I want to add some detail to one of the suggestions you received to
your query about dissolvable modelling material.
David Huffman’s idea (styrofoam) is very good for the size objects
you are intending to work with - but incomplete - some vital safety
details are missing.
Here’s a copy of what I sent to him.
Here's a small correction or addition re styrofoam cutting
with a hot wire ; It works great - but...
First - The fumes from hot or burning styrofoam are very very
bad fumes indeed - dangerous to mind and body. I don't know
Angela, the person who asked about it - maybe she is
sophisticated and knows enough to have positive fume-extraction
set-up available in her workspace - but if not she, and others,
should know about this.
Second detail - Of which I am less certain - It seems to me
that the electric current would travel through the large
cross-sectional area of the coat hanger wire easily and
therefore not press through the resistant, thin stainless
cutting wire with enough oomph to heat it hot enough. You can
tell by my highly technical language that electric things are
not my forte - But I think if the arms of the "U" shaped frame
were insulated or separated from each other rather than made of
one continuous piece, the current would have only the stainless
wire through which to travel and then your scheme would work
And finally - Acetone, gasoline and the like - not good indoor
toys either. Explosive vapours, toxic fumes - the usual
drawbacks. (And might even dissolve the wax surface along with
the styrofoam core.)
I mean - I know all of the above can be done - I knew a guy
who built whole airplanes with the technique. Covered the
styrofoam shapes with fibreglass & resin, then after the resin
set hard he dissolved out the foam and had a lightweight,
hollow wing, or tail or whatever - But when you're putting the
ideas out for folks in general, it's good to know for sure that
they've got the experience required so they don't fry their
brains or blow up the neighbourhood. Give 'em all the
The airplane builder, by the way, crashed his last plane on
its maiden flight and shuffled off this mortal coil - maybe too
many styrofoam fumes?
Angela - just as a coincidence, but your email name “quercus” caught
my eye - Latin for Oak - I had intended, long ago, to name one of my
childen “Quercus” because I loved oak so much but I got talked out
of it and they all ended up with other names. Probably just as well
or school buddies would have ended up calling him “queer cuss” or
How, why, did you choose that name for your email address?