Stencil cutting device

Stencil cutting device

Name : Shaikh Mohammad Nazim

District & State :  Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Category : Engineering

Award :   Consolation

Award Function :   6th National Grassroots Innovation Awards

Award Year : 2012

Price :   Rs. 350/- (ex-factory India price + packaging). The price does not include transportation costs, taxes, etc.

Conventionally, stencils are prepared by punching papers using needles, which is a very cumbersome and tedious task. Shaikh Mohammad Nazim (31), a lock and key repairer has made a stencil cutting device for hand embroidery design. 

Nazim has been very creative since his childhood and has completed his studies upto class 12. Presently, he is pursuing model making training at National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.

Majority of his friends are engaged in making manual designs on sarees and dresses. While visiting them frequently, he noticed that the manual punching of design on butter paper was a time consuming and labour intensive process requiring the participation of the entire family. Motivated to find a solution for this, he came up with the idea of a pen having a reciprocating needle to simplify the work. 

The stencil cutter has a needle operated by a motor, whose speed can be controlled. Using the up and down motion of the needle, stencil for imprinting the desired design on the cloth can be easily made on the butter paper. This may reduce the time spent by nearly 100 times.

Though the prior art disclosed a number of stencil cutters, they were not similar to the present model. NIF has applied patent in the name of innovator (676/MUM/2011) and has also supported him for the commercialisation of the product. The user feedback has been encouraging. They mentioned that the device not only speeds up the stencil design making process but also increases the accuracy of the holes to be punched. Considering the huge number of women handicraft workers, efforts for commercialisation through women groups and other occupational communities engaged in similar work are on. Apart from the stencil cutting device, Nazim has also made a solar cooker, emergency charger for mobile phones, goggles to see 2D& 3D pictures and is also working on a 3D webcam. 

Present process of preparing stencils (to print patterns on fabric) is by punching holes with hand-held needles. This is very time-consuming, involves a lot of drudgery and is painful. Skilled labor is required for performing this task. In addition, this traditional method can harm the eyes of the workers in the long run.

Stencil cutting device mechanizes this process by attaching a simple mechanism with a small electric motor. The machine is user - friendly and easy to use and eliminates the need for skilled labour. It is an ergonomically designed pen-like device having a speed controller and a regulator to adjust the distance kept between two holes

Innovator has been awarded in NIF’s Sixth National Competition for Grassroots Innovations and Traditional Knowledge in 2012 and supported under MVIF scheme of NIF. He has sold more than 100 units.

Indian Patent Applied (No. 676/MUM/2011)



  • Input- 200 V A.C. 50 Hz, Output Volts - DC 1.5 to 6 V, Output Current- 500 mA
  • Provision of Speed controller
  • Regulator to adjust the distance between two hole


  • Efficient and time-saving device (saves time by 1/10th as compared to traditional method)
  • Reduce the drudgery, relieves labourers from the pain of fingers and also to their eyes
  • Cheap and effective alternative of manual stencil making
  • Unskilled person can also operate the device
  • Number of punch per unit is high, hence gives proper finished impression on the cloth
  • Easy to replace needle
  • Ergonomic design and pen-like device with low weight