Zünd Knife Cutter

The Zund cnc knife cutter is used for wide flatbed cutting of stock that range from cardboard and foam, to leather or textiles. The Zund cnc knife cutting system permits a high degree of precision and efficiency through the use of its vacuum bed hold down and multi blade tool exchanger.

Training Session Sign-Up

If you would like to sign up for a Zund training session, please use the link below.  Please note, that training sessions are set up a week at a time. This means if all of the training times are full for this week, you will have to wait for the form to be updated to sign up for slots next week.


Dimensional Limitations

The Zund has a working area of 4’X8’.


1. Have an Idea

The first step is to have an idea about what you would like to produce and how the Zünd can help you accomplish it. What material are you seeking to cut? What does the geometry look like? If you are unsure how the Zünd might help your project, you may wish to talk with a LA already for advice (See Step 3 below).

2. Get Trained

Like the laser cutters, students are responsible to cut their own jobs on the Zünd. Any student who wishes to use the Zünd Knife Cutter must be trained by a Zünd Lab Assistant in order to gain access to the machine. The Zünd LA calendar can be found above. Training sessions operate on a first-come/first-serve basis and are given to a maximum of 5 people at a time. Check the LA Calendar for training availability. If a shift is labeled OPEN, then it is available for training (based on the number of openings listed). If it is labeled CLOSED, then it is not available for training. To sign up for a training session simply email taubmancollegezund@umich.edu and request a time. Once you are confirmed, a LA will respond to your email and you will see your name appear on the LA Calendar. After you complete training, you will be given access to the Zünd Sign-up Calendar and login rights to the Zünd computer. Note that training takes approximately an hour.

3. Talk With a Coordinating LA

LAs can advise you on the appropriate materials and associated knives that can be cut on the machine. Some materials and knives are sold through the FABLab and the media center. Any material sold in the FABLab can be purchased during LA shifts (see calendar above). There is also a Zünd-supplied pdf (PDF 214KB) and book entitled “Product Catalogue: Accessories and Consumables” (found at the Zünd machine) that are very useful guides to understand which knives best cut each material.

The FABLab does not supply or sell any Zund blades. Students must purchase their own blades prior to their cutting shift at the Media Center. For a listing of supplied blades (and associated materials), click here (PDF).

4. Sign Up For Cutting Time!

Log On to the Zünd Sign-Up Calendar and sign out time to cut. You can sign out a maximum of 3 hours at a time, in hour-long increments. You are only allowed 3 hours/day and up to 9 hours/week. If you have signed up for the Zünd and find that you are not going to use that time slot, please delete your name from the calendar in advance so that others are aware that they can use that time. If you are not at the Zünd machine within 15 mins of your start time, that shift will open up for anyone to use, so please be punctual!

5. Create Your File

The Zünd cutting software accepts Adobe Illustrator (*.ai) files only. Other tips: be sure your files are as clean as possible: i.e. the fewer line segments and control points the better. Use a bounding box to represent the material edges (keep this geometry on a separate layer in order to turn it off and not actually cut it). The software reads each layer as an order of operations, so set up your file accordingly (i.e. Layer 1 as bounding box, Layer 2 as score operation, Layer 3 as first cut, Layer 4 as second cut, etc.).

6. Test Cut!

Each file is going to have slightly separate settings and demands, even if you have cut with the same material or knife before. Be sure to test cut your job to be sure that the geometry, material and knife all work together to obtain the desired outcome.

7. CUT!


After using the machine, please return it to its original condition. Take your knives out of the holders and keep them with you. Clean up any excess materials that you might leave behind (from test cuts, etc.) and be sure that you have shut down the Zünd and log off the computer.

Important Information


The Zund is available for use by authorized users 24/7. Zund Assistants are available various hours throughout the week for assistance as needed. To contact one please email taubmancollegezund@umich.edu or walk up for consultation and training during their posted shifts (see calendar above).

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