Vinyl Graphics Cutters - Page 7 - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:29 AM   #61
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Re: Vinyl Graphics Cutters


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Hi Guys:

Regarding the correct settings for determining cutting blade depth settings and material thickness adjustment, I found the following info on the Cameo Silhouette website in the "FAQs" section. Note that to make a test cut, you must maneuver the cutting blade manually to the area or location of the media that you want to test cut. IOW, the blade must be directly over the cut area. If you simply load the media and press the "test cut" button, the blade will begin cutting precisely under where the stylus is located. In my case, I made a nice test cut on the upper left hand corner of the cutting mat , not good. When the cutter head is aligned to your media, the machine will simply cut a small square and triangle pattern. From there, you can determine if the cut is deep enough and material thickness is appropriate. The following also describes the material thickness setting relationship. It always amazes me how much you can learn when you read instructions and FAQs something I'm not normally good at (real men don't need instruction ) Hope this helps:


"Overview

You may use the Test Cut feature in the Silhouette StudioŽ software program to find the proper settings for any material type that falls into the range of cuttable materials.

How To

To perform a test cut, go to the Silhouette Cut Settings option located in the upper right-hand corner of your software screen.


This will bring you to the screen where you may adjust your media type and use a test cut feature found at the bottom of the panel.


Using the blue arrows will allow you to move the blade over your material and then try out your settings to cut a very small square and triangle using the Test Cut button. This helps you to know if the selected settings are correct for your material type, or if you may need to select a different media type setting or manually adjust the settings.

In regard to the blade and finding the correct settings to produce a clean cut, there are two things to take into consideration:
a.The blade level
b.The Thickness setting

The blade level controls how far the blade is exposed in 0.1 mm increments. This accommodates for how thick the material is. For example, a blade level of 1 = .01 mm, a level of 2 = 0.2 mm, etc. If you have a material such as cardstock where the actual thickness is 0.3 mm, setting the blade to a higher exposure (such as 0.6 mm or a setting of 6) would mean you are exposing the blade beyond the actual depth of the material. This does not allow the blade to cut better. It just exposes more of the blade and if extending beyond the actual thickness of the material can dull down the blade tip much more quickly (or in extreme cases break off the tip). This would then result in ragged cutting results. From that point on, you would then have to expose the blade to a higher level because a setting of 6 would actually be only exposed 0.3 mm since you had worn down the excess tip beyond the material's thickness. We would thus discourage attempts to overexpose the blade to try and get a "better" cut.

The Thickness setting from the software controls how hard the blade is pressing down. This accommodates for how dense the material may be. For example, a sheet of paper that measures a 0.3mm depth versus a sheet of denser cardstock that measures the same 0.3mm depth would require the blade to be pushed down with different Thickness levels.

If you feel that the material in question may be slightly deeper than the recommended blade setting recommendation, we would recommend that as you raise the blade level, you also in turn lower the Thickness setting in the software so that the blade if overexposed is not still being pressed down with the hardest force possible and potentially harming the tip. You may then gradually increase the Thickness according to further test results.

The key to successful cutting results is to find the lowest level (blade setting and thickness setting combination) where the Silhouette is still able to cut your material successfully. For example, if a specific material is able to be cut with a blade setting of 3 or 4, you should opt to go with the lower setting that is still allowing you to have a clean final cut. Likewise, if the Thickness setting works at 28, it would likely also work at 30. However, the lower setting should be selected to avoid over-exerting the blade beyond what is necessary to achieve a clean successful cut.

The Silhouette Cut Settings also includes a Speed level to control the speed at which the job is cut. The speed is generally only necessary to adjust for specific materials that may require the blade to move at slower speeds around corners or intricate detailed parts of the image. Faster levels are available to enable the overall cutting process to go faster. You may wish to slow down the Speed level if you are finding that certain parts of the design at corners are not cutting as well, if the material is being lifted from the backing during the cutting process, or if the start/end point of an image is not matching up exactly.

If the test cut works but you find there are areas not giving a clean cut on denser materials, you may wish to slow down the Speed and select the Double Cut option. Doing this will have the Silhouette cut your image twice, thus ensuring any problem areas are given an extra pass during the cut job."


