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Vinyl cutters

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Scratch
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Vinyl cutters

Postby Scratch » Mon Apr 04, 2016 4:39 pm

Does anyone here have a vinyl cutter for cutting out graphics to apply to steel signs or stuff? I'm thinking about getting one but want to make sure it will be able to use .cdr files.

Any input?
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Re: Vinyl cutters

Postby Gogitter » Mon Apr 04, 2016 4:47 pm

Not to change the subject but...Where the Hell have you been????

Nice to see you back...carry on...
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Re: Vinyl cutters

Postby acourtjester » Mon Apr 04, 2016 5:00 pm

If you do a search here for drag knife it will show some posts that will help.
Both Sean P and I have one and have used it for different projects great addition for you table.
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Re: Vinyl cutters

Postby littlefatbuddy » Mon Apr 04, 2016 5:08 pm

I bought an expert Lx 24 a few years back. I use it all the time for different things. It comes with cut software that can convert .cdr no problem. I think I paid around $400 with a stand. I love it.

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Re: Vinyl cutters

Postby Scratch » Mon Apr 04, 2016 5:59 pm

Gogitter wrote:Not to change the subject but...Where the Hell have you been????

Nice to see you back...carry on...


I don't do much metalwork anymore, I was in an accident about 4 years ago and get dizzy real easily... I still have all my stuff though, and do some stuff for friends, and gifts and stuff.

I was thinking about getting one of those smaller tabletop vinyl cutters because I want to cut some letters and stuff.



I also say the word "stuff" a lot.
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Re: Vinyl cutters

Postby acourtjester » Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:30 pm

her2 is some of what I did
controller package (1).JPG

DSCN0998.JPG

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Re: Vinyl cutters

Postby Gamelord » Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:46 pm

I bought one for the wife from here...
http://www.uscutter.com/

They were very good to work with and had some excellent prices.
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Re: Vinyl cutters

Postby gamble » Mon Apr 04, 2016 7:48 pm

I have a very small one. Silhouette portrait. About $150
Love that thing. Never used a cdr file but I can look
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Re: Vinyl cutters

Postby Scratch » Mon Apr 04, 2016 8:31 pm

Maybe I'll look into those Roland type cutting blades... I saw a couple threads on here now about them. Time to do some research... Ugh...
I don't quite get those blades though...
I understand that they kind of float under their own, or added weight, but do they just spin freely allowing it to be drug along the vinyl, with the sharp edge on the trailing edge, it spins as it needs to, on turns...?

It sure seems like a better way to go, I'd just need a mount, the blades, and a big piece of glass for the table right? I can use my own familiar software and table. Anything else I'm missing?
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Re: Vinyl cutters

Postby acourtjester » Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:24 pm

Yes the cutter does float across the vinyl but the blade is adjustable to only cut the vinyl itself not the backer paper. Any smooth surface will work like MDF board. I use SheetCam and my own DIY 4X4 table draw thing with Inkscape to cut.
This post shows mine.
viewtopic.php?f=100&t=17208&p=100128&hilit=drag+knife#p100128
Roland blades and holders are on eBay good prices.
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Re: Vinyl cutters

Postby dr.dirty » Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:32 am

I have a SUMMA D120 that I use for decals. Great machine and very useful.

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Re: Vinyl cutters

Postby Bigdogbro1 » Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:47 pm

If you are doing items that are 11" x 11" or smaller you might want to check out the Cricut Explore Air for under $300.00. I have one and it works great for smaller vinyl, paper, card stock, foil, cloth and even light leather.

Vinyl cutters have special algorithms to control the cutting path. A CNC plasma or router table is not quite the same beast to get a good quality repeatable vinyl cut but apparently some have had some luck.

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Re: Vinyl cutters

Postby SeanP » Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:20 pm

Bigdogbro1 wrote:Vinyl cutters have special algorithms to control the cutting path. A CNC plasma or router table is not quite the same beast to get a good quality repeatable vinyl cut but apparently some have had some luck.


