Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hot Wire Cutter Maiden Run

Tom helped me out last night with the maiden run of the hot wire cutter. It worked pretty well, and I now have a set of wing cores to try out. However, the surface finish isn't as good as I'd like. I'm going to modify the cutter fixture to try and improve the finish. The flying wing design is a challenging first wire cut wing, since the root and tip of the wing have very different chord lengths, as well as having a substantial sweep.

Wire Cutter Modifications:
  1. Remove tension spring, only use eyebolts to add tension. This will allow a higher wire tension as well as increase the "throat" of the tool.
  2. Build a fixture to hold the workpiece to the work bench.
  3. Build a fixture to control the motion of the wire cutter

Wire Cutter Specs:
  • 12v 3A power supply, no rheostat
  • braided SS wire, approximately 0.014" diameter
  • 20.5" capacity
Bandsaw-cut wing root form:

Form attached to foam, ready for cutting:

Final Result: (note wire cutter in background)


  1. Cool! How are you going to finish sand the wings to get them smooth?

  2. Probably just by hand. I'll try making another set of wing cores when I have an improved wire cutting fixture- I'm hoping to not have to do any finish sanding at all.