Since no one else started a thread about Vinyl Cutting, I will.
My primary endeavor in this area is thermo-film cutting for heat application to garments. Think about all those Little League or Pop Warner teams with the names on the back of the jerseys.
Besides the sports applications, I do 'funny' shirts and some graphic art onto shirts as well.
The machine that I use is the same vinyl cutter that the sign industry utilizes for vinyl signs. And as such, I do some (very little) sign vinyl cutting and application, mostly to family and friends for their business, recreation vehicles and those Booster Window Stickers that parents want on their cars/SUVs, etc.
OK. Now there is a thread under Vinyl Cutters. Please chime in.
I've used a Camm-1 for several years (and still do), plus a SP-540V since Nov. 2006. Primarily for signs but with the SP-540 we do decals and contour cut stuff.
Question for you: If I wanted to experiment with thermo-film, do I need a heat press or can I fake it on small jobs for now with a household iron?
In reply to Jeff Harrison:
Hi Jeff. With the household iron you don't know the temperature the iron have. Some films need as low as 330 degrees or as high as 370 for 10 to 20 seconds.
Hope this help.
If you want to try experimenting with a household iron, I'd recommend that you try one of the products made for nylon//mesh.
Film made for nylon applicaton can be used on cotton and 50/50......... just as well. Most people don't go that route because the film is usually more expensive.
The heat required is minimal........some products don't even require a cover sheet............and can be pressed directly.........so there's no risk of you screwing up your iron with melted vinyl! Yikes.
Jeff HarrisonQuestion for you: If I wanted to experiment with thermo-film, do I need a heat press or can I fake it on small jobs for now with a household iron?
The problem with household irons, besides uneven temperatures, and such, is that on their highest settings, (cotton for some, linen for other brands) you will get around 242 degrees F ( approx 116 degrees C). You need anywhere from 300 degrees F to above 350 degrees. And you need even temperature over the whole surface of the thermo-film that is being applied. Also, you should not have more a couple of degrees temperature drop on the heat platen during the time that the heat and pressure is being applied.
Another factor that the heat press is good for, is the application of the thermo-film(s) do require a pressure setting that is constant over the entire design area. Trying to do that with a hand iron is next to impossible.
If you want to experiment with a heat press, call around to the local embroidery shops or silk screen shops to see if they have one that you could rent some time on. You may even be able to obtain a used unit from a local shop, if they have one in the corner that they don't use very much.
Jeff Harrison Hi Hugh,I've used a Camm-1 for several years (and still do), plus a SP-540V since Nov. 2006. Primarily for signs but with the SP-540 we do decals and contour cut stuff.
I have a Vinyl Express from Sign Warehouse, in Texas. This is really a GCC Panther II plotter. Mine is only 24 inches wide. When looking at a plotter for cutting thermo-films, I chose this unit becasue it can do from 8 grams to 600 grams of pressure on the blade, as well as its speed. Further, most thermo-films range in width from 15 inches to 20 inches. Stahls, the thermo-film industry standard, comes in 17 inch width for its thermo-film. I have other thermo-films from other manufacturers that come in 19 inch and 20 inch widths. There are many thermo-films that are only 15 inch wide. So the 24 inch plotter seems perfect for my use.
In reply to Hugh Johnson:
Here's our equipment:Roland VersaCAMM SP-540V (I just love this thing!)Gerber GSx 15" plotterGerber EdgeGerber Dimension 200 Router/Engraver
Good ideas - I'm sure a few of us who have vinyl experience are curious about thermo-film.
Sometimes I get junk faxes from silk-screen & embroidery shops who seem like they are needing work, their prices are crazy low, and free setup. Makes me wonder why I would fool with it, when I could just take the design to them and the responsibility for final quality & workmanship lies on their shoulders.
our toy is the roland esx-500 (upgraded from the cj-500) it's a 54" printer / plotter and all sorts of fun.
In reply to cdraw savage:
We have a Summacut d60
We use this for doing vehicle graphics, signs, banners and garments
Keeps me off the streets
In reply to mamos:
Vehicle Graphics, Truck Lettering, Boats, Commercial Signs, Banners, Magnets......etc.
Ioline Studio 7 - 36
I've been a Corel user for years, with every version from 5 to X3. I've always built my simple graphics by layering and fills to hide bits I didn't want in the final print...
I just got a Roland GX-24. I find that when using the driver directly from Corel or dumping to CutStudio ( the roland in-the-box software ); It cuts everything, all the outlines, of all the objects. I understand why, and I know how to weld and trim and all, but please, there's gota be a visible lines only trick somewhere?
To be able to toss a line behind your text and make a weed cut seems so simple an idea, and yet, I end up making loads of little short ones instead.
It's the only thing I've run into so far that makes me want a plug-in or better software. Barring a (preferred) Corel internal solution, can anyone recommend a nice inexpensive plug-in or package.
Thanks a million
In reply to yugpmoc:
I started the biz hand painting signs, which led to the current setup :)
Current setup -
Sorry never cut any of the thermal stuff. Do screen print occasionally.
if you would like to send me your graphic I would be happy to fix it for you and send it back with instructions so you can do it yourself next time.
I started with corel around version 3 I think just doing graphics....now I use it to run my graphics for screen printing, engraving, sign printing and vinyl cutting. I have done some pretty unique stuff with the help of corel and would love to share the knowledge with you if your in need.
Keep it looking complex! It keeps them asking 'how did you do that!'
Hi John, I have one of the EmbroidMe franchises over here in Australia. We recently bought a Roland GX24 and i have been using it to Cut Video Flex for Garment numbers / letters.
I also had a a try last night at printing a graphic and then using the laser registration detector to cut the shape from a sheet of dark, heat-press material. it worked like a charm. I got the idea from a bunch of posts on You Tube. Search for "Roland GX24 Tips" and you will find quite a few 10 minute training segments posted by a guy in the states.
As one of those "Embroidery" shops out here in Australia i would just like to say that we have spent a LOT of money on equipment and strive to supply the best quality possible to customers. We have a:
4 Head Tajima, 1 Head Tajima, Brother GT541 garment printer, Roland GX24, Coerl X3, Wilcom Design software (+$6,000) and several Inkjet printers as well as 5 PC's on site and the Heta Press.
At the moment i am not happy with the local suppliers of thermal garment materials as they are not providing us with the material and knowledge that we need to get better results.
I would not appreciate someone just dumping their "artwork" on my doorstep and expecting me to just take the responsibility for the final product. I joined this site to contribute to the industry as a whole and not to be dumped on by someone whos only contribution is "Good ideas - I'm sure a few of us who have vinyl experience are curious about thermo-film".
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