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Vinyl cutter??

Old 03-13-2012, 05:37 PM
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Default Vinyl cutter??

Seems like I can easily rack up a $30-$50 bill in vinyl decals for the size planes I build. I'm at the point where it would seem to make more sense to buy my own cutter?

Does anyone have experience with this? What are the costs? What are the good brands?
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:20 AM
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Default RE: Vinyl cutter??

Having operated a graphics business I can tell you that the expenses add up. I might suggests checking with some local vinyl shops to see if they have a used unit they might be willing to sell. Vinyl cutting has evolved into print and cut machines now. Some of the older machines will only operate on early windows operating systems. This in many cases will obsolete the machine. Check local sales papers like The Trader, Craig's List...

Sign Warehouse http://www.signwarehouse.com/cutters/main1.htm is a good source for an entry level machine that will perform well. Some of the inexpensive machines have difficulty closing letters and maintaining registration. I would suggest a 24" machine. That should handle all you will need and you can feed 20" vinyl rolls through it. Adjustable pinch rollers (friction feed machine) is better than a tractor feed. You can feed smaller pieces of vinyl through instead of just cutting from full width rolls. I would suggest machines that have the ability to cut directly from Corel Draw. Some of the cheap cutters require another stand alone print and cut software package.

Hope this helps
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:55 AM
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Default RE: Vinyl cutter??

I looked into getting a vinyl cutter recently to cut mystencils for my airbrushing. Even buying a decent used cutter, by the time you bought the relevant programs, vinyls etc you are looking at well over $1000. For equipment you wont use everyday its a bit more of an outlay than is justifiable.
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:57 AM
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Default RE: Vinyl cutter??

I have my daughter cut mine on a "Cricket" works great with Ultracoat and I'd guess vinyl also. The only draw back would be size needed. But these can be had now for around 100 bucks. And there is a larger one our but I have no experience with it.
Being a more or less a modern device I'm sure any windows operating system could handle it.
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:26 AM
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Default RE: Vinyl cutter??

I'd suggest you check out the cricket, its a form cutter, which you need to get the shaped cutters for whatever you want to cut. The range is actually quite limited
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:27 AM
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Default RE: Vinyl cutter??


ORIGINAL: bps

Having operated a graphics business I can tell you that the expenses add up. I might suggests checking with some local vinyl shops to see if they have a used unit they might be willing to sell. Vinyl cutting has evolved into print and cut machines now. Some of the older machines will only operate on early windows operating systems. This in many cases will obsolete the machine. Check local sales papers like The Trader, Craig's List...

Sign Warehouse http://www.signwarehouse.com/cutters/main1.htm is a good source for an entry level machine that will perform well. Some of the inexpensive machines have difficulty closing letters and maintaining registration. I would suggest a 24'' machine. That should handle all you will need and you can feed 20'' vinyl rolls through it. Adjustable pinch rollers (friction feed machine) is better than a tractor feed. You can feed smaller pieces of vinyl through instead of just cutting from full width rolls. I would suggest machines that have the ability to cut directly from Corel Draw. Some of the cheap cutters require another stand alone print and cut software package.

Hope this helps
+1

Cost adds up fast to get started. Some years ago, after being annoyed at the poor local cutting service, I purchased a Roland Stika 15". By the time I had a variety of colors and the other bits & pieces I had already spent almost $2000. I know it was a lot of money but have recouped the expense by doing some custom work for others. This older unit uses a parallel port but I managed to get a USB-Parallel converter and now drive this from a netbook running Windows 7. So beware of older used machines as you may have trouble getting it to operate.

See some of my work here: http://bliksemseplek.com/aviation.html and here: http://bliksemseplek.com/m12.html

Is it worth having your own cutter? Yes, if you have some money burning your pocket.

Bliksem
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:13 PM
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Default RE: Vinyl cutter??

OK, you're starting to talk me out of it. (Technology marches on though, maybe it'll be more affordable in a few more years.)

So, what else would I need to buy if I got this:

http://www.signwarehouse.com/specials/create_pack1_.htm

I already have an old version of CorelDraw that should be able to create the cut files. It looks like there software can import common line drawing files. Do I just need the vinyl material?
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:20 PM
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Default RE: Vinyl cutter??

Also, can anyone comment on this product?

http://www.uscutter.com/index/page/p...y+CraftROBO%29

That sure looks affordable. Does it suck?
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:28 PM
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Default RE: Vinyl cutter??

Or this one:

http://www.uscutter.com/index/page/p...roduct_id/1607
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:46 PM
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Default RE: Vinyl cutter??

Go to Ebay find a new USCUTTER lazer point It can be had for around 300.00 comes with trial software and uses a USB to computer hookup. THe hard part is to weed out the vinyl thats not part of your design. The Vinyl Oracal651 at the sign warehouse. lots of eps files are already on the internet just don't be intimidated it's just like a printer.
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:24 PM
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Default RE: Vinyl cutter??

One question on the USCutter? Can I use my existing line art software to drive the cutter? What file formats does it support?

And, why are other people having such bad luck with this?
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:18 PM
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Default RE: Vinyl cutter??

The link you posted above is not a great system.

THe 24" USCutter lazer point came with trial software that will work just fine for decorating models. The file you need to run with the software is .eps. I've made 4 color graphics with Sign Blazer (included software). THe setup works great. A graphic program like Adobe Illustrator and you have a complete sign shop setup. But you don't need it Adobe Illustrator to make good graphics. The internet has lots of graphics in eps format.
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Old 03-25-2012, 06:16 PM
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Default RE: Vinyl cutter??

