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Subject: How to cut paper

How to cut paper

From: Walter Henry <whenry>
Date: Saturday, December 15, 1990
The following discussion took place in sci.chem.  I have shamelessly
lifted it without the knowledge or consent of the authors.  I've edited
the headers, reformatted the paragraphs, and indicated omissions with
ellipses, but the gist remains intact.  Anyway, it is included here for
the edification of the visionary component of our happy band, especially
those who have spent long hours huddled over scratchpads brainstorming
ways to automate things like box construction.

  Article 1366 of sci.chem:
  From: noring [at] netcom__UUCP (Jon Noring)
  Subject: Advice and Ideas Wanted For the Precision Cutting of Paper
  Date: 4 Dec 90

  Hello all,

  I'm currently working on a project which requires the precision
  cutting (within 0.01 inch) of paper or paper-like material using a
  computer to guide the cutter.  The cut shape will, in general, be
  quite complex (i.e., it won't be a straight line but rather will be
  quite "jagged"). I'd like to get your ideas as to how to do this.
  Of course, doing this at a minimum of cost, and to be able to do it
  at home, without the need for bulky and costly equipment, would
  definitely be a plus.  For various reasons, I'm not interested in
  jobbing this out to another company.

  At this time, I've only identified variations of laser cutters as
  the way to cut the paper, but I have not yet found any that are
  reasonably priced (i.e., less than $10,000).  Maybe combining a
  laser with a precision x-y plotter will do the job.  Since I am not
  necessarily restricted to paper, maybe some chemical etching process
  with a paper- thin material might work.  The sky's the limit with
  innovative ideas that are not, at first glance, obvious.  Of course,
  I would like to know of any commercial equipment that meets my

  I thank you in advance for your help and ideas.

  Jon Noring

  (415) 294-8153
  (415) 862-1101 (voice mail)

  Article 1370 of sci.chem:
  From: lindsley [at] cod__NOSC__MIL (William G. Lindsley)
  Date: 5 Dec 90

  One possible technique is to use a high pressure water jet.  This is
  commonly used to cut through concrete, rock, and glass, and my
  understanding is that it gives a clean cut.  "Mechanical Engineer"
  magazine had an article on this in the March 1990 issue.

  Article 1374 of sci.chem:
  From: palmer [at] nntp-server__caltech__edu (David Palmer)
  Date: 5 Dec 90

  Flatbed pen plotter with a scribe or a cutter instead of a pen. (Or
  an acid pen, but that doesn't make a clean cut)

                  David Palmer
                  palmer [at] gap__cco__caltech__edu
          "Operator, get me the number for 911"  --Homer Simpson

  Article 1375 of sci.chem:
  From: henk [at] spex1__uucp (Henk van der Griendt)
  Date: 5 Dec 90


  I don't know about the precision you ask, but I have heard it is
  possible to use high-pressure water to cut all kinds of things (even
  steel). Idea ?


  ======  Henk van der Griendt                    E-mail: henk [at] spex__nl (internet)
  ======  Speech Processing EXpertise centre              spex [at] hlsdnl5__BITNET
  ======  SPEX,  p/a PTT RNL, kamer LE1,                  tel: 31-(0)70-3322693
  ======  Postbus 421, 2260 AK  Leidschendam      the Netherlands

  Article 1377 of sci.chem:
  From: kdq [at] demott__com (Kevin D. Quitt)
  Date: 5 Dec 90


      Ingersoll-Rand  Waterjet Cutting Systems
      635 W 12th. St.
      Baxter Springs, KS  66713

  (No association, blah, blah...)
  Kevin D. Quitt         demott!kdq   kdq [at] demott__com
  DeMott Electronics Co. 14707 Keswick St.   Van Nuys, CA 91405-1266
  VOICE (818) 988-4975   FAX (818) 997-1190  MODEM (818) 997-4496 PEP last

  Article 1398 of sci.chem:
  From: whit [at] milton__u__washington__edu (John Whitmore)
  Date: 7 Dec 90


          Chemical and electrochemical machining (etching) routinely
  can give this sort of precision.  One can simply contact-print a
  negative onto a treated metal surface, develop the photoresist, and
  etch for a few minutes.

          Homebrew kits for doing this are available (for making
  printed circuits).  Typical etchant is ferric chloride/HCl at
  moderate temperature.  A large beaker on a hotplate, with some
  agitation mechanism, is an adequate etching bath.  A UV sunlamp and
  spray can of KPR photoresist, and perhaps some Kodalith film (for
  making negatives) complete the required equipment. Copper, brass,
  and stainless steel shim stock would be possible materials.  Check
  the yellow pages for 'photochemical machining' or 'chemical milling'
  if you want to job it out.

          I have done this from computer-plotter artwork at full scale
  and at 4x scale (the latter is preferred, but requires a copy camera
  to get the correct scale on a 1:1 negative.)  It's slow work, but
  easy. To actually cut the material, you will want to etch from both
  sides simultaneously, with careful registration of the artwork.

          John Whitmore

  Article 1401 of sci.chem:
  From: sam [at] hemuli__tik__vtt__fi (Sakari Mattila)
  Date: 7 Dec 90

  High-pressure water jet with pure water or water and abrasive
  materials is one method of cutting complex forms.  The basic machine
  is like flat-bed plotter. Water jet cuts various material up to
  glass and ceramics. The jet is so fast, that the paper does not wet.
  It is worth of thinking, whether it is possible to cut paper to 0.01
  inch tolerances.

  Sakari M. Mattila    71307.1525 [at] CompuServe__COM
                       mattila [at] tik__vtt__fi  Sakari Mattila@3:663*371.0.FNET

  Article 1403 of sci.chem:
  From: houde [at] jupiter__DMI__USherb__CA (Francois Houde)
  Date: 7 Dec 90
  Organization: Universite de Sherbrooke, Quebec

  >I don't know about the precision you ask, but I have heard it is
  >possible to use high-pressure water to cut all kinds of things (even
  >steel). Idea ?

  Yes!  WaterJet cutting exists AND it's usable practically.

  A company here in Quebec uses CAD software (AutoCAD) and homebrewn
  software to convert  graphic files into useable Robot Machine code.
  They use either XY plotters or Six-axis robots (Big orange monster).

  An improvement on the technique is HydroAbrasive cutting, mixing
  grains of sand with the hi-pressure flow.  It is possible to cut
  thru many inches of steel.

  The name is AquaCoupe Technologies in Blainville, Quebec CANADA

  === Etienne ===
  via houde [at] DMI__USHERB__CA

  Article 1926 of comp.misc:
  From: seeba [at] nas__nasa__gov (Thomas D. Seeba)
  Date: 7 Dec 90


  There are several companies that make plotters with knife blades
  instead of pens for cutting mylar film exhibiting at COMDEX this
  year.  Try Houston Instruments for starters.

  Tom Seeba                                      seeba [at] nas__nasa__gov
  Numerical Aerodynamic Simulation Facility      415-604-4528
  M/S 258-6
  NASA Ames Research Center
  Moffett Field, CA 94035

                  Conservation DistList Instance 4:33
                 Distributed: Friday, December 14, 1990
                        Message Id: cdl-4-33-002
Received on Saturday, 15 December, 1990

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