematical objects, chairs, endtables and so much more.
Now cutting many different sorts of foam using a computer controlled machine is finally within reach. While foamcutters have been around they tend to be large and very expensive machines or small homemade contraptions. Not anymore …. The CNC foamcube currently in development is just the right size at 1 cubic meter; it’s rigid due to it’s cubed frame, and it’s cheap due to extensive engineering and use of 3D printer technology.
Modular design with the future in mind
The entire foamstyler cube package consists of various modules so it’s easy to swap, upgrade, improve, repair or do a partly DIY. Current modules consist of :
- core : aluminum cube with connecters + power transfer bars
- machine parts : a full set of 3D printed parts – buy them, or print them yourself, or tweak them individually for your unique use.
- drivetrain : Nema 17 stepper motors, pulleys, and micro-stepper drivers allowing up to 25.600 steps per revolution for unimaginable accuracy.
- fuelpack : power supplies , DC stepdown convertors and wiring
- hardware : nuts ‘n bolts, springs, wires, belts and more pack
- controller & software : software pack, license and matching 4 axis controller board
The cube is set up in such a way that you can either purchase an entire set and put the cube together in just a few hours, or you can choose to print your own machine-parts (.STL files online), or provide your own pcb and software, or provide your own motors and controllers, or use an old computer power supply. Just get what you need, nothing more nothing less.
While we have a full software solution with many specific 4-axis foamcutting features built in, you also have a choice due to our modular design. Controller packs can be created to work with MACH-3 or any other existing CAM software, while interfacing can also switch back to parallel cables instead of the native USB interface.
please understand that this project is a work in progress and exact specs may change over time !
- cube size : 1000 x 1000 x 1000 millimeters
- x-travel : minimum 880 mm. in 190.000 steps
- Y-travel : minimum 800 mm. in 120.000 steps
- z-lenght (functional hotwire) : 750 mm.
- working volume : 528.000 cm3 or 528 Liters
- motors : 4 independently controlled Nema17 stepper motors (200 s/rev)
- drivers : 1/128 micro-stepping @ max. 2.6 Amps for a max. resolution of 25.600 steps per revolution
- Hardware : 4 axis digital controller with e-stop en microswitch endstop connectors. powered and controlled through USB
- hotwire : NiCr 18-24 volts @ 6-10 Ampere
- software : USB CNC full integration
- max. foam thickness : ~ 86 centimeters
- materials : EPS, XPS, PP and similar foams
- file formats : DXF, 2D graphics, 3D graphics, GCODE and more ….
- built in : airplane wing mode , letter & fonts mode (any font – any format)
- power : 110 or 220 volts < 200 Watts.
Who should use foamcubes and why ?
With a foam cube at your disposal it’s very easy to create new products, prototypes or small production runs. A cube is great for Schools, workshops, development labs, advertising businesses, letter companies, furniture designers and virtually any creative person or industry out there. The foamcube is extremely easy to use has an extremely low investment-cost and no maintenance or hidden costs after purchase.
What is the current status of this project ?
At this moment we have a working prototype (version 6) that has been running for weeks in our local Fab Lab. It is fully operational, it has been put through it’s paces and it still teaches us new things every day. We have yet to explore the boundaries of the machine and are constantly tweaking and upgrading as we go along. Based on what we have learned we are in the process of building a 2nd machine from the ground up implementing all we have learned so far.
We have secured the neccesary third party parts-suppliers and are finishing up talks on delivery terms and volumes. Our 3D printers run non-stop to produce high-resolution machine-parts, and we have materials in stock to produce a first small batch of machines.
What are our goals when we the campaign gets funded ?
While the machine is currently operational, we have not yet been able to worry about packaging and design. Furthermore we have plans for additional machine upgrades that are currently on hold due to funding and time constraints. Our list includes :
- implementation of microswitch endstops on all axis
- Add manual controller with jog-functions, key-switch and E-stop (current controls all through computer-screen)
- design packaging for proper global shipping
- plans for an XL unit 8 times the size of the 1 m3 foamcube
Stretchgoals and to-do list
The team is committed to pursueing the following upgrades in the upcoming year :
- SD card stand-alone control (no more computer hookup needed)
- rotation platform (manually) – 5th axis
- rotation 5th axis stand alone electrically driven
Risks and challenges
At this time we have many partial prototypes and a fully functional 1 cubic metre cube. It has been styling foam in our Fab Lab for weeks – non stop. This foamstyler, while awesome, is still in it’s testing stages.