You are right enough there, it depends on how critical you are, I was surprised just how well it does turn out using the table, guess if yo had the magnifying glass you would see the corners were not quite sharp, fine otherwise I would say.
Using 1mm lead in/out, peeling off the waste was perfect no hint of bad cuts.

IMG_3708.JPG


IMG_5275.JPG


P1010218.JPG

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Re: Vinyl cutters

Postby WyoGreen » Thu Apr 07, 2016 7:40 pm

I picked up a Silhouette Cameo a while back so I could cut vinyl masking for some of the powder coating I'm doing. It's easy to use, has great software (the software does a great job of tracing bitmap files, but does not export to vector files), and takes up a small corner of my desk. I thought about going the knife on the plasma table route, but decided I'd rather sit in a nice comfy chair in my nice warm office while cutting the vinyl. :D

I've ended up using the cutter for all kinds of things, business signs for the company car, shop sign on the window glass of the shop, etc. Also, there is a plugin available for CorelDraw that let's you cut straight from CorelDraw to the cutter.

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Re: Vinyl cutters

Postby gamble » Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:12 pm

WyoGreen wrote:I picked up a Silhouette Cameo a while back so I could cut vinyl masking for some of the powder coating I'm doing. It's easy to use, has great software (the software does a great job of tracing bitmap files, but does not export to vector files), and takes up a small corner of my desk. I thought about going the knife on the plasma table route, but decided I'd rather sit in a nice comfy chair in my nice warm office while cutting the vinyl. :D

I've ended up using the cutter for all kinds of things, business signs for the company car, shop sign on the window glass of the shop, etc. Also, there is a plugin available for CorelDraw that let's you cut straight from CorelDraw to the cutter.

Steve

I have the smaller one but still love it. The tracing on the software is amazing. I am wondering if the paid for version will export a vector because it traces images in seconds.
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Re: Vinyl cutters

Postby WyoGreen » Sat Apr 09, 2016 12:29 pm

gamble wrote:
WyoGreen wrote:I picked up a Silhouette Cameo a while back so I could cut vinyl masking for some of the powder coating I'm doing. It's easy to use, has great software (the software does a great job of tracing bitmap files, but does not export to vector files), and takes up a small corner of my desk. I thought about going the knife on the plasma table route, but decided I'd rather sit in a nice comfy chair in my nice warm office while cutting the vinyl. :D

I've ended up using the cutter for all kinds of things, business signs for the company car, shop sign on the window glass of the shop, etc. Also, there is a plugin available for CorelDraw that let's you cut straight from CorelDraw to the cutter.

Steve

I have the smaller one but still love it. The tracing on the software is amazing. I am wondering if the paid for version will export a vector because it traces images in seconds.


I upgraded to the paid version to be able to import .svg files, but still no vector export. There is a way to export to .pdf's that is of some use, but still not vector graphics.

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Re: Vinyl cutters

Postby gamble » Sat Apr 09, 2016 6:02 pm

Any other things that make the upgrade worth it? Will it zoom in and out smoother? That is my gripe
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Re: Vinyl cutters

Postby WyoGreen » Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:20 pm

gamble wrote:Any other things that make the upgrade worth it? Will it zoom in and out smoother? That is my gripe


I only used the free version a couple of times just to check it out prior to receiving my cutter, so it's hard for me to compare the two. I remember there being a comparison chart on the web site that listed the differences. The zoom is my gripe also, I'm used to using my mouse scroll wheel to zoom in and out, so having to click a button is the pits.

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Re: Vinyl cutters

Postby motoguy » Thu May 04, 2017 1:05 pm

I've decided to get a dedicated vinyl cutter, vs trying to use the plasma table in this capacity. I'm looking for a sub $400 cutter. I will be cutting vinyl for masking use, which I'll use on my powdercoat products/projects. Most of these products will be 48"x48" or less in total size.

I use CorelDrawX7 for my design work, and I'm familiar with creating vector images.

I was going to purchase a Cameo 3, but I'm looking at other options in that price range. USCutter Laserpoint II, Vinyl Express R31, USCutter MH or SC. I see the USC Titan 15" is $495, which is more than I'm wanting to spend. However, if it's leaps and bounds, heads and shoulders better than anything else, maybe.

