How to DIY a small EPS cutting machine

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We would like to give a lesson for how to DIY a small foam cutter at home with some basic tools.

In our daily life, “Styrofoam” is widely used in industry and various industries, and has played a great role. Before EPS cutting machine appears, people usually cut with a utility knife, which not only produces a lot of dust, but also debris, which is not suitable for cleaning. The birth of the electric foam cutting machine solves this kind of problem. The material cut out by it is not only neat, but also free of dust. Electric foam cutters on the market are quite expensive and not everyone needs to use this equipment as a professional tool.

Here, on a whim, decided to make a simple electric foam cutter that is not only easy to make, but also very affordable. Basically, it can be made at home in a few minutes. Let’s take a look below.

EPS cutting machine
precision eps cutting machine

Prepare materials:

Li-ion battery case, 3.7v lithium-ion battery, toggle switch, nichrome wire, ice cream stick, hot glue gun, soldering iron


Step 1: Start Making

  1. Take a 18650 Li-ion battery case and a push button switch.
  1. Using hot glue, stick the switch on the back of the bracket as shown in the picture.
  1. Solder the battery terminal wires to the switch terminals.
  1. Solder the wire to the other switch terminal.
  1. Fix the connection with hot glue.
  1. Fix the colored cap on the button (optional).


Step 2: Assemble the Ice Cream Bars

  1. Prepare 4 ice cream sticks.
  1. Using glue, stick the two sticks together to make a thicker stick.
  1. Make two pairs of these thick sticks.
  1. Mark a point on one end of the stick.
  1. Using a micro drill, make holes at the marked points on both ice cream sticks.
  1. Use hot glue to paste on both ends of the battery.
  1. Make sure that the battery holder wires can move freely.


Step 3: Connect the Heating Element

  1. Take 2 bolts and fasten the nuts in them to the head.
  1. Insert the bolts into the two holes on the ice cream stick.
  1. Fasten the bolt to the nut at the back.
  1. Fasten the battery support wires on the nuts on both sides.
  1. Take a piece of nichrome wire (28 – 32 AWG) and use the nut to hold the wire tightly between the poles. Make sure the nichrome wire doesn’t touch the stick.


Step 4: Test the Electric Foam Cutter

Test ready. Insert the 18650 Li-ion battery into the holder and press the switch to heat the wire, use this tool to cut styrofoam, it is easy to cut. Show it off to your friends now.


NOTE: Nichrome wire has special properties that allow it to withstand very high resistance and act as a resistive load when connected to a battery. Be sure not to use any other wires that will short out the battery and potentially be dangerous. To prevent battery damage without over-discharging, the most common method is to replace the battery every 10 minutes, or a more convenient and professional method is to connect a TP4056 (with protection) module to the battery. It protects the battery from any damage and it can be conveniently charged with a 5v phone charger.

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