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Overall Workflow

Like laser cutting, vector-based 2D drawings are used to define where the machine will cut. The depth of the cut is specified in the Zund software and can be assigned to geometry by layer.

There are several different types of tools that can be used with the Zund Cutting System. The GSD has the following options available:

Universal Drawing Tool (UDT) - For drawing lines with a pen.

Universal Cutting Tool (UCT) - For most cutting operations

Electric Oscillating Tool (EOT) - For soft materials such as cardboard, foamcore, or rubber.

Pneumatic Oscillating Tool (POT) - like EOT but with greater blade throw and faster oscillation for thicker materials.

Driven Rotary Tool (DRT) - For fabrics and fabric-like materials.

A variety of knives are available for each tool, but material presets are generally configured to make knife changes extremely rare. Only TA's may change out knives.

Router Module (RMA) - For 2.5D milling of aluminum, thick plastics and other rigid board materials.

The router has the following tools available:

  • R-118A: .236" x 1.06" routing depth (for down-cutting wood products?)

  • R-133A: .1186" x .433" routing depth (for down-cutting wood products?)

  • R-136A: .236" x .866" routing depth (for down-cutting wood products?)

  • R-141A: .401" x .157" routing depth (V-shape bit for chamfering top edges)

  • R-202A : .076"⌀ x .23" routing depth

  • R-204A : .156"⌀ x .55" routing depth

  • R-205A: 197" x .63" routing depth

  • R-206A : .234"⌀ x .86" routing depth

  • R-208A : .118"⌀ x .31" routing depth (for laminated aluminum/plastic panels only)

  • P-201A: .217" x .63" routing depth (for polishing acrylic)

  • E7-A: 60 degree x 4.7 mm routing depth engraving bit

  • E8-A: 40 degree x 7.5 mm routing depth engraving bit

Material type and thickness will inform which of the cutting or engraving tools can be used.

Suitable Applications

The Zund is best used for cutting materials that cannot be cut on the laser cutter, such as plastics and synthetic fabrics or foam rubber that release fumes, highly flammable materials like foam-core and cardboard, or cuts in materials that are larger than the size of the laser cutter bed. It may be suitable for routing smaller sheet stock that would be difficult to mount to the CNC routers, as well as materials that might require extra setup on the CNC routers, such as soft metals (aluminum, copper, brass, etc) and thick plastics, such as acrylic or expanded PVC board, but its 3-dimensional capabilities are limited.

A secondary benefit of the Zund is that, because it uses blades and does not produce heat like that generated by the laser cutting process, there are no burned edges on materials.

The Zund can also be used for more unusual materials for specific projects, such as wax, metal mesh, corrugated plastic, plastic films, fabric, foam and felt.

The Zund is NOT to be used for materials that are easily cut on the laser cutter or the CNC's, or simply as a time saving measure, such as foam-core rectangles that could be cut by hand. The Zund cannot handle materials over 1" in most circumstances, and in general cannot do more than 1/2" with most blades.

The Zund is NOT primarily a router, and should not be seen as an alternative to the AXYZ or Onsrud routers for milling jobs. The router is only used for projects approved by FabLab staff and performed under their supervision.

A full list of usable materials is available through the 'cuttmp' folder on the GSD server. If the intended material is not listed, work with a TA to define a new material process based on similar materials or by working through a series of tests in the material. You will need to supply enough sample material for testing.

Because force is exerted on the material by the blade moving during cutting (unlike the laser cutter), smaller features may not come out as cleanly or detailed as they would on the laser cutter. In general, the Zund is better suited to larger features.

For routing, offset for the diameter of the bit does not need to be integrated into the file, the Zund will automatically apply the appropriate offset and route along the outer or inner edge of the specified vector, not down the center. (May need clarification: will ENGRAVE down the center of OPEN curves. All other operations (route and engrave, open and closed curves) will be cut to one side of the curve or the other, using the radius of the tool. Question: what happens when, in editing, you choose a different bit diameter than is selected in the Cut Center? Answer: it's fine as long as you haven't created Island or Raster Fills in Editor)


Detailed Foamcore, Chipboard, Plastics, etc: lab hours (after January)

Foamcore Rectangles: after hours only

Fancy Stuff: TA hours

File Organization/Prep

Accepted File Types:

EPS / AI (this is best)

DXF (has some issue with curves, possibly the preservation of layer order)


Use layers to organize and assign a machine operation to the geometry. Name the layer to correspond to desired the machine operation. Layer order also determines operation order, use the following order of operations as a guide:

Cutting Methods/Operations

  • Register

    • Register uses camera recognition of material edges or printed features to orient the file to the stocks borders accurately. (Visually aligning a laser beam can also be used, rather than the camera.)
    • If using rectangular stock, model the stock to register to the edges of the stock (useful for multiple features cut from one piece of stock).
    • points or the center of other small features can be used to tell the machine where to find 1/4" diameter black dots printed on the media.
    • (the X0, Y0 axes of the file can also be used to tell the machine where the right and front edges of the media are located).

    • When a layer with geometry is imported as a Register layer or another layer is converted to Register, the geometry will no longer be visible, but it is still there, represented by the offset from the origin.
  • Draw

    • Draw is an operation that uses a ball-point pen to plots curves.

    • vectors (open and closed).
    • fills/hatches.
  • Score

    • Score is a knife cut that goes partially into the material thickness (certain depth or percentage).

    • Uses vectors (open and closed).
  • Cut

    • Cut a knife cut operation that goes through the material thickness.

    • Uses vectors (open and closed).

  • Engrave

    • Engrave is a router cut that goes partially into the material thickness (certain depth or percentage).

    • vectors (closed).
      • create separate layers for shapes where the tool should stay to the inside versus outside the closed curve.
    • open vectors will cut to one side of the curve or the other (and are not recommended). True?
  • Route

    • Route is a router cut that goes through the full material thickness.

    • vectors (closed).

      • create separate layers for shapes where the tool should stay to the inside versus outside the closed curve.


Correctly set up layers in both Illustrator and Rhino


Files should be clean with as few control points as possible. Check file for floating control points or geometry, or unclosed shapes. When converting from Rhino/AutoCAD to Illustrator, ensure the resulting geometry is completely accurate as some changes can occur during export.

