DIY Paper Tape Punch - Mechanism diagram?

Hugh Pyle hpyle at
Sat May 2 15:13:04 CDT 2020

Hi Steve!

I don't think Glowforge does DXF natively, but it should be easy enough to
convert to SVG using e.g. Inkscape.  I have a small paper-tape-pattern
Python app that generates svg for this purpose - very much like your
ptap2dxf, but less sophisticated :)

It would be easier to cut from sheet (with a border line) than to cut 1"
tape.  Then alignment wouldn't be at all critical.
Another material that works well is subway tile, although I don't have a
reader for that.  Unless someone has already built a cellphone app that
reads 8-level tape...

Unfortunately I don't have access to the cutter right now, it's under
lockdown, so although I'd like to try more fun and games with it, they'll
have to wait...

On Fri, May 1, 2020 at 7:06 PM Steve Malikoff via cctalk <
cctalk at> wrote:

> Hugh said
> > I've cut Mylar tape with a Glowforge laser.  It cuts very nicely but the
> > alignment is a major hassle, plus you can only cut ~15" of tape which
> > doesn't go very far.  Not worth the effort.  If you were to build a
> custom
> > linear drive it might work.  But also very slow.
> That's very interesting. I had thought the smaller home shop lasers were
> generally
> for cutting perspex and thin plywood, rather than mylar sheet. Can your
> laser
> software import a DXF? If so I can send you a DXF of a test tape (in 15"
> segments)
> if you are interested, I would very much like to see the result.
> Steve.

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