Spencer's E-Rolls.com (Laser Roll Cutter)

Antique Music for A Modern World


I have spent much of the past few months designing and testing a system for producing small volumes of piano rolls using an inexpensive diode laser engraver. There are two models which I have developed as well as support software. One model requires disassembling a consumer type (specific models suggested) as a source of parts to build a dedicated laser roll cutting machine. The other model is a drop in unit which can be used with a large variety of laser engravers and requires no modification. This allows the laser cutter to be left in tact and used for other purposes.

The most important piece of software is a program which converts MIDI files into machine instruction files (Gcode) which are used to operate the cutter. This is a major work and has many options to allow for cutting rolls from scans of existing rolls and also for mastering new music. Virtually any type of roll can be produced. The user can specify several options and can save multiple configuration files for each roll type.

Other software is included in the package from open source to facilitate in the the mastering of rolls.

A demonstration package is available from the following link. Everything is fully functional with one exception. The Gcode files made by the demo version of the software are intentionally distorted so as to make a roll cut from these file not playable. Hole positions are accurate and can be verified however the horizontal locations of holes on the note sheet are each displaced by a random amount. The vertical is not distorted so note timing placement of paper webs etc can all be checked. It is only the horizontal locations that are distorted.

Both versions of the roll cutter can be made with commonly available parts and no special tools other than a laser engraver which is needed to cut the several custom parts.

Stand Alone Drop In

Demo Package Download  You may need to download each folder and file separately

Email Spencer With Any Questions

Additional utilities may be found on the following page which is also a way to get to my old web site and all that it has to offer:
Spencer's file download page