Line weight and color are not read by the Zund, machining operations are assigned by layer names.

If there are multiple layers of the same operation, do not label them Cut 1, Cut 2, etc., simply label all layers by the desired operation and the Zund software will automatically number them in order.

Layer Aliases

There are many 'aliases' for each operation, which are the range of acceptable labels that can be interpreted by the Zund.

  • 'Register' can be labeled as: Camera, Regmark, Regmarks, Dots, Registration, Register, Reg
  • 'Draw' can be labeled as: Draw, draw, sharpie, pen, Sharpie, Pen, Lines, lines, line, Line
  • 'Score' can be labeled as: Score, score, etch, Etch, cutting
  • 'Cut' can be labeled as: Cut, Straight cut, Through cut, Throughcut, CutContour, CutContourFullCut, CutContourFast, CutContourSlow, Thru-cut, cut, thru cut, Thru cut, CUT, cut, cut through, Cut Through, ThruCut, thrucut, cutting
  • 'Engrave' can be labeled as: CutContourEngrave, Engrave, engrave, engraving, Engraving
  • 'Route' can be labeled as: Router, CutContourRoute, Route, route, router, routing

New aliases should be added to the hotfolders when a user specifies an operation, but uses a layer name not yet on the alias lists.

Hot Folders

Hotfolders move files from specified folders to the Cut Server and Cut Queue.

To assign a material to the geometry, drop the .AI (EPS, DXF, or PDF) file into the corresponding "Hot Folder" on the GSD server in the 'cuttmp' folder:

Once in the hotfolder, the Zund software will assign a material type to the material. Layer names will be processed and associated geometry will be used to define where that machine operation takes place. At the conclusion of this process, the file will appear in the Cut Queue software. Double clicking on this job will open the file in Cut Center and prompt for a material thickness. Carefully measure the stock with calipers and enter the value in the "Thickness" space near the bottom of the "Select Material and Thickness" window. Do NOT change any other settings, materials or parameters. Once the accurate measurement is entered, click 'OK'.

To use the calipers, close the jaws completely and press the power button. If the screen does not read '0.000 in', press 'ZERO' to reset the calipers. Open the jaws using the thumb wheel, then close fully on the edge of the material. Take measurements from several locations on the stock to ensure accuracy.

Step by Step Tutorial on Using Calipers

If the desired cutting material is not listed, ask a TA what an appropriately similar material would be, or work with one to define a material process specific to your objective.

Current thinking is to NOT use hotfolders: import files into the editor, assign material type, thickness, and methods to geometry. Save and then send to queue. Open in Cut Center to execute. For jobs that are not going to be run right then-and-there, still finish processing in Cut Center and save file for later (where?)


Vacuum Hold-Down

Maximum cutting size is 98.3"x52.3"

Porous cutting area will pull vacuum through and hold down nonporous materials.

Can be zoned (runs from front-to-back of machine, starting on right side and moving toward left) to increase hold down in the needed section.

Auto-starts at the beginning of jobs, can be set to auto-fit (narrow) to the stock.

Best to check hold-down before starting job (turn on vacuum in Cut Center and try to move material)

Adjustable strength (1-10, most materials use 5 by default to minimize noise)

"Mask"-off areas that aren't used, but within the length of the zone using cardboard or scrap to increase hold down.

When cutting porous materials, cover with thin nonporous material such as taffeta.


Must be used when routing or engraving. Be sure that the console display reads 'overlay on' so that the machine knows the sealgrip is being used.


Used for material border and 1/4"-dot registration.

If the camera is not picking up the edge of the stock, lighting can be adjusted, as well as brightness/contrast/etc by right clicking on the camera live feed during the registration step.


Hold the tools. There are two universal tool holding modules, and one router module that must be attached before routing jobs and removed immediately after. Tool changes are performed by removing and installing desired tools in the tool holder modules.

Performing a Tool Change



  • Universal Drawing Tool (UDT) - For drawing lines with a pen. Useful for labeling parts.

  • Universal Cutting Tool (UCT) - For most cutting operations. Uses a variety of inserts. Does not oscillate, drags blade through material.

  • Electric Oscillating Tool (EOT) - For soft materials such as cardboard or foamcore. Good when UCT excessively drags or deforms the material.

  • Pneumatic Oscillating Tool (POT) - like EOT but with greater blade throw. Good with thicker materials that the EOT has trouble cutting cleanly. The POT cuts a little cleaner than the EOT, but because it is pneumatic and runs off the same compressor as the Onsrud and woodshop air hookups, it cannot be used while the others are running. Only use the POT if the Onsrud is not currently operating.

  • Driven Rotary Tool (DRT) - Uses a rotating circular blade. For fabrics and fabric like materials. Minimizes force acting on the material, but has the greatest overcut due to the blade geometry.

Cutters (Knives and Endmills)

Many knives are available to insert to the tools, with differing geometry based on the intended purpose. A full list of blades, their geometries, and suggested materials is available at

<link to pdf>


The console directly controls the cutter without going through the software. The console is used primarily for performing tool changes and switching between online and offline mode. The gantry can be manually controlled by the Travel keys, and moved rapidly by holding the Shift key.

The vacuum can be toggled on and off by pressing the Shift key and the VAC key.

Pressing any of the Travel keys or STOP during a cutting operation will pause the job and raise the tool until the Online button is pressed, resuming the job.

The console screen during a tool change. Options on the bottom level, 'Init' (short for initialize) and 'Ok' are selected by pressing the Soft keys below each option. Options following a number, such as '1. Select tool' are selected by pressing the corresponding Numerial key, in this case, 1.

Light Barriers

The Zund has safety features to prevent injury during operation. The main feature is a series of 'light barriers' that are projected from one end of the gantry to the other, on the front and back side of the cutter. If these beams are broken by someone reaching into the operating area, or if a piece of stock lifts up unexpectedly, the cutter will immediately stop operation. The LCD screen will display that a light barrier has been triggered, and will list what barrier was broken. To continue the operation after everything is cleared from the table, press 'OK' then 'ONLINE' to continue the cut from where it stopped.

