Plastic Cutter Made Of 3.5” Floppy Disk

This is so cool; an unexpected use for an antiquated digital storage medium. [DeepSOIC] built a cutter that shaves off plastics but cannot cut through metal. It’s made out of the media part of a 3.5” floppy disk. For the new kids, here’s what a Floppy Disk is.

The disk is attached to any high speed DC motor connected to a plain ol’ power supply – variable if you want to adjust speed. As you can see from the video after the break, it cuts through plastic quite well, but is unable to damage any metal that it encounters. This property makes it extremely handy for many applications. Want to strip through an old 3.5mm phono jack without damaging the wires? Want to wind a coil over a plastic former and then strip away the plastic? Want to trim some 3D printed parts? All game for this handy tool. According to [DeepSOIC], if you don’t have floppy disks, you can use other kinds of plastic films too – such as overhead transparencies or plastic printer films. If you are in a pinch, he claims even paper works, although it doesn’t last too long. Don’t throw away all of those business cards yet.

This isn’t the only trick up his sleeve. He’s documenting a whole series on his project page at Hacks and Tricks. And if you like these, then also checkout [RoGeorge]’s bag of tricks over at The Devil is in the Details.

20 thoughts on “Plastic Cutter Made Of 3.5” Floppy Disk

  1. You can do the same thing with just ordinary printer paper and a dremel. Roughly cut the paper to the size you need, affix to the cutting wheel mandrel, then use an xacto knife (razor blade etc) to turn a circle. The paper cuts plastic like butter and it’s a finer cut than the ordinary cutting discs (less smoke too).

  2. Oooh! I never knew why some saw disks had cut-outs. Figured there’s a good reason for that, but always wondered.. Now I see the reason and it all makes perfect sense!

  3. You’ve got to be kidding me! I just threw away like a hundred old 3.5″ floppy discs a few weeks ago! It’s not like I don’t already have a hard time throwing stuff away as it is…

  4. I have discovered and used this myself when I was a teenager. It’s not so great though, while the cutting performance is impressive, he doesn’t mention that the discs wear off very fast. And don’t even think about touching any metal with it (except for maybe some round and smooth surface elements), it will split and break instantly. And it is very easy to get yourself a fine and thin, and thus deep cut in your skin.

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