An open source Automatic Wire Cutter and Stripper.
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i just started my own machine today.
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Many years ago I worked at a large truck manufacturing plant, as a master maintenance technician/plant electrician. We had a number of these big machines which could cut a desired number of wires to a relatively precise length, and strip each one to desired strip length. Some of these machines could also crimp on a terminal end such as a ring or fork or whatever terminal needed. Some of the older machines did this mostly mechanically, the only electric being motors and limit switches, while the newer machines actually had some form of computer control. A few could even print data onto the wires every few inches. The printers used were dot matrix. New ones now would probably use a laser type printer of some sort. A number of years later, I worked in a shop building control panels for power substations, and sure wished I had access to such machines. I tried getting the bosses to look into getting a machine, but they balked at the price. So, I started toying around with the idea of making my own. The first design would have used a cordless electric drill for the wire feeder (look at a typical wire-feed welder for inspiration) and simply set up a counter that would switch off the motor at a certain number of motor drive revolutions, or perhaps even simpler, use a timer, though that would not be as accurate for length of wire. As each wire reached the desired length, a solenoid-operated pair of inexpensive handheld type wire cutters would snip to length. Stripping the wire ends would have been a separate operation. At the truck plant, we had desktop pneumatically-operated thermal strippers and also some size-specific round-hole(see again the handheld stripper design with the several wire-size holes). I was going to make a pneumatic or solenoid-operated device, also adapted from handheld type wire strippers. BTW, as I I recall, those industrial wire length-cutting machines would cut very fast on the fly, with the wire travelling through the feed rollers fast enough to fling the end of the wire about 8 or 10 feet into a gutter-shaped tray, stacking them up nicely. The wire cutter was spaced away from the drive rollers about 6 or so inches so the wire could bunch up in an S shape for a fraction of a second while it was being quickly cut. As I recall, the machines that could cut and strip the wire simultaniously had drive rollers both sides of the blades, with the first blade cutting, and the second blade(adjustable for length of strip) stripping the end of each wire.
Been looking at doing this as well as we do a lot of Harnesses and lack the cash for industrial machinery. you have sparked the inner daemon to try this as well. LOL. will definitely follow and see if i can jump in somewhere. Happy hacking mate.
Thanks! I find it surprising that this doesn't really exist in a DIY design that's available anywhere. I want to use it so badly haha.
I'm VERY, VERY, interested in this project! I was actually considering this exact thing myself! I've got a huge project that requires cutting & stripping hundreds of wires for wiring harnesses and I /really/ hate doing it by hand. One thing you should consider is using a stripping mechanism that won't nick the wire strands.
If you want to dial it up to 11, figure out how to add the ability to print on the wire as it's spooled out for cutting. :)
My project is here: http://www.f15sim.com
Right? I've only seen a few somewhat relevant designs for this kind of machine, but they're too rube goldbergy (not that there's anything wrong with that, but I want to have an affordable and easily shareable design that many people can build)
Printing might be in version 5.0 haha. I would love to do a non-abrasive version. I was surprised to learn about the thermal strippers, however I've got reservations about repeatedly melting small quantities of vinyl insulation in my apartment. I'm going to be focusing on blades for the first version to keep things simple
That's quite a (truly) epic project! You've got more of a challenge than I do.
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