While the light barriers are a soft stop, the four red emergency stop buttons located on each corner of the machine are a hard stop. When an emergency stop button is pressed, the operation immediately stops, cancels the current job, and disengages the tools. To continue from an emergency stop, the triggered button must be twisted clockwise to release, then the instructions on the LCD must be followed. The tools will re-engage and require re-initialization. The job will have to be restarted from the PC.

If something begins to go wrong during the cut, such as the stock moves unexpectedly, the operation can be paused by pressing any of the gray directional buttons on the console, or 'ONLINE'. This takes the machine out of online mode, pauses the operation, and lifts the tool. The cut can be continued by pressing online once the issue is resolved.


Online Mode

The Zund has two main modes of operation, online and offline, which are switched between by pressing the red 'ON-LINE' button at the bottom right of the console. Most setup operations are performed in offline mode, such as tool changes, parameter editing, and making changes to the file through either Cut Center or Cut Editor. Online mode is activated before performing any cuts, or entering Interactive Mode through Cut Center. Most common errors occur from not being in the correct mode, but are easily fixed by pressing the button and entering the correct mode.

Cut Queue

The Cut Queue pulls files from the hotfolders located on cuttmp, assigns a material to it, and then lists it at the top of the queue. Depending on the size of the file, it can take several minutes for the file to transfer from the hotfolder to the queue, which is why it is recommended the user drops their file in the hotfolder from their desk before arriving at the Zund, to maximize the chance the file is processed and ready to cut when they arrive at the Zund.

Once a job is completed, it will be moved to the 'Job done' queue, under the 'Job queue'. Files can be accessed the same way from either, by double clicking to open directly in Cut Center, or by selecting the 'E' icon to open directly in the Editor.

Cut Editor


The Cut Editor is used for making changes to the geometry of the file, including adding, deleting, moving and scaling vectors. In addition, the starting point and cut order of individual vectors can be specified if the auto-order the program assigned does not perform satisfactory cuts.


The Cut Editor is also used to add bridges to routing jobs to ensure the cut out features are not pulled up by the dust extraction, which will ruin the job and risks damage to the bit and router.

A routing file before and after bridging. Bridges are formed during the 'Multi pass last depth' parameter in the Cut Center 'Machine step settings' window, and should be .02 at a minimum to ensure strong bridges.

Setting order/direction/starting point of a vector

If a corner or feature of your geometry is getting caught and dragged by the blade, the order and direction of each line can be altered by first selecting the view order and view direction icons. The most common cause of corners being dragged is when the blade approaches an acute angle that has already been cut previously. The tip is unsupported, and if the blade is moving too quickly, it will catch and be dragged along with the blade. This is most damaging in foamcore, where the paper tears away and the foam interior balls up.

Example of a risky cut. Moving from the center-out increases the risk of the edges being torn, and an example of a safer cut, cutting from areas with more mass inwards.

Pink arrows denote open contours while the light teal arrow (upper right corner) indicates closed contours.

By selecting 'Reverse direction' through Tools --> Reverse direction, the editor enters a mode where every time a line is clicked, its direction reverses, denoted by the small pink arrow at the starting point of the line. This is most useful in situations where the blade approaches thin or acute features and ends up deforming or dragging them. By traveling outwards from the center of mass, the sharp corners are preserved.

By selecting 'Interactive order', the order of each line can be set by clicking on each line in the desired order.

Adjusting geometry

Precise adjustments to geometry is made using the 'Numerical geometry' window, accessed by highlighting the geometry to be edited and right clicking.

Numerical geometry can be used to move, scale, and rotate geometry by specific values. The boxes in the upper right select whether the geometry will be moved/scaled from the center, or a specified corner.

Any operation more complex, especially adding geometry, should be performed in the original program, at the Cut Editor lacks most of the features that make changes accurate, such as snap-to fuctionality.


When engraving an area, the geometry must be filled in, otherwise the router will only engrave along the perimeter of the shape. There are two methods of filling available, Island fill and Hatch fill. Island fill offsets from the outer border repeatedly until the shape is filled, while Hatch fill creates a grid within the border, either horizontally, vertically, or at a specific angle.

Cut Center


The main program used for performing cuts. Cut Center allows for assigning operation methods to layers (steps) if not completed previously, and adjust settings such as which tool and blade are being used. The Cut Center also allows for adjusting offset from the origin, performing test cuts, and adjusting and testing the vacuum.

The main icon toolbar in Cut Center with the most commonly used icons labeled.

Some icons, such as 'Interactive Mode' are only available when the machine is in 'Online' mode and will be grayed out unless in the correct mode.

To change a layers operation parameters, double click on the layer to open the 'Machine step settings' window. The 'Method' drop down changes machining operation type. The tool and blade drop downs change the tool to be used for the operation from a preset list of available tools. In general there are usually only one or two blades and available tools per method per material, to ensure the best tool is being used. If the tools installed the machine do not match any of the listed tool for the operation, a tool change must be performed.

Setting a reference point

When not referencing off of the borders of stock or to registration dots, a reference point must be set. Reference points are most often used when using irregular or scrap pieces of stock where there are no clean edges to reference off of and registration dots have not been built into the model. This point can be anywhere on the table, and will move the jobs origin point to the set reference point.

To set a reference point:

  1. Check the machine is in 'Online' mode.
  2. Select the 'Interactive mode' icon.
  3. Use the arrow keys to nagivate the laser pointer over the desired reference point.
  4. Right click and select 'Set reference point'.
  5. To ensure the cut will not go off the edge of the material, run a simulation by selecting the 'Simulation' icon and then 'Laserpoint simulation'
  6. The laser will then trace out every cut that will be performed during the job. Watch to make sure it stays within the boundaries of the stock at all times.
Vacuum settings

There are two main settings for the vacuum hold down: Vacuum width and vacuum strength. Vacuum strength is specified on a slider from 1-10 by selecting the 'Vacuum strength' icon. Vacuum width is the width of active vacuum hold down along the y axis of the table and is denoted by the dashed yellow line on the screen. Vacuum zones run from the set width on the y axis, starting from the right side, all the way to the back of the table. The vacuum can not be adjusted front to back along the x axis, but unused space should be covered with cardboard or scrap to increase the hold down under the stock. To adjust the width, right click the table and select 'Set vacuum width'. Test the vacuum after adjusting the width to ensure the full width of the stock is held down.


