This Automated Wire Prep Machine Cuts And Strips The Wire

We’ve seen a fair number of automated wire cutting builds before, and with good reason: cutting lots of wires by hand is repetitive and carries the risk of injury. What’s common to all these automated wire cutters is a comment asking, “Yeah, but can you make it strip too?” As it turns out, yes you can.

The key to making this automated wire cutter and stripper is [Mr Innovative]’s choice of tooling, and accepting a simple compromise. (Video, embedded below.) Using just about the simplest wire strippers around — the kind with a diamond-shaped opening that adjusts to different wire gauges by how far the jaws are closed — makes it so that the tool can both cut and strip, and adapt to different wire sizes. The wire is fed from a spool to a custom attachment sitting atop a stepper motor, which looks very much like an extruder from a 3D-printer. The wire is fed through a stiff plastic tube into the jaws of the cutter. Choosing between cutting and stripping is a matter of aiming the wire for different areas on the cutter’s jaws, which is done with a hobby servo that bends the guide tube. The throw of the cutter is controlled by a stepper motor — partial closure nicks the insulation, while a full stroke cuts the wire off. The video below shows the build and the finished product in action.

Yes, the insulation bits at the end still need to be pinched off, but it’s a lot better than doing the whole job yourself. [Mr Innovative] has a knack for automating tedious manual tasks like this. Check out his label dispenser, a motor rotor maker, and thread bobbin winder.

23 thoughts on “This Automated Wire Prep Machine Cuts And Strips The Wire

      1. depending on the length, this could be ok. strip a longer (double than required) insulation on the leading end, then cut the insulation at the tail and hold the pliers closed and by pulling back the cable shifting the entire insulation so both ends have exposed leads.

  1. The machine is very well built; It is clear that the author put great effort on the project and made it all worth, but what really catches the eye is the mechanism provided by the servo to displace the wire to either slice or cut. Ingenious!!!

  2. Never heard of Nextion before (I hear it already : “man, have you been living in a cave?”), it looks like a quick way to build up a demonstrator ! Nice.
    From what I understand it’s an hardware+software solution. Is there a similare HMI IDE for standard screen on arduino ?

    1. Yeah, it takes serial commands and the displays fields / pages / controls accordingly.
      It also does some basic scripting and calculations, has some variables and the bigger models also have storage for images I think. Their editor is pretty good too, if you can handle a bit more UART coding for the 2-way-com, you are rewarded with a great GUI that is really light on the µC side.

  3. Nice work! One of the cleaner versions I have seen of the DIY cut and strip machine. Most DIY versions are of very similar format utilizing manual wire strippers to accomplish the cutting and stripping, but direct servo actuated blades would allow for more options and consistency. V cut blades used on the machine mentioned below are not cheap though, so a home made version from 2 razor blades might accomplish the same goal.

    I have always wanted to make a DIY cutter/stripper based upon my years of experience with cable assembly in the EMS world. Mainly just for fun as the project is ideal for learning several different engineering aspects.

    For more details on how professional machines do this, check out the video on the following page. At the 2:14 mark of the video, there is a slow motion video of the cut, strip, and pullback actions; all of which can be morphed into a DIY version.

    I have used a Schleuniger 9300 for years (surpassing 2 million cuts a few months ago) and I am always amazed at how simple the mechanics actually are. Really, the only difference between a DIY and Professional version is the complex design that allows for repeatability and reliability.

  4. Probably best that it doesn’t strip the wire itself. I make wire for a living and the grip (how strong the plastic adhears to the core) of the plastic on the wire can vary quite a bit between different runs while all still being within spec. Most wire is only checked for shrink back, grip isn’t usually measured unless it’s required for a given job, thus it can vary wildly as long as shrink back was good. You could have easily tried to set it up to strip with a batch of low grip wire only to get quite frustrated later when your next reel of wire had too high a grip than your design can handle.

    1. Thank you for that, I sometimes learn more in the comments down here than in the articles themselves. That explains a lot of my experiences doing hand production in the lab. I blamed my tools or the age of the wire many times, which I now know was just production variation.

      Irony for me is I work for one of the top US wire producers, but have no access to that expertise because I work in a different division.

  5. I absolutely love it, especially the precision nicking of the insulation without removing it.

    In my early days I was doing hand assembly of MILspec aircraft and aerospace flight systems. They were paranoid about reliability, One of the requirements was zero “rats-nesting” of the wire strands. Any place that strands crossed over the others was an established failure point.

    The easiest way to leave the strands in their natural lay is to use the stripper to nick the wire, then twist the insulation off gently by hand following the twist of the strands just before you use it.

    A box or a bag of pre cut stranded wires with the insulation removed looks like a bag of brushes after any handling.

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