How to Cut Foam for Flying Wings

Written by nicole schmoll
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Foam is often used by remote- and radio-controlled model aircraft enthusiasts. Foam is durable, strong, flexible and can be easily cut into the precise shape needed for an aeroplane. Model plane or remote-controlled plane hobbyists can order precut foam wings or foam sheets onto which they can then lay their patterns on top of and cut to their exact specifications.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Expanded polypropylene (EPP) or expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam
  • Hot wire foam cutter

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Buy a sheet of expanded polypropylene (EPP) foam. Select either 1.3 or 1.9 numbers of EPP for your plane wings, understanding that 1.9 is more dense and heavier than 1.3 EPP, but is easier to carve and sand. Buy a sheet of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam instead of EPP if you plan to cover your finished plane wings with balsa wood as EPP is not dense enough to support balsa wood coverings. Plan to cover EPP foam aeroplane wings with colour tape or a low temperature heat shrink coating.

  2. 2

    Lay your aeroplane wing pattern or blueprint on top of the EPP or EPS foam sheet. Trace the outline of the wing shapes and pieces needed to form the wings onto the foam with a pencil. Remove the plans and set them aside.

  3. 3

    Use a preformed hot wire foam cutters to cut the shapes out of the EPP or EPS foam. Plug in the hot wire foam cutter and wait until the unit shows that the metal wire reaches a temperature of 200 degrees Celsius. Gently guide the hot wire through the foam sheet along the pencil lines you made until your shapes are cut out completely from the foam sheet.

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