'Machine step settings' windows before assigning an operation, for a Thru-cut operation, and a routing operation.

Adjustable operation parameters
  • Method: The type of operation to be performed. Each material has a set of available operations depending on its charachteristics.
  • Name: What the layer will appear as on the right hand side of the screen.
  • Color: The color the layer will render as on the screen.
  • Line type: Whether the operation will perform along a solid, dotted, or dashed line.
  • Cutting mode: Always set to standard.
  • Tool selection: Drop down menu will allow the selection of the tool to be used during the operation, if multiple are allowed.
  • Tool insert selection: Select the tool insert (blade or bit) to be used during the operation.
  • Initialization: Where the tool will register height from. Alway set to base.
  • Clearing distance: How high above the top of the material the tool will retract to travel. Does not need to be adjusted from default.
  • Material thickness: Current thickness of the material. Cannot be altered through this window, needs to be set in the material selection window.
  • Base depth: How deep relative to the table the material will cut. Should never be more than +/-.005. Adjust in small increments (+/-.002) if blade is not cutting all the way through the stock.
  • Multi. pass max. depth: The most stepdown the router will perform on a single layer. Should not exceed .0500in.
  • Multi. pass last depth: The depth of the final routing layer. If using bridges, should be at least .0200in, as bridges are formed from this layer.
  • Machining depth: The specified depth for engraving operations.
  • Score depth: The specified depth of a score, either in inches or percentage of material thickness.
  • Acceleration, tool lowered: The maximum acceleration the tool will travel while cutting the material, from 1-4.
  • Speed, tool lowered: The maximum speed the tool will travel while cutting the material. Slow down for a cleaner cut in most materials.
  • Knife compensation: Offsets the cut to compensate for the thickness of the blade (generally unnecessary).
  • Speed, lowering tool: The speed a tool will lower between steps. Must be >5in/s for routing operations.
  • Router speed: Speed the bit will spin during routing operations. Should not be adjusted.

Orange parameter boxes signify that the setting has been changed from the default.

On the right side of the window is a representation of the current stock thickness next to a representation of the specified cutting depth. The red line on the routing operation represents the thickness of the Sealgrip underlay. The alternating light and dark gray rectangles represent the number and depth of each multi pass step to be performed. The green line above the material is the clearing distance.

Advanced settings

The second tab lists advanced cut settings. These should never be adjusted, with the exception of Overcut, if less or more overcut is desired during a cutting operation.

Overcut defines the offset from the original start and stop point of each vector. Some knives, particularly wider geometry knives and the DRT rotary blade create a significant amount of overcut. When cutting out thin features, this overcut can unintentionally cut completely through those features.

Some overcut is inevitable when using thicker materials, such as foamcore, and if prisitine cuts are required, the file should be set up to use the bottom side of the foamcore as the clean side, as that side experiences much less overcut than the top side.

<insert examples of overcut>


Cut Manager

Cut Manager allows for editing of material parameters, the available tools for each material, and hotfolder settings, among other administrative/hardware settings. Login is required to access these settings and in general Cut Manager does not need to be accessed by average users or TA's. If a new material or operation parameter needs to be entered into the system, ask a Zund TA or Rachel to log in and adjust the settings.

Cut Server

The Cut Server launches automatically when the Cut Queue is opened and runs the hotfolders and cutting operations.

If files are not transferring from the hotfolders to the queue, it is possible the server is either not running or has stalled operation. To restart the server, right click the '^' icon on the Windows toolbar, then right click on the red 'Z' icon and select 'Restart server'. Then, open Cut Queue to initialize the server.

If futher problems persist, remap the GSD server at \\gsdserver.university.harvard.edu\public and restart the Zund server.

See 'Cut Editor' to manually load a job without using a hotfolder.

Turning the Zund On/Off

To turn on the Zund, first flip both levers of the two power boxes mounted on the wall by the white board to the on position.

Then, turn the power switch located at the back right of the machine 90 degrees to the 'I', (ON) position.

On the console, the LCD screen will prompt to press 'F1' to start-up the machine.

Power on the PC located under the console with the power button.

Complete tool initialization of the installed tools to finish start up.


To turn off, start by shutting off the PC through the Start Menu.

On the console, hold the 'Shift' key (center gray button) and press 'STOP'.

When prompted by the LCD, select 'Yes' to shut down the Zund console.

Rotate the power switch at the back right of the machine 90 degrees to the 'O', (OFF) position.

Flip both levers on the power boxes down to cut off power to the Zund.


Performing a Tool Change

Red tool labels and red 'Start job' button in Cut Center indicated that the tool specified by an operation is not currently installed in the machine and will required a tool change.

To perform a tool change, start by pressing 'F4' to initialize the tool change operation. 'Pos 1' moves the gantry to the front of the bed to change out cutting tools, 'Pos 2' moves it to the router module for routing/engraving operations.

The machine must be in offline mode to perform a tool change.

Blade & Tool Change / Initialization

  1. Press 'F4' on the console to initialize the tool change and then 'Pos 1' to bring the gantry to the front of the table.
  2. Remove the unneeded tool by first pressing the small button on the front of the tool holder to unlock the rotary belt. With the button held down, rotate the locking ring fully to the right (about 90 degrees).
  3. Lift the tool carefully and vertically to ensure the blades do not contact the edge of the holder, which could chip the blade.
  4. Place the tool in the free tool dock behind the computer monitor screen.
  5. Locate the needed tool and lift carefully vertically up from the dock.
  6. Lower the tool into the tool holder of the ZUND, aligning the red dot on the registration protrusion near the top of the tool with the red dot on the front of the tool holder. Be careful not to bump the blade against the tool holder.
  7. Once the tool is fully seated, rotate the ring back to the left, holding down the release button. Do not overly tighten the belt.
  8. On the console, press 'OK'
  9. When prompted, press '1' to select 'Select tool'
  10. Using the arrow keys on the console, navigate to the tool that has been installed.
  11. Press 'OK' to select the newly installed tool.
  12. Once the correct tool is listed on the console screen, press the button below 'Init' to begin initialization.
  13. Press '2' to select 'Auto init'
  14. Press the button below 'Start' to begin automatic initialization. Stand clear of the gantry. The gantry and the newly installed tool will travel to either the left or right of the table and lower until the blade breaks the beam of the laser, saving the parameters of the tool length.
  15. Press 'ON-LINE' once to save the settings, and once more to enter online mode.

