I am trying to find whereabouts and name for this kind of automatic paper scissors, source of image here. I understand it so that one plugs in image with formats such as vector and raster and then it will print. I need to do a lot of repeating cuttings and see a lot of different printing designs in practise. What hardware options are there to facilitate this process for me?

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3 Answers 3


What you are looking for are "flatbed cutter" or "flatbed cutter plotter".

The "flatbed" part is important.
Standard vinyl cutter do not need a flatbed since the vinyl sticks to a backing paper. This enables the cutter to roll and unroll the material(vinyl) without having to worry about loose pieces of material jamming the mechanisms. The backing paper also gives the stock a consistent stiffness. This is not the case with paper. Since it looses stiffness the more cuts you make into it and all these loose parts are not fixed to a backing, it would jam the vinyl cutter very quickly.

I have no experience with these flatbed paper cutters. So I can't recommend a particular model, but looking at how they work, I'd imagine there are limitations on thickness and weight of the paper that they can cut. They probably can't cut extremely detailed designs on thicker stock...

What I do have is experience with laser cutter. They have the advantage that you can cut nearly any thickness of paper, paper-stock or cardboard without much limitations on the design.

Lasercutters can cut paper extremely fast, so it probably won't be too expensive.

If you need to do A LOT of equal cuts you can also look into die cutting. There is a lot more start-up costs, though, since the cutting is done with a steel-rule die in a press. The dies are similar to cookie cutters

  • What are home-size-budget alternatives? My campus has some of them but distant scheduled workstations, some small office cutter could be useful. eBay returned large machines with the word "laser cutter". I wish there was something I could carry. It is hard to see from the picture-video the size of the cutter.
    – hhh
    Apr 17, 2013 at 0:20
  • I don't think you can expect yo get the machine with a home-size-budget. Your best bet is to find a shop that does this kind of jobs. Small laser cutters I have seen are still at least 60x30x30 inches and have relatively high energy consumption. I don't think there are any cutters you can carry around...
    – leugim
    Apr 17, 2013 at 0:31
  • You could try building a pantograph and using a rotating knife that aligns to the direction you drag it as cutter ... I don't know how feasible that is, though. And it would not be really automatic. Probably not better than tracing and cutting by hand.
    – leugim
    Apr 17, 2013 at 0:42
  • 1
    I have a MH-871 from US Cutter. It's a low-end machine, to be sure, but it will cut through thicker paper. I've used on folders to cut larger-sized shapes with acceptable results. You're not going to get fantastic quality on a cheap machine like this.
    – BrianV
    Apr 17, 2013 at 0:50
  • 3
    Found something called Alter XY-plotter/CNC laser with 1W violet laser, then investigated different modules here -- huge price-differences, industrial lasers to cut paper looks pretty expensive when just one bought. Doing the laser-cutter may become quite expensive...
    – hhh
    Apr 17, 2013 at 1:01

If you haven't already, you might want to talk to a steel rule die company. I recently designed a small retail box and contracted a local steel rule die company to do the work. They ran a few different variations of my design on a flatbed plotter like leugim describes, then created a die once we had a design that would work.

A steel rule die will probably start around $75-$100. The company I used charged me around $225 for the samples/prototypes AND the die. Their price for prototype/samples was a $30 setup fee.

  • 1
    Dang that's cheap. I used to operate one of those machines: a Zund cutter. I loved that machine, it was a solid piece of kit. I'd draw up the design for the die, produce the prototype, and then when it was signed off take the same file and draw it straight onto the plywood for the die maker to put the rules in. Heck, sometimes we'd do complete production runs on it; 3,000 off 1.8m tall free standing display units in display board.
    – Dre
    Mar 6, 2015 at 20:59

What you are looking for is a digital cutter, I can suggest the KNK. Go look at knkusa.com they sell them.

  • 1
    Hi Keagan, can you add to your answer a little on why you recommend the KNK in particular? Apr 18, 2013 at 18:09

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