Roland cutter knife prototype for CNC machine!

Roland cutter knife holder for CNC
Amazing first cuts done in ordinary A4 paper!
I started looking on the internet for setups for drag knifes but found them quite expensive. Not a problem if you really have something you need it for - but I could not justify it for playing I started looking on aliexpress - and that's where I came across Roland cutters. They where so cheap - 7USD for a knife holder and 15 knives - wow! 

So then the research began. I understood quite early that I needed a spring setup - you will never have a 100% flat surface for the cutter to operate on, and just microscopic variations would ruin the result and could also break something. I designed the roland cutter holder in Onshape, you can find the parts here: Roland Cutter Holder - Onshape

The orange part is meant to be used for spring tensioning, but I did not use this in the first testing, it seemed to work quite good with no adjustments 😊  

You will need 
  • 8mm rod 
  • 2x LM8UU bearings
  • 2x Springs
  • Some plywood (I also made a 3d printed version, but havent tested it yet)
  • A strip to hold the cutter
  • The roland cutter. I bought this - 7USD - crazy!! Ali Roland Cutter!

Below is a video that shows how the cutter would flex. You see the rod also moving in the video,  it is supposed to be a plate on the top locking it,  as you can see from the CAD drawing... I just didn't have time to put it on,  too eager to test the tool! 

I found it supersimple to adjust the z-axis. First locate x and y, then just run the z axis down until it touched the surface - then push it down a millimeter to keep some pressure down to the working table and to cater for variations on the plate. Finished!

As for CAM setup I made a tool with 0.1mm diameter and with feedrate of 600mm/minute.  I then defined the cutouts with 0.1mm depth (since the knife is already plunged into the material at z=0).

I showed my wife the initial results and instantly got my first product order - Cutouts of cat profiles to use in the kindergarden she works in!
First order - cat profiles!

Here is a video of the first cut of a snowflake (I use Estlcam as controller AND cam).

Batman logo in the making

Next steps would be to do some more testing on vinyl. I have ordered some vinyl sheets and it would be fun to try to make some vinyl stickers. This is a great addon to the CNC, and really increases the value of the initial investment in such machines. As always - it is just imagination that sets the limits to what can be made 😎 I will make some new posts when I have tested this adapter more extensively.

If you have any questions or ideas for improvements please let me know :D


  1. Replies
    1. Er jo snart premiere på Legobatman filmen vettu :D

  2. Cool Dude :-) Du blir kongen av bursdagskort!

  3. Så konge�� klart du må ha en sånn ��

  4. Hvilke fjedre har du benyttet ? :)

  5. Heisann, kjøpte en pakke med diverse fjærer fra jula - men dimensjonen er rundt 10mm. Men sjekk ut den nyere modellen (3d printet). Er den jeg bruker idag :)

    1. Tænker også at printe en magen til :)
      Kunne bare ikke lure, hvilke fjedre du brugte, men tak for svar, jeg skal nok finde noget der kan bruges ;)

  6. I agree, before you even begin operating a cnc machine you need to know what you are cutting. After

    all, this helps you plan things out in advance and make sure that you do everything correctly. It might even be able to help you decide what material

    to use for your project as well.


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