Electric Oscillating Tool - EOT

  1. Remove the EOT from the machine if it is currently installed.
  2. Carefully rest on the table such that it won't fall off.
  3. Loosen the set screw to release the blade.
  4. Remove the blade and place back into its labeled container.
  5. Insert the new blade into the EOT with the longer point of the blade in the center of the EOT and cutting edge facing the outside of the tool.
  6. Ensure that the blade is in place by checking that the chamfered side of the cutting edge on the blade is aligned direct with the surface of EOT and tighten the set screw.
  7. Install the EOT into the tool holder, aligning the red dots of the EOT to that of the tool holder.
  8. Hold down the belt lock button and turn the EOT clockwise until the first notch on positioning bracket is engaged the registration post of the tool holder.
  9. Once the EOT is position, connect its cord into the black power socket of the ICC camera module.
  10. Initialize the EOT.

To prevent the EOT motor section from moving during operation, it must be engaged to the vertical silver post at the back of the knurled ring. Gently rotate the overhanging motor section until it is perpendicular with the gantry. Once the EOT motor is in position, plug the attached cord into the black power port on the ICC camera module.

The EOT properly engaged with the registration post of the tool holder.

Pneumatic Oscillating Tool - POT

The POT does not need to be engaged with the post. Plug the black pneumatic tube attached to the POT to the port labeled 'P4' behind the tool holder modules.

Universal Cutting Tool - UCT

The UCT has no external power source and only needs to be seated into the holder module and secured with the locking ring.

Universal Drawing Tool - UDT

The UDT is located in the cabinet under the keyboard. When not in use, the pens must always be returned to the plastic bag locate below the computer monitor and sealed to prevent the ink from drying out.

  1. Remove the UDT from the machine if it is currently installed.
  2. Carefully rest on the table such that it won't roll off the table.
  3. Loosen the clamping screw and remove insert sleeve.
  4. Once insert sleeve turn adjustment wheel at top end of insert anticlockwise and remove ballpoint refill & spring.
  5. Select desired new ballpoint pen refill and insert ballpoint pen & spring back into sleeve and screw on the adjusting wheel setting the tension of the spring. ( *When inserting the pen into the UDT, ensure the pen's length is at least three fingers wide protrude from the UDT. If the pen is not extended enough, it will be unable to contact the material when fully lowered.)
  6. Insert sleeve back into UDT and tighten clamping screw.

  1. Push in the BLACK knob at the far back of the tool and turn to begin moving the insert within the tool.
  2. Retract the insert by rotating the knob to the right until the two set screws are fully visible through the cut out slots.
  3. Loosen the set screws until the blade can be removed. Immediately return the blade to its container.
  4. Tighten the screws and turn the knob left to extend the insert. Once the insert is extended about an eighth of an inch, it will disengage and fall out when tilted.
  5. Pull out the insert. Because of the varying thickness between the Z10 and Type 6, they require two different inserts. The Type 6 uses the gold insert while the Z10 uses the silver.
  6. Install the insert that goes with the desired blade. Retract the insert into the tool until the screws are visible, loosen, and insert the blade.
    1. The full cutting length should protrude with as little as the shank protruding as possible. To avoid pushing on the tip of the blade with a finger, use a scrap piece of soft material such as chipboard or plastic to push the blade. Do not use metals as it will dull the tip.
  7. Once the blade is inserted, tighten the screws and extend until the surface of the insert is flush with the edge of the tool.
  8. Pull the knob to disengage and reinsert in the tool holder.
  9. Initialize the UDT.

UDT with the dial disengaged, and with the dial engaged to remove the insert.

 V-Cut Tool - VCT

Driven Rotary Tool - DRT

The DRT also must be engaged with the post prior to operation. Rotate the overhanging motor section until the post located on the DRT engages with the post of the tool holder. Plug the attached cord into the red power port on the ICC camera module.

The DRT properly engaged with the registration post of the tool holder.

Router Module (RMA) Change

  1. Press 'F4' and then 'Pos 2' to move the gantry to the router module.
  2. Carefully lift the router module (it is very heavy, like very heavy). Lift using the handle on the back of the router with one hand while supporting the curved cast metal dust extraction connection with the other. Lift vertically out of the holder and gently rest the bottom edge of the router with the small lip on the empty router module holder to the right of the ICC camera module. Tilt the router module back until it slides down into the holder and engages. (Ask a ZUND TA to do this, it is easy to think the router is engaged when it is not fully, which could damage the router and holder.)

    The places the RM-A should be lifted from

  3. Using the screwdriver 4mm on the console, tighten the screw on the lower left edge of the router (look for the small semicircle cutout).
  4. Press 'OK' , then 'Init', then '2', then 'OK' to begin initialization.
  5. The router module should be removed if not performing a routing operation. The additional weight is not good for the longevity of the servos and belts of the gantry, especially when moving at the speeds and accelerations experienced during normal cutting operations, as routing operations are performed much slower.
  6. To remove the router, initialize a tool change with 'F4' and select 'Pos 2'.
  7. Loosen the screw holding the router. The router sometimes will not release if the screw is fully loosened, loosen the screw until it stops, then tighten one half to one full rotation of the screw.
  8. Lift the router in the same manner as before and return to the router home position holder.
  9. When returning the router module, be very careful to line up the registration extrusions on the back of the module with the slots in the router home position, because it will easily jam due to the weight of the router if it is not correctly lined up and angled.

Performing a Knife Change

Blade changes should be performed extremely rarely and only by trained TA's who have observed and performed proper blade changes before. Pushing blades into the holders incorrectly can cause cuts and damage to the blade and tools, especially if the blade is seated improperly and comes loose during operation.

