Vinyl Cutting for Begginers
The vinyl cutter uses a small knife to precisely cut the outline of a picture into a sheet or piece of vinyl. The knife moves side to side and turns, while the vinyl is moved beneath the knife. What results from the cut process is an image cut into the material. The material is then ‘weeded’ where the excess parts of the picture are removed. It is possible to remove the positive parts, which would give a negative sticker, or you could weed the negative parts, giving a positive sticker. Removing the letters would be like removing the positive, giving a negative image of the word, etc.
Original artwork is better than copied artwork. Try to make your own, or get a friend to help you make something clever and original.
Initially, you will need to create a sticker of a basic design. Your name is a good first sticker. The size should be small, no larger than 3 inches on a side.
Find or make an image that you want to make into a sticker. You can create an image with Open Office Draw, or Gimp.
Open Cut Studio, the software bundled with the cutter.
Import your image. It should show up as a grayed out picture.
Right click on the image, then choose Trace Image Outline
A dialog box will come up, you can adjust the accuracy of the cuts by adjusting the values.
You will see an outline of your image laid on top of the picture.
Click the Move button on the upper right to put the outline in the bottom right of the design area.
Next, delete the picture.
Right click on the picture and choose ‘Properties’
There are three tabs. For size, choose the size that will fit your sample piece of vinyl. The cutter measures in millimeters.
On the left side in the front and back are two LED ‘eyes’. These are infared emitters and receivers which sense the presence of the vinyl. You have to position the vinyl so that it will cover these sensors. You also have to position the pressure rollers over the vinyl to make sure it will be able to handle the material. On the panel above the rollers, there are several white lines. The rollers must be positioned on these white lines or the machine wont run. Make sure the vinyl is running straight, or it may slip out from under the rollers. Flip the pressure lever to make the rollers press down, holding the vinyl between the rollers and the pressure bar.