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Quick Question About Drag/Roll Knife Options

Discussion in 'Control Software' started by Andrew Wall, Jun 30, 2019.

  1. Andrew Wall


    Jun 30, 2019
    Likes Received:
    I am wanting to upgrade the control side as well as the hardware side of a 1996 Carlson Design fabric cutting system. Similar to the way a plasma/laser/drag cutter works however it uses a 28mm round wheel razor blade (think pizza cutter) to cut the fabric against a poly-carbonate sheet as the table. Links below for a general understanding of these tables.

    The issue I have is that there is not a traditional "Z". This is controlled by an air solenoid with dampening and the Z direction drops down under the weight of the head and rides on the pizza wheel cutter. The actual Z axis motor controls the "steering" of the pizza wheel cutter to ensure it's pointed in the direction of the cut.

    Thoughts from the masters?

    I'm familiar with CNC work. I have two Tormach 1100M mills, a Tormach Slantpro Lathe and an Axiom Pro 8 router. I mostly do everything in Fusion 360 and AutoCAD LT.


  2. David the swarfer

    David the swarfer OpenBuilds Team
    Staff Member Moderator Builder

    Aug 6, 2013
    Likes Received:
    I think you are looking at either Mach3 or LinuxCNC for this (to drive wheel direction as a C axis which GRBL based controllers cannot do) though maybe it can be done just with custom Gcode (and a custom postprocessor for Fusion).

    We need 2 things:
    1) an output that controls the up/down of the cutter
    2) an output for 'Z' as the direction for the cutter.

    for 1 we can use coolant on/off M8/M9 codes. that pin (on a Blackbox or similar GRBL based controller) would then drive a solenoid valve to operate the raise/lower cylinder.

    for 2 we need the post to calculate the required angle and output a Z command that achieves it. I have no doubt this has been done before and an example exists somewhere among the standard Fusion posts or on the web somewhere.

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