Hot Wire CNC Foam Cutter Parts List

posted in: Products | 10

This list includes the parts required to build the USB or the Parallel Port versions of the CNC foam cutter. The USB version is my latest build and will be about 30% cheaper than the older parallel port version. Using the older parallel port version is probably the simplest and cheapest way to use Mach3 or LinuxCNC.

All the parts in a convenient PDF with clickable links


I haven’t included any eBay links because they go out of date too quickly but it’s worth a look.

As well as Amazon and AliExpress have some good deals, shipping can sometimes take a while and make sure you check the total price including that. Here’s the main CNC page for controllers and steppers

The eBook and videos have step by step instructions on how to build your own CNC foam cutter. There is a small charge for the plans.

USB Version

1mega 2560The Arduino Mega 2560. The genuine add a little more to the cost but are more reliable.USA Price Check
UK Price Check
1RAMPS 1.4 BoardRAMPS 1.4USA Price Check
UK Price Check
4nema17NEMA 17 Stepper Motors 0.9 -1.5 Amp x 4Check the latest price
160 mm Cooling FanCheck the latest price
112 Volt Power SupplyCheck the latest price
4DRV8825 Driver Modules x 4USA Price Check
UK Price Check
8600mm Drawer Slides x 2 pairs – 4 in total
450mm Drawer Slides x 2 pairs – 4 in total
Purchase from a local DIY store
4CouplersFlexible couplers x 4
M10 x5mm for NEMA17
M10 x 6.35 for NEMA23
Get the couplers here NEMA17 are 5 mm x 10
4tee-nuts for cnc foam cutter10 x 1.5mm T-Nuts x 4USA Price Check
UK Price Check
40cross dowel and barrel nutM6 Cross Dowels Bolts 50mm and Barrel Nuts x40
Get the Cross Dowels here
4threaded rod for CNC foam cutter10 x 1.5mm x 1000mm (cut to size) Threaded Rod x 4
If you prefer to use T8 Lead Screws
M5 x 8mm couplers will be needed as well.
450mm for vertical
750mm for horizontal
The step/mm will need to be re-calculated as well.
3/8"-16 can also be used. See the See here
Purchase from a local DIY store.

Alternative T8 lead screws UK

Alternative T8 lead screws USA
1MDF Sheets12 mm MDF Moisture resistant or paint after the build.Purchase from a local DIY store.

Parallel Port Version

If you decide to build the parallel port version then use one of the controllers below. The NEMA17’s listed above can still be used. If you are building a larger machine then the NEMA23’s listed below may be a better choice

1Nema23 Breakout Board and TB6560 drivers4 Axis TB6560 Controller Board Amazon US
Amazon UK
1CNC-DIY-Parts-4-Axis-Tb6560-Stepper-Driver-4x-Nema23-Motor-Software-LPT-Cable 4 Axis TB6560 Controller Board
All in one with power supply.
Drivers all on one board usually cheaper
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Nema 23 Stepper
NEMA 23 Stepper Motors 57BYGH56-401A or similar.Amazon US
Amazon UK

If you have any questions just send me a message via the contact page and I’ll reply as soon as possible

10 Responses

  1. Mike Kirby

    Hi Keith,
    Would use the DevWing Foam ver2 or the DevCnc Foam 1, confused as to which option would serve to cut wings only.

    • Keith

      Hi Mike
      Dev Wing Foam is the right application to cut wings. DevCNC Foam is the software that controls the foam cutter. It does the same job as the “Hot Wire CNC Controller” I use but it probably has a few more bells and whistle.
      Hope that helps

  2. Said

    Hi Keith
    Can’w insert a 5’th rotary axis to this good build , also can’w expand thé X and Y axis a bit more ?
    Thks and congratulations.

    • Keith

      Hi Said
      The firmware won’t support a 5’th axis. There is a 5 axis GRBL firmware but I haven’t tried that but then you would need a different controller software as well. Using Mach3 or LinuxCNC with TB6560 or TB6600 based controller may be a better option.
      The X and Y axis can be expanded as required but as you get bigger and heavier the NEMA17 may not have enough power. You would probably need NEMA23 which the RAMPS board and drivers are not really designed for, NEMA23 usually need a lot more current.
      Thanks for your kind comments

  3. James C.

    Hello Keith,

    Drawer slides are 450/600mm full length or closed length ? 100% extension ?

    Best wishes,

    • Keith

      Hi James
      It’s the closed length and 100% extension. I’ve only once or twice had them more than 60% extended. Using the closed length means the slides are better supported. If you used 600mm fully extended slides then it’s not as well supported but would probably still be OK.
      On swept wings, I rotate the wing to save foam and the slides don’t have to move as far out, I have a video here explaining it, Swept Wings

      Hope that helps

  4. kenny

    What do I need to make my nema 23 stepper motors run

    • Keith

      Hi Keeny
      Do you have the model number of your NEMA23 stepper motors and do you already have a controller for them? If so send me some details so I can give you the best answer


  5. Renato

    Hi Keith,

    do you thing it would be possible to cut a wing with winglets on your cutter?

    • Keith

      Hi Renato
      Not as one piece you would need to make as two and join together. It would look more like a end plate on the main wing section.

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