Tangential Oscillating Cutting Knife Makes Parts From The Ups And Downs

If you thought using a utility knife manually was such a drag, you’re not alone. [luben111] took some initiative to take the wear and tear off your hands and put it into a custom machine tool they call TOCK, or Tangental Oscillating Cutting Knife. TOCK bolts onto your typical CNC router, giving it the ability to make short work of thin materials like cardboard. Rather than apply a constant downward pressure, however, TOCK oscillates vertically at high speeds, perforating the material while cutting through it at a respectable clip.

TOCK’s oscillations are driven by a radially symmetric cam mechanism, allowing the blade to completely pivot full circle while still performing the oscillations. While traditional inexpensive methods for bolting a blade to a CNC machine passively swivel along the path they’re directed, [luben111] has taken the generous extra step of powering that axis, commanding the blade to actively rotate in the cutting director with a custom script that converts PLT files to G-code. The net result is a tool that preserves a tremendous amount of detail in cumbersome thick materials, like cardboard. Best of all, the entire setup is documented on the Thingiverse with CAD files and light instructions. A few folks have even gone so far as to reproduce their own!

It’s great to see some dabbling in various disciplines to produce a working machine tool. As far as knives go, we’re starting to see a good spread of other utility knife augmentations and use cases, whether that’s a traditional CNC retrofit or a solid attempt at a homebrew ultrasonic mod.

21 thoughts on “Tangential Oscillating Cutting Knife Makes Parts From The Ups And Downs

      1. So it’s a tiny jigsaw for your CNC? Neat! It could also use a mini keyhole saw blade like the ones X-acto sells.

        Starting to read I thought it’d be a handheld tool, which would also be nifty.

          1. Maybe the mechanism from an old style electric razor but turned ninty degrees.
            I also seem to recall this swash plate design from an earlier HaD article, Without going through the archive, I’m thinking somewhere around October 2004 ish but I could be wrong.

          2. I’m not seeing it in my head that tattoo guns either have a particularly long or forceful stroke. Maybe useful for a version for delicate materials.

            I recall an old Mechanix Illustrated or Pop, Mechanics design for a reciprocating saw that used a worn out washing machine or lawnmower motor to provide reciprocating motion when driven by a commodity fractional HP motor… not that we need something that heavy duty.

            What comes to mind though, is that cig lighter driven air compressors (tire pumps) usually have a reciprocating piston pump, driven by a 12V motor, and these are often discarded when the seal gets too loose, or they break a reed valve or something, meaning they don’t make any pressure any more. So this might be a convenient reciprocating assembly to re-(dneck)-engineer into a slicey-knifey-cut-and-dicey.

    1. I wonder about using one of those diamond crusted wire saw blades, they are often sold as survival saws. It would require some type of spring tension or a continuous loop, but it would not need guidance and it should be capable of cutting through just about anything if set up correctly. With water lubrication you can cut stone and tile. It would be cool to be able to cut floor or backslash tiles into more interesting interlocking shapes. This of Escher only in tile…

      1. Yeah I guess blocking the tile up off the bed to create room for a sprung follower on the underside to keep blade tension could work. I suspect better off not moving the head as on most CNC’s but moving the bed if that is really what you want to achieve however. Or just using small endmills.

  1. I once worked in a pajama factory in the early 90’s that used a manual jigsaw to cut out patterns. It essentially was a long box cutter blade that sliced through 50+ layers of fabric at a time. (A layered mat about 6 inches thick.) It did it not in the posted chisel-like manner posted but by slicing from the side. The amazing thing to me was how it could cut all the material, including the bottom layer without needing a cut out in the table or marring the surface. You be amazed at how fast the operators could use it. And yes, it could go through a mat of layered cardboard just as quick.

    Everyone of you has seen that factories work. In the film Jurassic Park, in the gift shop, you see a logo’d pajama top in the background. The factory made that top almost a year or more before the film came out. A friend of mine was wearing those shirts before we even knew what they where because his mother brought home from work a few of the seconds. Most of the kid branded PJ’s and T-shirts you saw in the Sears and JC Pennys catalog in the 80’s was their work too. (Pretty much anything with toys and cartoon logo’s.)

  2. Fascinating, would be ideal to have a general purpose hobby level tool holder with auto hot swap too.
    Surely by now we have some sorts of standards we could reasonably easily implement such that the relevant cutting code file can select any number of tools with their cut/grind profiles matching to actual amount of material removed with ack/nak it actually did that without needing constant human supervision eg video/photo confirm tool changes with material change to match etc. Should be possible to put that into place at some medium hobby level mirroring the very high end stuff as per multi axis metal cutting which ballet appears as hypnotic ballet type functionality :-)

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