Vinyl Cutting and heat transfer presses... Anyone ?

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Ypedal   100 GW

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Vinyl Cutting and heat transfer presses... Anyone ?

Post by Ypedal » Oct 12 2016 9:12am

Ok, so i have recently taken interest in this stuff, i often want a dozen decals of something specific ( or desire it.. but never get them made, as it's generally too expensive to order low quantities.. and i don't always want 1000 pcs of some " thought of the day " shit.. )

Been browsing vinyl cutters on Amazon, then googled reviews, shirt printing forums, etc etc etc... it's been a few weeks of this... and i'm ready to plunk down some money on it and have a go for shits'n'giggles..

I don't need anything professional, and small prints under 10x10 would be plenty for the time being... a cutter that can cut ink jet printed heat transfer paper for materials would be cool too..

Anyone here into this stuff ? and can suggest a starting point ? .. buy as cheap as possible and learn ? or pay a bit more for mid range equipment that will work better and last ?.. or skip all that and just buy high end then figure it out ?
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Re: Vinyl Cutting and heat transfer presses... Anyone ?

Post by cal3thousand » Oct 12 2016 5:51pm

Ypedal wrote:Ok, so i have recently taken interest in this stuff, i often want a dozen decals of something specific ( or desire it.. but never get them made, as it's generally too expensive to order low quantities.. and i don't always want 1000 pcs of some " thought of the day " shit.. )

Been browsing vinyl cutters on Amazon, then googled reviews, shirt printing forums, etc etc etc... it's been a few weeks of this... and i'm ready to plunk down some money on it and have a go for shits'n'giggles..

I don't need anything professional, and small prints under 10x10 would be plenty for the time being... a cutter that can cut ink jet printed heat transfer paper for materials would be cool too..

Anyone here into this stuff ? and can suggest a starting point ? .. buy as cheap as possible and learn ? or pay a bit more for mid range equipment that will work better and last ?.. or skip all that and just buy high end then figure it out ?
I don't have experience in this, but I did do some research on getting a plotter/cutter for a potential side business. To me, it came down to having the room for it. If you have the room, get a larger one that stands off the ground and works off spools. You'll be able to do some really cool things and it doesn't cost much more than a desktop machine. The difference between a 14" cutter and a 28" is low in price, but huge in functionality.
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Re: Vinyl Cutting and heat transfer presses... Anyone ?

Post by amberwolf » Oct 13 2016 7:19am

I found a cutter at goodwill a couple years ago, but have yet to find the software for it, without which it won't work. There used to be 3rd party software for it, but some legal bullshit about reverse engineering means that I can't find it anywhere anymore, and the company that makes the cutter will not even speak with me since I am not the original owner registered with them and all, so I can't even get the actual original OEM software for it. :roll:

But if the third party softwrae could be found, it's supposed to be a pretty useful unit, and can be found used pretty cheap (like $10-$50).

I cant' remember the name right now, and I've got to stay with Teddy during her cluster siezures (she just had another one I had to push the keybaord away to help her with), so I can't go check what it says on it.

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Re: Vinyl Cutting and heat transfer presses... Anyone ?

Post by amberwolf » Oct 13 2016 3:08pm

I think the unit is called cricut, looks like this one

https://diydata.wordpress.com/2011/08/0 ... n-be-done/

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Re: Vinyl Cutting and heat transfer presses... Anyone ?

Post by bigmoose » Oct 13 2016 3:25pm

Y my kids did vinyl graphics for a side job from like 7th grade through 12th grade. We got a generic Chinese knock off Roland cutter. Roland is the cadillac of cutters, so if it is software compatible there are lots of solutions out there. I think we paid like $1,000 for it 14 or so years ago. There are pictures of it on my web site under graphics.

I think you want one that will take 24 inch wide vinyl as that is very common in the industry. 12 inch is available and we used it for accent colors and expensive colors.

Ours came with its own software and we used Corel Draw and Corel Trace to generate the graphics. A vector graphics program is what you need to do the graphics. We used corel Trace to convert from customer supplied bit graphics to vector graphics. The vinyl cutter follows the vectors in the graphics as cut lines.

So you need the cutter, the software, some transfer tape (sort of a special sticky masking tape, but wider) some tweezers for weeding, and a squeegee or two. If you have to remove it, a hair dryer for heat helps a lot. There are tips for installation on my site under graphics. I'll pM you the link.
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Re: Vinyl Cutting and heat transfer presses... Anyone ?

Post by Willow » Oct 13 2016 4:18pm

Do a google search for HYDROGRAPHICS.

you can do it on a small scale at home... or go big. Most simple way to apply a print to a non-uniform surface.

