Improvising – Using One tool in the Hacker Toolbox

Success in a roundabout way thanks to improvising.

Hacking is finding your solution and obtaining your goal by out of the box thinking.

One of our projects has been trying to interface an old Vinyl Cutter / Plotter with newer software options (post 1996!) After months verifying separate components, we still have been unable to get get it all of the parts to correctly work as a system. (if you know Linux, Serial, and HPGL we would love help in getting our hardware fired up correctly!)


Custom CNC Mount for Vinyl Cutter Blade

At wit’s end, and help from everyone in the CTH community, the vinyl cutter cutting blade was installed in an improvised mount that was interchangeable with our  operational hand-built CNC router. The vector logo file was loaded and cleaned up in Draft Site. We then converted the image to g-code (compatible the router software) with a 1/16 cut depth.

All set to go,we ran the router’s system with the new customized blade mount replacing the standard mounted router. Overall, a success! There are some tweaks needed to the g-code as well as mounting the vinyl to the router bed, but these are minor changes that we can make in our next production run.

Test Cut

Test Cut

the cnc

Vinyl Cutter on CNC Mount

Vinyl Cutting via CNC Software

Original (non cooperative) Cutter

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