The 3D printed parts give us quick access to upgrades and tweaked models. This speeds up development tremendously, but when it comes to mass-production, 3D printing still takes a long time. This may cause some delays in delivery of packs that include 3D printed parts. For all other packs we believe to have set very realistic time-schedules where most units will ship ahead of time.
Since we are still in prototyping stage your final kit may contain upgraded parts that may be different from the description above.
Finally, when hot-cutting certain foams, do realise that certain noxious fumes may be generated. Use the foamcube in well ventilated areas and keep hands away from the (very) hot hotwire at all times.
Pledge €10 or more
we salute you !
Your name will be mentioned on our manuals and website(s) as one of the people that made this project possible. Of course you’ll also have everyone’s eternal gratitude for helping to grow this project to it’s full potential.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge €30 or more
We appreciate you !
Your name will forever be tied to the birth of this awesome project. We’ll proudly share your name on our sponsor board both online and offline. We’ll name parts after you where we can so you’ll forever be known as the thingimajiggy that makes the machine do it’s thing.Estimated delivery:
Pledge €65 or more
We like you !
Your (business) name + logo (if any) will become a permanent laser-engraved part of our demonstration styler (Serial #1) which will be on display at the lab and will be the centerpiece for all interviews, photo’s etc.Estimated delivery:
Pledge €87 or more
0 backers Limited (56 left of 56)
We help you !
You get all the specially designed 3D printed part files + Bill Of Materials mailed straight to your inbox so you can immediately start building your own cube from scratch.Estimated delivery:
Pledge €285 or more
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We tease you !
You’ll receive the full aluminum 1 cubic meter cube with sturdy corner connectors, 2x 6 mm. power-transfer rods , vertical slide-rails and all the 3D .STL files to 3D print the plastic parts yourself. Add your own motors+electronics, software, bolts and belts.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge €395 or more
0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)
We seat you !
Get our exclusive FOAM-CHAIR ! Cut on our foamcube serial #1, this limited edition designer chair was invented by no other than Pete Scheepens. Lab facilitator, artist and inventor of the foamcube. The chair is cut by the foamcube from safe and strong polystyreen. Each numbered chair comes with a signed certificate of authenticity.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge €495 or more
0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)
We motorize you !
You’ll receive the full aluminum 1 cubic meter cube with corner connectors, 2x 6 mm. power-transfer rods ,vertical slide-rails, 4 powerful NEMA17 stepper motors, 4 micro-stepper drivers, and all the 3D .STL files to 3D print the plastic parts yourself.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge €695 or more
0 backers Limited (8 left of 8)
we electrify you !
Pledge now and get the Aluminum cube, connectors, power-transfer rods , vertical slide-rails, NEMA17 stepper motors, micro-stepper drivers, Fuel-pack with power supply, convertors, NiCr hotwire, shielded wire and all the 3D .STL files to 3D print the plastic parts yourself.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge €995 or more
0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)
we control you !
Join the movement to receive all of the above + a specialized software pack with full lifetime license + a dedicated 4-axis controller. Just add 3d printed parts and some hardware to start cutting.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge €1,199 or more
0 backers Limited (6 left of 6)
we propel you !
** EARLY BIRD SPECIAL ** Get the CORE pack + FUEL pack + DRIVETRAIN pack + HARDWARE pack + CONTROL pack. Just 3D print some parts and you’re good to go ! ** BONUS ** — only for the early bird pledges we’ll include our foamcut designerchair plans for free so you can cut your own foam designerchair —Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge €1,299 or more
0 backers Limited (30 left of 30)
we propel you !
Get the CORE pack + FUEL pack + DRIVETRAIN pack + HARDWARE pack + CONTROL pack. Just 3D print some parts and you’re good to go ! ** no extra shipping on this one **Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge €1,650 or more
0 backers Limited (30 left of 30)
we adore you !
Be one of the first to get the FULL machine-kit. ALL PACKS included + we’ll even 3D print all your machineparts in high resolution and throw in some spare parts. Start shaping your dreams or build your own business. The power of foam is in your hands ! Even includes a limited edition protractor floor board to precisely position and rotate your pieces.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge €1,980 or more
We’ll marry you !
Get the full machine-kit – everything included !- + 3D printed parts + our yet to be released control unit with jog-functions, E-stop and key-switch + our foamcut designerchair plans
FREE SHIPPING worldwide !Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world