Ring Cutter

Designers: Sourya Naraharisetti, Christopher Rich, Evan Schwartz, John Tran

Client Coordinators: John Wiltshire, Tracey Craven

Supervising Professor: Larry Bohs


Project in Action


Figure 1. Ring Cutter.

Figure 1. Ring Cutter.


Many employees at OE Enterprises have limited manual dexterity and/or cognitive function, leaving them unable to successfully complete a tube-cutting project.  The goal of this project is to design a device that will simultaneously cut a plastic tube into 34 rings of 1/8″ thickness with a longitudinal split.  The Ring Cutter includes a slitting tool and a blade cartridge, containing 34 evenly spaced blades mounted above a cylindrical slicing channel.  As the tube is fed into the slitting tool, a blade at the opening splits the tube longitudinally.  The tubing is then inserted into the slicing channel and the blade cartridge is lowered using a hand-crank mechanism to cut the rings.  A standard paper cup attached to a funnel collects the cut rings. The device allows the employees of OE Enterprises to safely and easily cut and group rings into sets of 34.



OE Enterprises employs people with disabilities to accomplish a variety of industrial tasks.  One of the job supervisors at OE commented, “This device is going to open up opportunities for people who initially could not participate in this… project, and it’s going to allow us to teach new job skills.”



The Ring Cutter (Figure 1) consists of two main components: the slitting tool and cutting assembly.  The slitting tool consists of the slitting frame, blade cap, and angled blade.  The cutting assembly consists of the blade cartridge, slicing channel, and arbor press.

The 1.5”x2”x2” ABS plastic slitting frame, created with a 3D printer,  houses a steel angled blade held in place by an ABS plastic end cap.  A 0.4” hole with the blade partially within allows 0.375” diameter tubing to easily be inserted and slit.

Figure 2. Client using Ring Cutter.

Figure 2. Client using Ring Cutter.

The 1.5”x3”x6” aluminum blade cartridge comprises 34 steel angled blades spaced 0.125” inch apart, which are pressed into the slicing channel to make a cut.  The  6”x”3”x4” aluminum slicing channel houses 34 slots and a 0.4” hole for tubing.  The steel arbor press, modified from a commercial device, comprises a steel shaft attached to the blade cartridge with a 0.625″ threaded rod. The channel frame is secured to the base of the arbor press with two bolts.  The channel frame is split into two pieces, one on a sliding rail, to allow access to the cut rings.  A ratcheting handle attached to a worm gear provides a 40:1 mechanical advantage to easily overcome the considerable force required to make 34 simultaneous cuts.

Figure 2 shows a client using the Ring Cutter.  The cost of components for the device is approximately $550.

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