FRY BY WIRE
What keeps your coffee warm but also
rides the cold Pacific surf? What’s in the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but makes an
annoying, squeaky sound? Even though
it’s banned in over 100 cities, you can
find it just about everywhere. What is it?
It’s expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam.
Styrofoam is a great insulator (for hot drink cups and wall
insulation), lightweight and stiff, and impervious to water
(great for surfboards). Unfortunately, it’s also impractical to
recycle and can be an unsightly part of the waste stream.
Our landfills and waterways are filling up with discarded
coffee cups, store meat trays, and take-out packaging.
With this easy hot-wire foam cutter, you can reuse this
leftover EPS foam to create treasures from trash!
Once you’ve mastered the basic foam cutting techniques,
makezine.com/16/styrocutter to learn more cool
tricks. Create a double-cut, 3D teddy bear shape, spin a
compound-curve cone, and cut a stack of foam sheets to
make a blizzard of snowflakes.
Photograph by Garry McLeod
Set up: p. 117
Make it: p. 118
Use it: p. 121
Bob Knetzger (
email@example.com) is an inventor/designer with 30 years’ experience making fun stuff. He’s created
educational software, video and board games, and all kinds of toys from high-tech electronics down to “free inside!”
cereal box premiums.