Cheers,

Peter
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:13 AM   #62
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Re: Vinyl Graphics Cutters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlisler View Post
Hey Chris,

Just wondering if you just 'eye-balled' the black lettering onto the white background?

or did you upgrade to the designer software for the layering? or something else?
That is the downside to Ultracote. It has to be eyeballed. The sticky back vinyl stays put on the backing and you can use the tape to transfer to your project. I am not sure how printing on vinyl would last or how vibrant the colours would be. I assume it would have to be protected with a clear spray.

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Old 02-10-2014, 11:26 AM   #63
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Re: Vinyl Graphics Cutters

Thanks for posting that Peter. It is the thickness part that always puzzled me. I was thinking total thickness of material not pressure of the cut and the blade setting was for the thickness for only material you wanted to cut.

Another newbie hint. When you first power up your machine. Make sure you have it set to the correct loading media (cutting mat or media) on the little screen. It doesn't always stay on the setting you left it at.
That was a two hour frustration why my cuts were not lining up.

LOL so you have to manually move the cutter head for the test.

Chris, the guy with a little square and circle cut in the upper left corner of his cutting mat! (multiple times)
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:36 AM   #64
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Re: Vinyl Graphics Cutters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlisler View Post
Hey Chris,

Just wondering if you just 'eye-balled' the black lettering onto the white background?

or did you upgrade to the designer software for the layering? or something else?

I am super interested in the layering feature, and a little tempted to get a nice color printer to use the 'print-and-cut' feature for detailed colored work.
I reread your post and no I didn't upgrade. You can create the white area around the lettering with the offset button. You then pull the graphic apart and cut the lettering and white background separately.

Chris
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:45 AM   #65
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Re: Vinyl Graphics Cutters

You guys seem to be doing well with your cutters, nice work! I have a 36" machine I use.

I don't know what software comes with the Cameo, but I use Corel to create my files and then cut out of Flexi. I find Corel is great for a lot of design and special effects. I know others who have had great success with Adobe Illustrator, also.

I also use a light table to assemble multi layer graphics, and clear transfer tape helps, too. The examples in the pics are taped with clear transfer tape and ready to install.
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Old 02-10-2014, 12:17 PM   #66
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Re: Vinyl Graphics Cutters

WOW! cgeisel11, that's really nice work. Are you graphics "layered," one pattern on top of the other or is each colour/transition cut out and inserted?

Peter
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Old 02-10-2014, 01:01 PM   #67
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Re: Vinyl Graphics Cutters

Hi Peter,

Thanks for the compliment! Some of the decals are "layered" and others are "inserted". I find if you layer more than 2 colors, you will start to see lines in the graphic where they overlap, and larger graphics sometimes will trap air between the vinyl layers and leave some nasty bubbles. When "inserting", alignment is critical and I like to use "registration marks". (these are shapes that are placed in the corner of every layer that are used to perfectly align the graphic when assembling) There are many Youtube tutorials on how to create these marks, depending on your software.

The EME decal above is simply layered, while the MAAC logo I made for my Dad, the red is "inserted" into the white.
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Old 02-10-2014, 02:19 PM   #68
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Re: Vinyl Graphics Cutters

Outstanding work! You give me inspiration

Peter
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Old 02-10-2014, 02:33 PM   #69
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Re: Vinyl Graphics Cutters

Thanks for the comments and for posting those FAQ's Peter!
I'm with Tomahawk on the 'thickness' thing, didn't know that part.

I use free CAD software Draft Sight for some things, and damn it Colin now I have to build a light table!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cgeisel11 View Post
the red is "inserted" into the white.
That is a great idea, and will be attempted sometime!

Soooo much fun!

S
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:03 PM   #70
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Re: Vinyl Graphics Cutters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlisler View Post
I use free CAD software Draft Sight for some things, and damn it Colin now I have to build a light table!
Light tables are great! I used to use a piece of glass propped up between two chairs and a lamp underneath. You can find them on kijiji. Some of them would double nicely for a workbench.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midair View Post
Outstanding work! You give me inspiration

Peter
Keep posting pics! It's nice to see everyone's ideas. You guys should try the heat transfer vinyl, you can put your stuff on hats, shirts, wing bags or whatever!
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