Automatic cable cutter


Dear Community,

Once in a while we need different lengths of braid, PTFE-tube or shrink tube for a customer. Since the demand grows steadily and manual cutting takes its time, we thought an automatic cable cutter would do it better than us.

But as always: An industrial cable cutter is not really cheap. So only one solution remained: Do it yourself.

The principle is quite simple: A motor driven cable feeder and at the end something which cuts the cables. Both can be driven with a stepper motor, so we could use a BAM&DICE board with two DICE STK stepper motor drivers.

The feeder was realized with a set of RC wheels, which had been printed for test purposes some time ago. But what should we take to cut the cable?

The ideas ranged from razorblades to a holder for a dremel with a cut sheet. But a short test showed: scissors are sufficient. So why not use scissors?

After the idea comes the realisation. A motor was equipped with a drive disc which had a protruding bolt. With this the scissors can be moved while the second blade is secured with screws:

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Before and after the drive wheels we mounted a guide which prevents the cable to slip aside.

After a few cutting tests with a very curly braid we found a little problem with the cable guide:

Right at the moment the cable gets cut, it tends to bend behind the blade of the scissors. The result is that the cable will not be driven between the blades anymore. It slips beneath Instead, gets blocked and the feeding is over.

To put things right we installed a small spring made of POM. This makes sure that before the next cut the cable gets fetched behind the blade. Besides that the spring is jagged which makes sure that larger cables don't slide along the blade but get caught by a jag.

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As mentioned we used BAM&DICE to control the whole thing. We integrated it into the cutter:

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So in the future it will be easy to cut the cables to the desired length at the push of a button.

It is not really fancy but it works remarkably reliable and the over-all costs are about one-tenth a bought automatic cable cutter would cost.

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Last but not least a short video where you can watch our masterpiece at work.

Greetings from the lake constance

The 2PrintBeta - Team