Card Cutter
Graphtec FC4500 Series Card Cutter
Welcome to the Card Cutter Knowledge-Base articles, here you will learn how to utilise the card cutter efficiently and safely to make models and drawings for your next project. The card cutter is one of our exciting student-facing machines, once you've read through the instructions on this page and have completed your Level 02 induction, you can get started using this machine!
01. The FC4500 Card Cutter in the MSD FabLab

Overview

The following document includes everything students need to know about the card cutter in the MSD Fab Lab. The document includes an introductory video, followed by detailed information about machine operation, file and driver set-up, material settings, and links to the print driver and template files.

Quick Links

  1. 1.
    Access the Booking System for the Level 02 Induction here (university login required).
  2. 2.
    Download the Card Cutter FC4500 Print Driver here.
  3. 3.
    Download the Rhino Template File here (university login required).
  4. 4.
    PDF Operation Guidelines here:

Card Cutting

The card cutter uses a small knife, controlled by a computer, to cut and score thin sheet materials such as cardboard and some plastics. The cutting blade is pushed into and then pulled through the material, just like cutting card with a knife by hand. Students are able to use this machine once they have completed their Level 02 in-person induction. The Card Cutter is able to produce three types of outcomes:
Operation
Result
Cut
The blade is pushed down and through the sheet material to create cuts.
Score
The 'Gorce' is adjusted in the print settings so that the blade is still pushed down and pulled through the material, but with less force than for a 'Cut' line, this will score the material rather than slice through it.
Draw
Using the Pen attachment, the machine draws along the vector lines in your file.
You can combine all three processes in one file to generate intricate models, or you can utilise just one of the machine's functions to produce specific outcomes such as accurate pen-drawings.

Why use the Card Cutter?

The card cutter is perfect for quick concept models, and intricate models that combine drawing, folding and scoring. The card cutter is able to neatly cut and score thin materials without leaving undesirable burnt edges, blowing away small pieces or warping plastics- as is common when processing some sheet materials using the laser cutter. The card cutter is a fast, and precise machine, allowing students to produce high quality work quickly and efficiently.
02-07 Student work using the Card Cutter (2011).

Access and Safety

To access the Card Cutter, students must complete their Level 02 induction, have read and understood the safety rules, and follow the cutting guidelines.

Safety Checklist:

  • Clear away anything on or near to the cutting table.
  • Tape down sheet material to the cutting table.
  • Check that blade and pen tool (if using this for your job) are secured tightly to the tool carriage.
  • Tie back any loose hair or clothing that could catch on the cutting blade.
  • Alert those around you BEFORE you turn the machine on and start cutting.
  • Supervise your cutting job from the start to the end.
WARNING: The cutting arm will start moving across the table as soon as the power switch is turned on, regardless of whether your computer has been connected or not.