Professional > Concept, design, and engineering

Automatic Hot Knife Cutting Machine for Narrow Goods Design

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Mael Ein Tactical:
Hey everyone, so while stitching part time i have also been at university studying electronic and electrical engineering, currently in my final year which means Honours Project dissertation woo.

For my dissertation i am designing and building a automatic cutting machine for webbing etc. The features as of writing this is as follows:
Automatic feeding of up to 5" wide material/materials
steady Temperature controlled Hot knife cutting
user selectable cutting temperature
Accurate Cutting to specified lengths (currently increments of 5mm)
Quantity of cuts to 9999
Easy user interface
Cut from user provided file ( see Below)

as well as the above the aim is to make it as small and also as cheap as possible without jeopardizing function or durability.

The final features is to allow the user to create a simple file that has all the cuts for a product place it on a USB, insert into the machine and be able to cut the lengths on the file to the quantity inputted on the machine. this was with a product with multiple lengths in mind like a chest rig to make setting up a production run of cutting simpler and as the files will be incredible tiny

i was wondering if there is any features you guys like or would like in an automatic cutter or any considerations to take into account, If any of you are interested in the progress i can keep you all updated.

Thanks in advance for any input

The ability to cut from a profile will be a great feature.

Not sure on the mechanical issues involved but would there be a way to cut cord as well as webbing?

Have seen some cutters have issues with elastic.  A setting to adjust tension on the feeder to feed stretchy/non-stretchy materials reliably?

I love seeing DIY projects like this, even when there is a commercially available option.  Please keep us updated!

Mael Ein Tactical:
Cord shouldnt  be an issue, currently my thought is to have a roller with a spring to apply pressure with a motorised roller underneath for the actually feeding, two motorised feeders would be ideal but currently to cut cost and also over all side that is the basic concept still early doors so could change.

BergspitzeCustoms, thanks for mentioning that I had been so focused on the actually build and programming of the machine that the fact of elastic stretches hadnt crossed my mind haha I think it should be fine but wont know until initial function testing, by any chance do you know what causes the fault with the big cutters at yours

and yeah I am the same diy stuff is always interesting, would love to buy a shieffield cutter but the cost and size was a big killer for me at the moment plus needed to come up with something for the dissertation haha

Thanks for the responses guys 

If you intend on using and arduino or a raspberry to control the lengths it could be awesome to ditch the usb part and be able to use some kind of web interface (hosted on the controller) and access it via wifi, so you can configure all your cuts on a computer or even from a smartphone.
To reduce the fumes you should set a temperature not too high, that melt but not burn the nylon. The temperature will drop each time you cut something and you'll need some kind of filtering on your temperature sensor values to prevent overshoot since your blade will have some thermal inertia.
Also you would need some guides to prevent the webbing (or anything) to go sideways, and if the feed rate is rather high and your roll is on a stand you'll need to limit the rotation of the roll or your webbing will continue to unroll.


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