Cutting fabrics and leather

Hi technical friends :slight_smile:

I have a small upholstery company in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, an original cutting machine was out of my budget, so I started building myself. Thanks for the design and the clear explanation on this site.

I’m building the lowrider to cut fabric and leather. Does anyone have an idea how best to do this? The lowrider itself is almost finished.

I hope that I have put this post in the right place.


You could try to make a mount for one of the circle fabric cutters. I would try to mount it in some type of bearing so it can rotate as it cuts. Not sure how accurate it would be on corners.

Thank you for your idea.

I was thinking of a laser, there are loose laser modules on the market. I do not know if they are strong enough. What is your idea of this. I have no experience with it

It will cut some fabrics, others will just catch fire, cutting leather with a laser isn’t fun. You also need a fairly powerful laser to cut leather, something like a 40 watt co2 laser.

Would it be possible to build a 40w co2 laser on the lorider? and where do you buy something like this when you have no experience with it? Because then I will probably use mirrors or fiber glass wire.

I have also seen at the official cutting machines that there is a rotatable knife, that I think with a stepper motor makes the turns. I understand the x y z as, but I do not know how to turn a knife on presies in the corners. Then I think it’s better to have the knife lifted by means of pneumatics. Would there be an open-air softwere?

Yea, the pro machines use a rotary, or vibratory knife, that has the ability to aim the cutting edge on the cut line. As far as I know, there’s no open source software that can do this. A few folks have been working on it though. No one has put a 40watt laser on a lowrider yet. It’s probably a really bad idea though. Those tubes are delicate, and not cheap. You’re also going to need a vacuum table to hold the fabric down. The tables I’ve been up close to have little 1mm diameter(probably smaller) holes spaced about a centimeter apart across the entire table. The spoil board put on top of it, was a thicker vinyl material(maybe 5mm), with matching holes.

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Then it will not be a laser. It might be too dangerous to experiment with, for someone who has not had more than one laser pen in his hands to entertain the cat :-). On youtube I have seen something about a rotatable knife, but does anyone know software, information and stl files to develop this further?

You might be thinking of the tangential knife. There is a thread here and some parts on thingiverse. I believe it is fully functioning.

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Can I connect a extra the stepper motor to the mini rambo or does an external board have to be added?

That should work, 1 for the Z motors, 1 for X, 1 for Y, and the last one for the tangent stepper.

sorry maybe a stupid question. Where should I connect the tangent stepper? (rambo mini) the other steppers work. And with which software can I drive the tangent stepper. I have Mac and linux available.

I might be a bit confused. Is it the intention that I let the z axis rotate? I have no idea how to do that, with the software.

That’s where the issue is. There’s a thread around here somewhere with someone making a tangential cutter head. It’s still really really alpha stage though.


Found it!


I quickly read a little thank you. It looks complicated. I think that in the coming period it will only be possible to mark the patterns with a pen. this is more for the profesionals indeed

It seems like holding it firmly in place would be a big problem too. Can you adhere it to paper and then peel and wash it after it’s cut? Any kind of knife would be pulling pretty hard on the fabric.

You could also make a template with the cnc and use that to mark the fabric, if that was easier.

Incidentally, I am prepared to invest in a program, but I do not know what software I need for it. Bit of a shame because I had come this far with your help. I made a picture of my new table.
And the problem is that I have to draw and cut 650 parts now

Do you think it could be done with mach3 software?

And we have come a step further, I started testing with different surfaces. And in the case of polypress, the fabric remains well in place and my knife stays sharp.

furthermore I have to see that I get the knife rotatable and if that has vibrating knife must be made.


Did you ever find a solution to this? I would like to do something similar!