Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Centre for Applied Research of the Faculty on Digital Media & Creative Industries

Foam cutter

Modelling with heat!

The FiloCut3 is a computer-controlled thermal cutting machine for cutting shapes out of polystyrene foam blocks (both soft and hard). These shapes can include letters, logos, shapes for displays, maquette parts and models.

The cutting process of the foam cutter

Cutting with vector files

To cut out an object you will need a cutting file. This file can be generated by vectorizing an image or text in the FiloCAM software program – basically, tracing the contour lines of the image or text.

Cutting by hand

The cutting machine can also be operated by hand. However, it cannot then be used to cut curves; it can only do horizontal cuts, vertical cuts, and cuts at an angle of 45°, 135°, 225° or 315°.

Would you like to cut foam? Then come to the Makers Lab. One of the employees will instruct you how to operate the foam cutter.

  • EPS (expanded polystyrene foam) and XPS (extruded polystyrene foam)
  • EPS is sold under brand names such as Tempex, Styropor and Depron
  • XPS is sold under brand names such as Blauwplaat, Styrodur and Styrofoam
  • Bring your own materials, or make use of the (limited) supplies available for sale in the Lab
  • For foam sales locations see this page

  • Workspace dimensions: 40 cm x 30 cm x 20 cm
  • Image file formats: .jpeg or .bmp (maximum 20 x 15 cm)

Published by  Centre for Applied Research FDMCI 31 August 2021