The Foam Cutter now has a counter to keep track of how many blanks it processes!
Video With Counter
So I got an idea in my head a few weeks ago about an automatic foam cutter, being as I was sitting there snipping lengths off of my roll of foam and I was not a happy camper.
I wrote up a rough sketch and starting doing some research on triggering mechanisms and other needed options.
I sort of ran into a brick wall and decided to consult my father who is a retired electrical engineer.
He took my idea and just ran with it, making up a monster of a project, which you can see here:
The Tweaker Industries LSD-FC-01
To start out, the feed motor rotates the wheels and moves the foam downwards.
Below the cutter is a T-Junction PVC pipe that contains an LED and a photo sensor. When the foam interrupts the light, the feed motor stops and the motor attached to the ACE Hardware tubing cutter (with added razor blades to back the cut) starts to rotate and actuate the cut.
Once the cutter has returned to full extension and is out of the way of the foam feed (there's a switch behind the cutter that depresses at full extension) the feed motor starts up again and the process repeats.
The T-Junction is adjustable up and down for different lengths of foam. The cuts are as close to perfect as they can get for straightness due to a backing spring in the upper PVC guide that lightly presses the foam against the back of the guide and thus keeps it nice and straight on the cut.
A 2" piece of foam takes about 8 seconds to cut.
The feed motor voltage is adjustable as well for faster or slower movement, the faster the feed moves the less accurate the cut is. The over-spill from the LED is about 1/8" at 4.5v and 1/4" at 6.0v, so the T-Junction needs to be adjusted to compensate.
Overall, this is a helluva project and I can only be very grateful that my father isn't shy about sharing his talent.
Here's the electrical schematic if anyone is interested.
More Pictures and a Video:
Alternate Direct Download for Video
Edited by hereticorp, 03 April 2009 - 04:54 PM.