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Re: Vinyl Cutting and heat transfer presses... Anyone ?

Post by Ypedal » Oct 14 2016 2:37pm

Hydrographics are cool but not the direction i'm going..

So, a 24" cutter with a stand ( that supports the media roll to keep things going in a straight line ) .. driven with a servo motor ( vs Stepper ) and software that won't go obsolete and without support in 2 weeks, seems to be what i need.

Now to figure out a dealer for this.. been reading on signwarehouse site, seems like a large supplier enough .. the amazon kits are appealing but i suspect support would be slim to none..

thx for the feedback ,,, much appreciated ! 8)

edit :
More money than i want to spend right now... but nice !
https://www.rolanddga.com/products/viny ... nyl-cutter
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Re: Vinyl Cutting and heat transfer presses... Anyone ?

Post by Ypedal » Oct 14 2016 2:58pm

Dropping this here for archive reasons.. might help someone else out down the road.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgvqx0qGpH8

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Re: Vinyl Cutting and heat transfer presses... Anyone ?

Post by bigmoose » Oct 14 2016 3:52pm

Y my cutter was a stepper cutter. Never had 1 problem with it. It was on it's own stand and could load full rolls of vinyl. You did have to pull the roll of vinyl to get a free loop of material so that the feed was smooth. Mine could do the pin feed vinyl or just friction feed. We used friction feed almost exclusively. I was always amazed at how accurate this Chinese clone was that we bought from signwarehouse.com We made some huge sign cover "bags" that were about 12 feet long that covered an existing restaurant sign for the new owners. The bags had their graphics and words on them until they could get new vacuum formed permanent signs made.

I bought our vinyl and coroplast sign board locally from a local graphics/sign warehouse. With your business credentials, you should easily get an account with one.

We used the LXi software from sign warehouse to drive our cutter; but were looking at a 3rd party add on that would let Corel Draw directly drive the plotter/cutter. IIRC the price was like $200 US for the add on. That was one benefit of having a Roland Clone cutter, as it could be driven with Roland compatible software. We never did buy it as my girls grew up and went to college, and the sign business went into dormancy.

For those that didn't know: I got this stuff when my two girls were in 6th and 8th grade for them to learn business skills and to interact with adults respectfully and properly. The girls ran the business from those grades until the youngest graduated college. They each earned enough in those years to pay for 1/2 year of college and room and board. The oldest didn't show much business sense or interest; but the youngest did and does. She is having us hold the equipment for her until she gets her own house, and she wants to continue it as a side line. She is like 25 now.
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Re: Vinyl Cutting and heat transfer presses... Anyone ?

Post by EVTodd » Oct 15 2016 7:31am

bigmoose wrote:Y my cutter was a stepper cutter. Never had 1 problem with it. It was on it's own stand and could load full rolls of vinyl. You did have to pull the roll of vinyl to get a free loop of material so that the feed was smooth. Mine could do the pin feed vinyl or just friction feed. We used friction feed almost exclusively. I was always amazed at how accurate this Chinese clone was that we bought from signwarehouse.com We made some huge sign cover "bags" that were about 12 feet long that covered an existing restaurant sign for the new owners. The bags had their graphics and words on them until they could get new vacuum formed permanent signs made.

I bought our vinyl and coroplast sign board locally from a local graphics/sign warehouse. With your business credentials, you should easily get an account with one.

We used the LXi software from sign warehouse to drive our cutter; but were looking at a 3rd party add on that would let Corel Draw directly drive the plotter/cutter. IIRC the price was like $200 US for the add on. That was one benefit of having a Roland Clone cutter, as it could be driven with Roland compatible software. We never did buy it as my girls grew up and went to college, and the sign business went into dormancy.

For those that didn't know: I got this stuff when my two girls were in 6th and 8th grade for them to learn business skills and to interact with adults respectfully and properly. The girls ran the business from those grades until the youngest graduated college. They each earned enough in those years to pay for 1/2 year of college and room and board. The oldest didn't show much business sense or interest; but the youngest did and does. She is having us hold the equipment for her until she gets her own house, and she wants to continue it as a side line. She is like 25 now.

Yup, I've used a stepper motor vinyl cutter professionally for several years. I would say if you want to cut very small letters all the time then a servo cutter might be something to consider. Overall though, most people won't notice a big difference. Stepper motor cutters do make more noise but it's not a big deal. I can tell you that a lot of shops have expensive Roland cutters but have the less expensive cutters as backups or for smaller jobs.