If any body is interested I have an older 24" cutter, it has a parral port, it worked great, but it wouldn't stay on track for 12-20' pieces. I upgraded to a 30". It would cost a bit to ship as it weighs approx 40-50 pounds. This is a commercial sign unit not a cheap craft one.
Ed
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:25 AM
  #14  
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Default RE: Vinyl cutter??

I use the Cricket Expressions machine that I got from fleabay at around $200. Also had to buy SCAL2 to drive it. With that and free Inkscape I have created lots of my own vinyl decals for my planes. It is not great for small graphics or words since it's resolution is not that tiny. But it does fine for most of my needs. It's some work but a lot of fun to see the finished product. Here's my Ultimate with my own graphics on it, using this cutter and software. I got the vinyl off fleabay too...there are lots of sellers. I buy 12"x24" sheets of whatever colors I like. Jon
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Old 03-26-2012, 04:40 PM
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Default RE: Vinyl cutter??

This one?

http://www.amazon.com/Cricut-Express.../dp/B005FEPM54

Isn't that the one you have to buy endless cartridges for??

Is this the software?

http://www.craftedge.com/products/products_scal.html

If so,

"Important: This version does not support the Cricutâ„¢ machines, and you can no longer purchase a version that works with the Cricut."
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Old 03-26-2012, 04:55 PM
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Default RE: Vinyl cutter??

The SCAL software leads me to a number of other cutters. Anyone ever used any of these?

http://thatsscrapinc.com/blackcatlynx12-2.aspx

http://www.bosskut.com/

http://www.craftwellusa.com/products/ecraft

http://www.silhouetteamerica.com/silhouette.aspx

The Lazer Point looks good though. Sounds like the best option might be to get one of those second hand??
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:10 PM
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Default RE: Vinyl cutter??

OK, one more link:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-28-Vinyl...item3f138e4a58
http://www.uscutter.com/index/page/p...roduct_id/2005

The LaserPoint looks like it starts at $500?
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:40 PM
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Default RE: Vinyl cutter??

looks like 219.00 and 50.00 shipping What are you looking at? The one at the top of the page will work fine
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:44 PM
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Default RE: Vinyl cutter??

The $219 is not a LaserPoint. It the MH Series. It looks like the worst of the lot. The USCutter buyers guide seems to prefer the Silhouette?

http://www.uscutter.com/index/page/s.../buying_guides
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:54 PM
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Default RE: Vinyl cutter??

My cutter cost $4K 17 years ago.

It's fast and allows me to produce great graphics and lettering for modelers at great prices.

Just take a look at My Gallery in RCU.

Charles

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Old 03-26-2012, 06:01 PM
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Default RE: Vinyl cutter??

I bought the USCutter Laser point 24" on ebay brand new for 300.00 shipped 2 years ago. I bid on it and won the price.....I'ts cool they cost 500.00 but I didn't pay that much for it
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:37 PM
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Default RE: Vinyl cutter??


ORIGINAL: Nergall

This one?

http://www.amazon.com/Cricut-Express.../dp/B005FEPM54

Isn't that the one you have to buy endless cartridges for??

Is this the software?

http://www.craftedge.com/products/products_scal.html

If so,

''Important: This version does not support the Cricutâ„¢ machines, and you can no longer purchase a version that works with the Cricut.''

Yes, that is the machine I have. It's too bad SCAL3 does not work with it. I have SCAL2 and it works with the Cricut Expressions machine. No, I did not have to buy endless cartridges. Only one is needed, any one, the cheapest one...it allows the machine to operate and is not used to create the graphics I cut. I think I got a cartridge in a package deal with the machine.
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:27 PM
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Default RE: Vinyl cutter??

OK, it seems like a few people here are very happy with what my research reveals to be the lowest end machine - the Cricut.

The Silhouette Cameo seems to be a step above that one - mostly in the more recently released sense.

As far as I can tell, for $50 extra, it imports .svg files.

The online reviews are fantastic:

http://www.overstock.com/Crafts-Sewi...s.html?rsort=1
http://www.amazon.com/Silhouette-Cam...DateDescending

Can any of the nay-Sayers tell me why this would be a poor choice?

It cuts 12" x 10', which is far bigger than anything I've needed so far. That would seem to cover a fairly large plane's wing just fine.

I doubt I will use it often enough to wear it out, but 5-6 planes would seem to cover the cost?
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:18 AM
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Default RE: Vinyl cutter??

do you guys have any issues with the monokote/vinyl shrinking at different rates later, and can you get them out of the model?  never tried it but i should!! my wife has a vinyl cutting business!!  and knows corel draw so i can get what i want done.  has anyone tried cutting the covering material with the vinyl cutter?
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:38 AM
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Default RE: Vinyl cutter??

After being around the vinyl cutting business it's certainly possible for the average guy but will take some time and effort (money too). It’s not as easy as a printer, the files are vector based, so any graphic you want to cut will need to be traced (import graphic as jpg in to vector based software and manually trace it, corel has a trace feature but doesn't work very well for vinyl). Most I have found on the internet are not ready to cut, any lines that cross will damage the vinyl. They really aren't even a good start, because they have so many lines crossing or not attached to each other. Any of that will mess up the vinyl. So I think you will have to take some time and learn a program like corel draw or adobe illustrator (I know they have some cheaper programs that will work also). Just learning the software can be time consuming. Any of you guys have things you want traced we have people really quick at that. as an example when I was learning corel draw, maybe had 25 hours in already with a tutor program, took me 2 days to do an Indian motorcycle graphic that out girl did better in 30 minutes. But she did graphics for a company full time for 7 years, she knows the software (AI for her) inside and out.  I guess the question is do you want to build models or learn the grahics arts business, because it is more than it looks from my experience.

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