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Old 03-14-2013, 09:23 PM   #1
kuksul08
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E46 OT Engineers, need yo help

I've been really struggling with a design at work lately. The concept is very simple, here are the details. I need to cut pieces of wire into little chunks about 1/4" long. I want to put the wire through a steel plate with a tiny hole in it and then use an x-acto blade to cut it off.

xacto blades look like this


wire sticking through the plate with the blade shown from the side


The problem I'm having is how to actuate it up and down and hold the blade against the plate. I sorta came up with a spring mechanism to hold it against the plate, but this thing needs to move up and down about 2-5 times per second. The travel required is only about 1/8" and the force to cut the wire is less than a pound I'd say.

So far I've thought about a cam on a stepper motor. It needs to synchronize with the drive mechanism so it's not spitting out wire while the blade is in the way. I've also considered a solenoid, or a piezo electric actuator. Fancy stuff like a laser is out because it will get metal dust everywhere.

Any ideas? I can spend several grand on the whole thing combined so a $10k actuator alone is out of the picture.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:31 PM   #2
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Im thinking motor which spins a circle or arm which has a conrod attached to the outside radius of that spinning thing. The other end of the conrod attaches to the xacto knife. The motor turns at a constant speed and you get an up and down motion.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:32 PM   #3
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What about flanges on the outside of the wire guide to move the blade into place? Think a tapering gap from top to bottom so as the blade moves down, it gets closer to the extrusion hole, or even a guillotine-like setup where the blade has no travel in the forward/back plane, only up/down. Aside from that, my first thought was the same as yours: A spring on the front of the blade (facing the wire) to pull it against the wire guide.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:38 PM   #4
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Does the blade need to come in at an angle? Why not do something based on what Cowmoo mentioned, and allow the blade no lateral play.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:10 AM   #5
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Yeah it needs to have some angle to it and sit perfectly flush on the cutting plate or else it wont cut nicely.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:11 AM   #6
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Or more seriously why not just buy something??

Like this...
http://www.automaticwirecutter.com/

btw when you say wire I assume ur talking about electric wires/cables? and not like legit steel wires for fences?

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Old 03-15-2013, 01:18 AM   #7
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That was fun to watch

Now imagine I have to do that 4 times per second with over 1000ft of wire. It's going to be cutting alllllll day.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:26 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by kuksul08 View Post
That was fun to watch

Now imagine I have to do that 4 times per second with over 1000ft of wire. It's going to be cutting alllllll day.
Do you really have to build it in house? Honestly I feel like there are probably machines pre built to do specifically this task that can be had for sub 5-6k.

This is assuming you need it to cut wire in a shop/production facility and your not designing or attempting to market your own wire cutting product.

Examples
http://www.automaticwirecutter.com/
http://www.fivestar-tools.com/Wire-P...pping-Machine/

What kind of wire, what gauge etc and what is the purpose of doing this?

Honestly Id do something very similair to this.



Id cut from both top and bottom in a pincer motion to guarantee even pressure during the cut so there is no slop, guarenteed clean and straight cut every time. Constrain the blades motion to be purely vertical and I would use a feed track not a hole in a block since it could accommodate varying diameters of wire. To give any serious help id need more details about its intended use and requirements, I.E. speed, precision/accuracy, variability in size, power requirements, budget, etc.

Also simple microcontroller can be used to program in desired lengths, and order the process via signals to each individual part in the process.

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Old 03-15-2013, 02:18 AM   #9
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why are you not using a blade that is straight vertically? why does it have to be angled and pressed against the plate? what is the plate made from and how are you going to keep the heat and wear down when the blade is rubbing against the plate at x many hits per second?
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Old 03-15-2013, 05:36 AM   #10
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Pardon the crappy drawing but why not something like this?



You could have a whole series of these things with a crank assembly like a train driving the top, with a whole bunch of feed tubes on the bottom, that would easily meet the cycle time requirements.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:06 AM   #11
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This is making me laugh

if you have to do it 4 times a second, thousands of times a day on an industrial scale, where on earth did the idea of an xacto blade holding up 500, 1000, 4000 precise /sharp cuts come up.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:42 PM   #12
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This is making me laugh

if you have to do it 4 times a second, thousands of times a day on an industrial scale, where on earth did the idea of an xacto blade holding up 500, 1000, 4000 precise /sharp cuts come up.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:48 PM   #13
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if you worked for me as an engineer, i would fire you in no time. wtf is this ****?!!
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:49 PM   #14
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New idea:

A rotating blade that sits as close to the plane the wire exits as possible. It would spin and shear the wire as it came out and it would be trivial to gear it to the same motor feeding the wire so they both run at the same speed.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:53 PM   #15
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Outsource to Chinese child labor? Quality control may be an issue though and possible dangers w/ arming a hoard of small Chinese w/ x-acto knives.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:05 PM   #16
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I'd help and easily design something, but since I will receive no monetary compensation and it would be only to your benefit it will be time wasted. Sorry.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:09 PM   #17
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LOL I love the responses. Okay I'll try to clear up a few things. We already have a pre-made wire cutter that looks almost identical to the ECS-10 video you posted. Same feeding mechanism, same blades, everything. The problem is those blades don't make a nice flat cut, it looks more like the tip of a pencil on each end. I want it to look really nice and flat on each end.

It's not insulated wire or anything its just a single strand of copper wire. I tested a bunch of different razor blades, a shearing action, etc and believe it or not those little xacto blades are very sharp and all the blades are very similar which is important when they're putting in 1-2 new blades every day.

k2pilot that looks really cool, but I don't quite understand how it works. Is that just a section view? What's the angled piece at the bottom?

Lastly, the only reason I wanted some angle on the blade is so that it doesn't accidentally get deflected by the wire when it cuts and push away from the cutting plate. BTW I was going to use some kind of hardened steel for the cutting plate but not sure yet. Ideally the blades would wear out first.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:29 PM   #18
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you can paypal $10,000 to my account. thx
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:34 PM   #19
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:56 PM   #20
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The way I'd do it is to first of all use a double edge blade. They cut much better and don't leave the squeeze mark of single edge blades.

Second, how thick is the wire? Are we talking 58AWG (yes I have a machine that cuts this stuff at work even though it breaks if you look at it wrong) or 00AWG?

Third, use a cut bushing instead of a plate. I'll see if I can draw something up quick but the gist is use an EDM'ed slot for the blade to travel through. If you get the GEM razor blades, they are pretty good in terms of dimension accuracy in thickness, you can EDM a slot that's 0.001" wider than the blade and use that as your guide. This way, you aren't dulling your blade as it grinds on the surface and you aren't wearing your bushing by grinding a blade on it.

Fourth, use a short stroke pneumatic actuator to drive the blade forward and back. That should have no problem actuating at whatever speed you want. We have wire and tube cutters with this method that cut thousands of parts a day, all day, every day. Works great and has minimal maintenance.

Let me know if there's anything in detail I can help with. I have done a lot of work on wire cutting haha.

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