Enormous Vinyl Plotter/Cutter Project

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Thread Starter

Nuno Mira

I need to develop a system for cutting vinyl. The table is expected to be very big. About 6 meters wide and 20 meters lenght. The system must have x-y-z axes and will be equiped with some cutting tool OR standard pen marker. We are already studying the possibility of using laser (maybe from Synrad), in this case only x-y axes would be needed, and some adustable laser beam controller. If we can't use laser maybe we have to use some other cutting tool I don't know at this time. Any of these tools will not be too heavy.

I already read some interesting information and opinions around a motion control project with tight budget, were I could read the valuable opinions from Dan Christadoss, Lyn Hampshire and Julian Purcell.

The article description is:
HPGL file to X-Y Motion
3/7/2000, by Kelly McFarland
Subject : Motion Control
from the Automation List dept.

and its location is:
http://www.control.com/control_com/952442030/index_html

I really believe this is do able. I understand that if we need to use some tangential or other cutting tool its support will need to be heavier and the motors will need more power. Anyway, I think vinyl is very easy to cut. If we see that this solution is very expensive, we'll just forget about the cutting tool and will use a standard pen marker. The machine will then act as an enormous pen plotter.

Laser cutting and marking techonologies are becoming very affordable as days goes by. Synrad technologies already have prepared system for OEM and custom devices. The laser "pistol" is not that heavy and it fits almost every project.

The interface will be built around an indexer LPT from ability systems shipped with HPGL drivers, and this is the only part we're sure we'll use by now.
We don't need scientific precision, I mean, we can have 0,1% fault tolerance per 20m, no problem with that. Speed is not a concern too, we just want this to be affordable.

Please give me ideas and suggestions for this project, as we need your advices about the profiles to use for the table and the required motors and materials. This will be an open project and I will post results on my company's web page for anyone to check.

Thanks for your help,

Nuno Mira
[email protected]
 
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