Exploration and understanding of other celestial bodies will involve the same type of science used to understand our own planet earth. Specifically, much can be learned from studying the geology of the rocks present in a region of interest. One of the important tools used by geologists to understand and interpret rocks is a specimen called thin section. A thin section is produced by slicing a thin (typically 30μm thick) plate or tablet from the rock. In this paper, the design of an autonomous rough cutter, used to produce the first stage of the specimen preparation, that is, a tablet (20×20×5mm3), is presented. Attention is given to the functional specification, the selection of cutting mechanism, in this case, diamond wire, and the design of the wire handling system. Also included are considerations of power usage, wire wear, and system configuration.

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