The blades currently in each tool are listed on the white board, and should be updated immediately after a change to keep accuracy.

All blades are installed with the tip in the center of the tool and the cutting edge facing towards the outside of the tool.

All blades and inserts are located in the drawer to the side of the PC and keyboard.

There are only three situations in which a blade change should occur:

  1. Switching between a Type 6 and Z10 in the UCT
    1. The two blades primarily used in the UCT are the Type 6 and the Z10. The Z10 is significantly stiffer and more durable than the Type 6, but is much wider and has a tendency to tear thinner materials such as paper, taffeta, and plastic films. The Z10 should be used for soft plastics, such as thin styrene and PET-G, as well as thin chipboard.
  2. Switching between a Z21 and Type 6 in the oscillating tools
    1. The Z21 costs $36.10 apiece, while the Type 6 costs about 16 cents. When cuts with a harder material such a thick chipboard, it is advisable to use the Type 6 blades, and use the Z21 blades for softer thick materials, such as cardboard, foamcore, etc. It is much preferable to break or dull a Type 6 blade than risk breaking a Z21. If there is not complete confidence in the cut, use a Type 6.
  3. Switching to a longer blade for thicker specialty materials on an oscillating tool.
    1. Very thick soft materials, such as cotton board, thick felt, wax, and foamcore/cardboard over 1" require the use of specialty blades. This is a very rare occurence, and should only be performed by Rachel or another administrator as it requires the use of specialty tools and inserts to ensure proper alignment of the long blades. The long blades have a very short longevity and are the most expensive, and are used extremely rarely.

There are cases in which a specific tool geometry may be marginally better than others at certain tasks, but in general these advantages are minor. The blades suggested are the ones that have been most thoroughly tested and most cost efficient.


The POT is the most complicated tool to change the blade in, because the blade holder is slightly wider to than the EOT to accommodate wider blades, like the two inserts the UCT has. The POT requires the use of a shim when using thinner blades such as the Z21, which is small, easy to lose, and expensive.

  1. Detach the pneumatic tube and remove the POT from the machine.
  2. There are two set screws holding the blade in the POT. Note also that the insert that holds the blade moves freely, unlike the EOT, which only moves during operation. Pushing on the blade or the surface of the blade holder will push the assembly into the POT, and it can be difficult to push it back out to undo the screws.
  3. It is helpful to hold the blade holding assembly in place using a screwdriver inserted into one of the set screws, to prevent the assembly moving during the blade change.
  4. Loosen the set screws. When changing from a Z21 to a Type 6, it is necessary to unscrew the set screws nearly all the way to accommodate the wider shank of the Type 6.
  5. When changing from a Z21 to a wider blade, such as the Type 6 or Z16, remove both the blade and the small shim. Immediately put both in their cases. The shim goes in the small plastic bag that holds spare hardware screws in the blade drawer.
  6. Holding the blade holding assembly in place with a screwdriver, carefully insert the new blade into the POT, ensuring it is fully seated. Push the blade in with a piece of soft scrap material such as thick foamcore or plastic to avoid pushing on the blade with your fingers.
  7. Once the blade is fully seated, start tightening the bottom screw first. This ensures the blade is held vertically, before tightening the top screw to fully install the blade.
  8. Reinstall the POT into the tool holder, reattach the pneumatic tube to the 'P4' slot, and initialize the tool.

Step-by-step Instructions

  1. Construct geometry using Illustrator, AutoCAD, Rhino, Revit, or any other program that will allow for export to a vector format
    1. When using Rhino, be sure to export using a 1:1 model scale and not viewport boundary
    2. Import to Illustrator to check cleanliness of files (floating control points, ensuring closed shapes have no gaps)
  2. Save file to as an AI, EPS, DXF or HPGL vector file. Do NOT save directly to a hot folder, because no files are stored and files cannot be accessed from hotfolders.
  3. Drag the file into the appropriate hotfolder in the 'cuttmp' folder on the GSD server.
  4. Go to the CNC room (L33) where the Zund is located and log into the attached computer. Users must complete online Zund training to have their log-in info added to the approved users list.
  5. Open the Cut Queue icon on the desktop to launch the server and open the queue. The file should be at the top of the queue.
  6. Double click the file in the job list to open in Cut Center. If edits need to be made, the file can be opened directly in Cut Editor by selecting the small red 'E' icon. The editor can also be accessed through the Cut Center.
  7. If the operation steps have not been specified through layer names, double click the machining step layers located on the right of the screen to assign a method, tool, and blade.
  8. If the specified tools and blades are installed in the Zund, the labels under the images of the tool and blade at the bottom right of the screen will all be green. If the tool is not correctly loaded, or the tool was changed through the 'Machine step settings' window, one or both of the labels will be red.
  9. If a blade or tool was changed through the 'Machine step settings' window to a tool that is loaded in the machine, and the labels are still red, double click the red label to open a window prompting an initialization before job start. This will initialize and scan the tool before performing the cut to ensure the z height of the tool is accurate.
  10. If the loaded tools are not included in any options through the 'Machine step settings' window, a tool change must be performed to install the proper tool.
  11. After the tools are loaded, jog the cutter head gantry to the back of the table to load the stock onto the table.
    1. In Cut Center, select the 'Interactive Mode' icon to directly control the gantry and move it to the back of the table using either the arrow keys or clicking on the screen.
    2. On the physical console, the gantry can be controlled by pressing the gray buttons at the bottom of the control panel in the direction of travel, holding the center button to move faster.
  12. Load the material onto the table, within the marked yellow lines which represent the maximum cutting size.
  13. Test vacuum hold down by selecting the 'Vacuum on/off' icon.
  14. Try to push the stock. If it moves, increase the vacuum power using the slider next to the 'Vacuum on/off' icon.
  15. The vacuum width can also be set by right clicking on the desired width on the screen and selecting 'Set vacuum width'. Narrowing the width to the stock increases the vacuum power to the relevant areas.
  16. Once the stock is secure and all the correct tools are loaded, the Zund is ready to begin the cut.
  17. In general, the order of operations should be Register -> Draw -> Score -> Cut for best results.
  18. Select 'Start Job' to initialize registration. Use the arrow keys to navigate the camera to the right edge of the stock if using border registration. Once a green line appears over the image, hit enter or register to scan the right edge. Do the same with the bottom edge to complete initialization and begin the cut.
    1. If using 'best fit' (dots) registration, first be sure that the marked out areas on your stock match the marks on the file exactly. Then, apply a 'ring' decal (located near the white board) over the mark on your stock. 'Best fit' by default looks for rings with an inner diameter of .25" and an outer diameter of .5", but these settings can be adjusted for special cases. Once the decals are applied accurately, begin the job and maneuver the camera over the ring. A green circle should appear over the inner circle of the decal. If one does not, or the green circle flickers, right click on the camera feed to adjust brightness, contrast, or lighting settings until the green ring is constant. Register, and continue until all dots are scanned. The job should begin normally after registration is complete.
Performing a Test Cut

 To verify the settings and check the quality of cut, test cuts should be performed.