I'm curious what feedback you may have for the units in this price range. I cannot justify breaking the price barrier I've set, so I won't be going with a Roland, Graphtec, etc at this time. Maybe later, once the low-cost unit proves it's worth, but not now.
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Re: Vinyl cutters

Postby marcnaz » Sat May 06, 2017 9:43 am

I got a 34" US Cutter SC with a stand for pretty cheap (3 years ago next month). Look on EBAY, or their website and they also sell refurbished cutters. I paid $297 including shipping, and a stand with the rollers. The refurbished as far as I could tell was new in the box. I've cut heat press vinyl for hundreds of t-shirts, polo shirts, sports uniforms etc. Also quite a lot of standard vinyl for graphics and banners. I was concerned that the lower priced model wouldn't last or work well, but since I don't use it for a day to day business, thought I'd try one. Glad I did. I have had no issues or problems whatsoever other than a damaged USB port plug/board. which they shipped out promptly for no cost. I had a small crikit cutter previously. Don't get one of the really small ones, you'll just need or wish you had a larger cutter if you do, go with at least a 25".

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Re: Vinyl cutters

Postby mdwalker » Sat May 06, 2017 10:32 am

This is where I get all of my cutters and supplies. They are a nationwide company but just happen to be within driving distance of me.
https://www.signwarehouse.com
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Re: Vinyl cutters

Postby Bigdogbro1 » Thu May 18, 2017 12:24 pm

I have a US Cutter 34" (30" cut width) MH871-MK2 ($340) vinyl cutter and it seems to work pretty good. Not top OTL by any means but for cutting masks and larger store window projects it will work well. I also have the floor stand for it. I use 24" wide vinyl rolls. I use "Sir Cuts A lot" standalone PC software because I got this cutter for free w/o the software. The SCAL software also works with .SVG type files compatible with the Cricut. The US Cutter has a sign length limit of around 5ft to 8ft. (depending on the sign complexity) based on the amount of machine memory on the controller board. Do your research on these machines and watch Youtube videos.

http://www.uscutter.com/USCutter-MH-Ser ... t-Software

I also have a Cricut Explore Air and that thing will cut out a circle the size of a pin head, .035". The Cricut needs to be used with its ONLINE software. The Cricut will cut up to just under 12"x12" or 12"x24" size using their adhesive mats. The better cut quality machines will give you much better corner cuts and consistent depth cuts, so when you peel off (weeding) the scrap vinyl it won't pull off the wanted vinyl or have uncut spots catching.

This 4" tall six color vinyl sticker was cut on the Cricut. The registration got off a bit when I was building the sticker layers. I highly doubt you could do this small of a sticker on my US Cutter at this quality.

Image

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Re: Vinyl cutters

Postby rdj357 » Thu May 18, 2017 3:41 pm

Bigdogbro1 wrote:This 4" tall six color vinyl sticker was cut on the Cricut. The registration got off a bit when I was building the sticker layers. I highly doubt you could do this small of a sticker on my US Cutter at this quality.


I have a US cutter Titan 3 with servo drive. It was much more $ than the one you mentioned BUT I regularly cut details down to thousandths of an inch. It all depends on what you want to do and what you want to pay for. Lots of people in the vinyl cup business are using the cricut stuff but I've found that I'm able to get details that most of them don't.

Here's a sticker I cut to do a vinyl pull on a powder coated cup. Sorry the transfer paper is over it still, I decided the lines were actually too fine and made them a little more bold for the one I used.
20170518_143417.jpg

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Re: Vinyl cutters

Postby Bigdogbro1 » Fri May 19, 2017 2:57 pm

Nice cut!!! But like you said, more than $300.

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Re: Vinyl cutters

Postby mrbuildit » Sat Jun 03, 2017 12:06 am

we have a cricut explore air. I can use the basics on it and have cut tons of lettering. I need to figure out how to import my dxf files to turn some of cut pieces into full vinyl decals. the machine was on sale at menards like a year ago for 199.99. it has definitely been worth the investment. my wife uses for quite of bit of acid etching on glassware also.


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