CorelDraw is a must for vinyl cutting. Your cutter should come with a driver that cuts directly from Corel or you can copy and paste to most other software.
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Re: Vinyl Cutting and heat transfer presses... Anyone ?

Post by marty » Oct 15 2016 9:07am

Where I live sign companies seem to be everywhere. I can't imagine that they charge that much to cut the vinyl stuff. What I would do - Call any sign shop. Ask where they buy their materials. Call the sign maker supply place and ask who is the best sign shop. Email drawings to the sign shop. I use Adobe Illustrator or a CAD program to draw. The best computer programs are the ones that you know how to work. I know nothing about what drawing program sign makers use, but I would guess that they all can deal with PDF.

I my neighborhood I like.
https://www.nglantz.com/
Sign Supplies | Sign and Graphics Supplies | N. Glantz & Son Sign Supplies

Forget all this vinyl nonsense! Lets go back in time. PAINT! Buy this:
Image
http://www.1shot.com/One-Shot/index.aspx
Watch some YouTube sign painter videos. Buy some brushes. You be a sign painter. Pin stripe and air brush too? I have heard that some sign painters drink alcohol to keep their hands steady.

Side note - My One-Shot paint has lead in it. I don't worry much about lead because all the lead I ate when I was little has made me stupid. Do not use lead paint to paint children's toys.
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Re: Vinyl Cutting and heat transfer presses... Anyone ?

Post by EVTodd » Oct 15 2016 8:34pm

marty wrote:Where I live sign companies seem to be everywhere. I can't imagine that they charge that much to cut the vinyl stuff. What I would do - Call any sign shop. Ask where they buy their materials. Call the sign maker supply place and ask who is the best sign shop. Email drawings to the sign shop. I use Adobe Illustrator or a CAD program to draw. The best computer programs are the ones that you know how to work. I know nothing about what drawing program sign makers use, but I would guess that they all can deal with PDF.

I my neighborhood I like.
https://www.nglantz.com/
Sign Supplies | Sign and Graphics Supplies | N. Glantz & Son Sign Supplies

Forget all this vinyl nonsense! Lets go back in time. PAINT! Buy this:
Image
http://www.1shot.com/One-Shot/index.aspx
Watch some YouTube sign painter videos. Buy some brushes. You be a sign painter. Pin stripe and air brush too? I have heard that some sign painters drink alcohol to keep their hands steady.

Side note - My One-Shot paint has lead in it. I don't worry much about lead because all the lead I ate when I was little has made me stupid. Do not use lead paint to paint children's toys.
I think you would be surprised how much shops charge to cut vinyl. I was, even after doing it in my shop for several years. I don't do a whole lot of it these days since my business has gone a different direction but it's still work. After cutting the vinyl you still have to weed it and apply transfer tape. If someone is getting a lot of smaller graphics it's a lot of work just weeding. Not to mention shops have rent, utilities, etc... And most vinyl shops hate getting adobe or cad files. I guess I shouldn't say most but from my experience that industry runs on CorelDraw because Corel is so much less expensive than Illustrator and it does a great job. And yes, you can import some versions of Illustrator into Corel. Now when you start getting into full color printed wraps and that sort of thing I believe a lot of those shops use Adobe stuff. That's really where the money has gone in the past few years which is probably one of the reasons vinyl cutter prices have gone down so much.
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Re: Vinyl Cutting and heat transfer presses... Anyone ?

Post by EVTodd » Oct 15 2016 8:37pm

Oh, and I keep meaning to mention I've had good luck with Sunie heat presses. I have a Sunie and an expensive George Knight press. The Sunie gets used a lot more because it's smaller and I like how fast it heats up. Perfect for smaller jobs.
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Re: Vinyl Cutting and heat transfer presses... Anyone ?

Post by marty » Oct 16 2016 9:02am

In the past when I had Coroplast corrugated plastic HOUSE FOR SALE signs made with my phone number, the letters were vinyl attached to the coroplast. Signs that I bought recently were different. Printing on the coroplast.
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Re: Vinyl Cutting and heat transfer presses... Anyone ?

Post by EVTodd » Oct 16 2016 11:05am

marty wrote:In the past when I had Coroplast corrugated plastic HOUSE FOR SALE signs made with my phone number, the letters were vinyl attached to the coroplast. Signs that I bought recently were different. Printing on the coroplast.
Good point. Most coroplast signs are uv printed these days. Another reason vinyl cutters are less expensive now.
New Tidalforce friction drive build: http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... 28&t=28029

My Friction Drive Outrunner Setup: http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... &start=330

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