  1. Enter 'Interactive Mode' and move the laser pointer to an open part of your stock that does not have geometry.
  2. Right click on the screen and select 'Set reference point' to select the point on the stock that the test cut will be performed on.
  3. Right click on the screen and select 'Test cut rectangle', then mouse over the layer operation option to perform the test cut on (Thru Cut, Score, Engrave, etc)
  4. Mouse over and select 'Rectangle - 1x1' to test cut a 1"x1" rectangle with the chosen settings.
  5. The Zund will immediately move to the set reference point and cut a 1"x1" rectangle.
  6. Inspect the cut and adjust base height if it is either not cutting through or cutting through too deeply, or speed if it is not cutting cleanly enough.
Examples of Proper Cutting Depth

Example of proper cutting depth - Lines should be barely visible.

Example of too deep cutting depth - Easily visible and will catch fingernail if you gently run your nail over the table. Subtract from the base depth until lines are no longer clearly visible.

Example of DRT TPU/Fabric cutting - Depth is fine but the tool (mostly the DRT) forced or melted part of the fiber or material into the fibers of the table. It will look as though the table is deeply cut, but should not be deeper than a proper cut. Closely inspect to ensure that it is just material remnants bonded to the fibers and not a too deep cut.

  1. Once the router module is installed, screwed in and initialized, perform the same steps listed above to specify each steps machining operation.
  2. When routing through stock, especially with smaller parts (<6"), it is imperative to add bridging to the file to prevent small parts being sucked up by the dust extraction, which will ruin the part and potentially damage the bit and router module.
  3. To 'carve out' engraved sections, select the closed shapes to be engraved and select either 'Hatch Fill' or 'Island Fill' to convert the outline into a filled area. If you are unable to engrave a shape, it is likely the shape is not a closed polygon, especially when exporting from AutoCAD or Rhino. Check your file in Illustrator to ensure all polygons are closed with no overlapping lines or open control points.
    1. To add bridges, open the file in Cut Editor, select all of the parts by dragging to highlight or pressing Ctrl+A.
    2. Under 'Tools', mouse over the 'Bridges' option and select 'Auto Bridging' to automatically add bridges to the part, or 'Insert' to manually place bridges around the parts.
    3. There should be no less than three bridges per piece, spaced out such that the bridges are attached to part of the material that will not be cut away, and the piece being cut is held securely and can not move easily
  4. Specify the desired engraving depth in the 'Machine step settings' window for each engraving layer.
  5. Set engraving operations before routing operations.
  6. Safety glasses must be worn before any routing operation.
  7. Turn on the router module by pressing the power button surrounded by a buzz-saw on the control panel.
  8. Sealgrip underlay must be used during any and all routing operations. Ensure the Sealgrip is laid flat and aligned to the edges of the table without excessive chips on the surface that may throw off the flatness of the stock going on top of it.
  9. Load your stock on top of the Sealgrip. Use as much Sealgrip is as needed to fully support the stock. No corners of the stock should overhang the Sealgrip.
  10. Before beginning the job, check over the operation parameters to ensure the cut will not damage the tools or materials.
    1. 'Multi pass max depth' is the maximum stepdown the tool will perform during the job. Especially in harder materials, this should never be more than .025 in harder metals and .05 in softer plastics.
    2. 'Multi pass last depth' is the final step of the operation, and will determine the thickness of the bridges. This should always be at least .015.
    3. 'Speed - tool lowered' is the speed the bit will travel through the material. This should be no more than 5 in very soft materials and no more than 1.5 in harder materials and metals.
    4. If you are unsure of your cut settings, clear your job with a trained TA to have them look over your job and approve or alter settings.
  11. Once the parameters are set and the stock is loaded on top of the Sealgrip, test the vacuum hold down to check that the material will not shift. Adjust vacuum strength if the stock can move.
  12. Be sure everyone around the table is wearing safety glasses and inform the CNC TA's that there will be routing in case they want to seek out hearing protection
  13. Start the job. Before starting a new routing operation, you will be prompted to select if an underlay is being used. Select Sealgrip and approve.
  14. The job will start. Register the borders of the stock and carefully observe the cut. If the router seems like it is cutting too deeply, moving too quickly, or making abnormal sounds, stop the cut immediately and review the cut parameters with a TA to ensure safety.
  15. Constantly monitor all routing operations. If there are unexpected noises, excess chips not being picked up by the dust collection, or pieces being sucked up due to insufficient bridging, immediately stop the routing operation using either the gray directional keys on the console or hitting any of the four emergency stop buttons and review the settings and bridges with a trained TA.

Zund Maintenance

The table must be vacuumed after each routing/engraving operation to clear all material chips left by the router. Chips on the table can cause future material laid on the table to be unlevel, throwing off the precision of routing and engraving operations. Harder materials, such as aluminum, can leave chips behind that can embed themselves into the fabric of the table if not cleaned up after the cut.

There is a dedicated vacuum attachment that runs off the same shop vac that provides dust collection located near the shop vac on the right side of the table.

