Date of Award

Summer 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Voglewede, Philip A.

Second Advisor

Qian, Timothy

Third Advisor

Craig, Kevin


Current industrial XY plotter cutters that use a belt driven gantry for the X motion and media feed for the Y motion sometimes have performance issues in cutting out high quality shapes. Mathematical models for these plotter cutters are not publicly available and thus the parameters critical to cut quality are not well understood. This thesis develops a dynamic, electromechanical model for the gantry arm and media feed using first principles and a non-linear friction model. These models are independently simulated and experimentally verified. In order to verify the effectiveness of the individual models, they are combined with a control system and trajectory generation algorithm. A rectangle, star and oval are simulated with the combined system using both a detuned and tuned controller and compared to experimental results. The effectiveness of the model is demonstrated with good agreement between theoretical and experimental results for both controllers. The resulting model can be used to improve and optimize the performance of XY plotter cutters.