As I am finalizing my MagneTag prototype for a small production run, I have been looking into efficient ways to cut fabric. Right now I trace by hand and and cut with scissors. I’m currently thinking I may want to make several hundred of these initial units.
With that in mind I am going to try die cutting my design with a shop press. Since I’m not exactly sure what my final product will look like aesthetically, I am reluctant to shell out a lot of money to have a die professionally fabricated. What’s the fun in that? I figured I would try my hand at a home brew hacked version.
I laser etched my design into two different substrates: wood and acrylic. Then a took an old rusty bandsaw blade and hammered it teeth down into the laser kerf. Then I took a Dremmel and ground a sharp edge into the steel.
An initial test on a manual hydraulic press gave mixed results. The wood is too soft to keep the blade from becoming embedded; the steel needs to pass all the way through the substrate. The acrylic seemed to work better, and surprisingly did not break when I tried to use it.
There is still lots of room for improvement, but I’m pretty happy with this first attempt.
P.S. This is the 500th post on this blog!