To switch the shop vac over to use this attachment:

  1. Unplug the power cord located near the back right bottom corner of the machine.
  2. Remove the attached hose from the shop vac.
  3. Insert the hose attached to the table vacuum attachment into the shop vac.
  4. Plug the power cord into a wall outlet. The vacuum will immediately turn on and be ready for use.
  5. When the table is vacuumed clean, immediately replace the original hose into the shop vac and return the plug to the extension coming from under the machine.
    1. If the hose and power cord are not returned to their original configuration, the shop vac will not turn on during routing operations and will not remove chips, which can bind the bit.


  1. Knife isn't cutting all the way through
    1. Adjust the base depth by adding .002 to the base depth at a time (adding a positive number lowers the base depth to cut deeper, adding negative numbers raise the base depth and cuts more shallowly.)
  2. Knife still isnt cutting all the way through, the cut is rough, or the blade caught and dragged parts of the stock
    1. Lower the 'Speed - tool lowered' parameter to make the blade move more slowly through the stock, making it more likely to cut through cleanly.
  3. Knife still isnt cutting through after adding more than .008 to base depth
    1. Inspect the tip of the blade. It may be damaged or chipped. If it is damaged, make note of it to a TA and perform a blade change with them.
  4. Excessive overcut on the top surface
    1. Ask a TA whether using a thinner blade geometry is appropriate for the current material and thickness. If it is, perform a blade change and use the thinner blade.
  5. Cannot enter interactive mode or start a job in Cut Center.
    1. Check if there is more than one instance of Cut Center open. If there are multiple instances, the later instances will be able to set up jobs, but not run them. Close all instances of Cut Center, save the file settings, and re-open with the Queue.
  6. My material is moving around under the blade/tearout is happening
    1. For thin materials such as paper, it is important to maximize vacuum power by covering as much as the table as possible with scrap material. The more holes there are cut into a material, the weaker the vacuum force will be since air will be able to escape through the cuts.
    2. If the file contains a large number of cuts close together, it may help to specify the order and direction of the cuts to ensure the cuts generally move outwards from the center, and avoid cuts approaching acute angles, as these are mostly likely to get caught and dragged by the blade. The exact optimal order and direction of cuts is geometry dependant, and will vary from cut to cut. To specify the order and direction of cuts, open the file in Cut Editor, then select these icons <insert icons> to show the order and direction of the cuts.
      1. To adjust the direction of the cuts, mouse over 'Tools' in the toolbar and select 'Reverse direction'. With this tool selected, every line that is selected will have its start and end point swapped, which is denoted by the direction of the small pink arrow.
      2. To adjust the order, select the 'Interactive order' tool and click the lines in the order that is desired.
      3. To split lines into smaller lines, to force the tool to lift up and avoid delecate corners, mouse over 'Objects', then 'Points - Create' to add points at whichever point along the line that the split should occur. Then, right click on the line and select 'Split contour' to split the line at all points on the line, or to break up closed polygons into their component lines.
  7. The computer logged off in the middle of my cut and the job stopped
    1. Either log back in, and select continue job, or simply press the 'Online' button on the console to continue your job. If you select exit or redo, the current place in the job will be lost and the job will have to be restarted.
  8. The knife isn't lowering down to my material/cutting at the wrong height
    1. Check the entered material thickness and ensure that it is accurate. Some hotfolders for commonly used materials have preprogrammed thicknesses, but most materials have a range of accepted thicknesses that must be entered correctly to cut properly.
  9. The file is rotated incorrectly in relation to the table.
    1. Click the blue 'Rotate' arrow in Cut Center to rotate the file 90 degrees. The file can also be flipped horizontally and vertically to be accurate to the table and stock.
  10. The EOT/POT/DRT don't power up during initialization.
    1. Check that the power cords/pneumatic connection are fully plugged into the proper outlets. The EOT always plugs into the black port, the DRT always plugs into the red and the POT always plugs into the pneumatic port labeled 'P4'. Plugging the red cord into the black port or vice versa will bend the pins, because there are a different number of pins in each connector.
  11. During registration, the camera scans all the way off the side of the table.
    1. Restart Cut Center and move your material to a different location on the table to update the registration.
  12. The camera keeps moving off the line during registration/picks up other lines on the table, throwing off registration.
    1. Try to ensure the edge of the material is at least an inch away from the visible lines on the table (mostly caused by TPU cutting), or perfectly align the edge to the lines or overlap it to ensure the camera reads only the edge of the material,
  13. The blade is damaging the edge of my material while trying to cut it.
    1. If you have your stock modeled in material and intend to use the stock edge of the material, it can be helpful to select and delete the lines on the file representing the edges of the material so that the cutter skips over them, leaving you with the factory edge. Cutting directly on the edge generally will ball up softer materials, especially foamcore, as the edges are unsupported by surrounding material.
  14. My material keeps lifting in the middle of cuts around my parts.
    1. Very warped materials, especially foamcore and veneer, are constantly trying to return to their original shape. The vacuum table is effective at holding down large contiguous sheets, but the more holes are made in the material, like during cutting operations, the less the vacuum force can resist the bending force from the warp. When cutting these materials, avoid grouping the parts tightly together, as this leaves less material between the parts for the vacuum to hold down. In general, the more spread out parts are on a sheet, the better held to the table they will be.
  15. Files arent transferring from hotfolder to queue.
    1. Files only transfer through the server/hotfolders to the queue when Cut Queue is opened. If Cut Queue is open and the files are still not transferring to the queue, expand the icons on the main Windows taskbar using the small '^' icon toward the right of the taskbar. Right click on 'Zund Server' and select 'Restart server'. This will close the queue and restart the server. Reopen the queue. If the files still do not transfer it likely indicates a problem with either the GSD server or the Zund server.
    2. To manually enter a file into the queue without using a hotfolder, open the Cut Editor and select 'Import File'. Once the file is loaded in the Editor, select 'Send to server' to send the file to the queue. Load from the queue and specify layer operations, as none will be assigned according to layer name, because that happens through the hotfolder's setting
  16. Hardware Configuration Error Message
    1. Change all blades into the same type. (e.g. If using the UCT in multiple methods, the same blade type must be selected for all instances of use.)
    2. Double click the blade text on the hardware configuration box. (e.g. double-click on the text "Z17")
    3. Click "yes" to initialize the tool
    4. Hardware configuration text turn grey. Green rectangle around START. OK to start job.








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