Thursday, March 5, 2009

DIY Automatic Precision Wire Cutter for Prototyping - Part 1

One of the most annoying things while prototyping using solderless breadboards, prototyping boards, Veroboards and so on is cutting your wires at just the right length to make a perfectly straight connection. Sometimes, you may need a small piece of wire that will connect points 2, 3 or 4 holes across. If you have many of these, the wire cutting process itself will consume most of your time.

Well how about a DIY computer-controlled machine that will cut wire, strip it and bend the ends at a 90 degree angle for you at just the right length? Pretty neat, huh?

Design goals:

  • Inexpensive to build.
  • Easy to build.
  • Fast to build.
  • Easy to set up and use.
  • Compact and portable.
  • Can either be controlled by a microcontroller + LCD + keypad user interface for stand-alone use or can be controlled by direct connection to a computer.


  • User provides a continuous supply of wire to the machine.
  • User then selects the length of the wire and length of the contacts.
  • Machine cuts length of wire (= desired length + contacts length).
  • Machine then strips the ends of wire of insulation to expose the copper. This is done with respect to the desired contact length chosen by the user.

Already the design of the machine becomes quite complex. More details to come in the next post.

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