View Full Version : Creative uses for adding vinyl cutter

James Terry
06-03-2010, 5:17 PM
Does anybody have ideas for the addition of a vinyl cutter to the laser? I'm not interested in doing banner signmaking, so what else is there?

Doug Griffith
06-03-2010, 5:31 PM
masking friskets for both sandblasting and paint.

Mark Winlund
06-03-2010, 5:40 PM
Well, I'll bite: The first thing that comes to mind is sandblast resist. Easily done with a vinyl cutter. Also, "banners" are only one use for cut vinyl. There are lots of sales for small signs that use cut vinyl. No parking signs, street signs, handicap signs, and on and on. You can make pretty good stencils using a low tack stencil vinyl (made just for vinyl cutters). If you really want to get into volume, a good quality vinyl cutter is a quick way to make screen printing stencils.... you can then print hundreds (or thousands) of signs in very little time. Around election time, it can be very profitable. It is also a very low cost way to get into the screen printing business. Everything you need (except for the vinyl cutter) can be had for less than $500.

Static cling vinyl can be a good seller.... it sticks to store windows, and comes off easily (no adhesive) when it's time to do a new sign.

Many are not aware of it, but a B&W photo can be done on a vinyl cutter as a series of variable width strips. It works well at a distance.

The obvious: Stickers that have been printed on vinyl, and then cut out with the cutter. Some printers come with the hardware and software to do this automatically.

All in all, a very versatile tool.... no engraver should be without one, especially as low cost as they are these days.


Scott Shepherd
06-03-2010, 6:25 PM
I agree with Mark. All he mentioned are great things to make with it. I can say without question my vinyl plotter has paid for itself many times over. It's easy money and not hard to do. There is a learning curve with the application of it all, but overall, it's easy to do.

Most banners today are printed, not made using cut vinyl, so wipe the idea of cut vinyl banners off the list. You could still do it, but for what you can get them printed for, and having them look 100 times better with the use of colors, it's not worth the effort to try and make banners with cut vinyl, in my opinion.

It's probably the best money we ever spent as far as return on investment and what it allows us to accomplish now.

Larry Bratton
06-03-2010, 8:54 PM
And , IF your going to spend the money on a good one, go ahead and get one with an optic eye that can read registration marks. I think Roland makes one ,,GX24 I think around $1600. It comes with the software to print a graphic with the registration marks and then contour cut it using that information read from the printed page. There are other brands also that will do the same.

Rodne Gold
06-04-2010, 1:06 AM
James, you would be a lot better off adding a print/cut machine or even better off adding a small overhead CnC router/engraver. Yes , they are a lot more pricey but open up many more markets than a vinyl cutter. If you want to test the market - instead of buying a vinyl cutter , use your laser to kiss cut vinyl - it's pvc but ocasional kiss cutting wont harm your machine. If you not into signage already , you are going to have to market it big time , a lot more expensive than the cutter and the market for just vinyl cut apps is cut throat
Its a cheap machine and does "cheap" work , cheap as in prices you can command for it - as opposed to your expensive laser. It will however give a good ROI cos of the low entry price and if it doesnt work for you is hardly a massive financial blow
I have 2 printers capable of vinyl cutting and I almost never use em for just cutting - its not worth competing in that market at all. Their vinyl cutting ability has added almost nothing to my lasers.

Jim Lauer
06-04-2010, 9:22 AM
You can also by Heat Press material and make short run designs for t_shirts and other appreal. You would then need a heat press. Check at Imprintables WHolesale, they have some nice package deals of the Roland GX24 and heat presses.

As far as the print cut machine, I agree with Rodne, they will open you up to do so much more, like printing posters, canvas prints, full color apparel decorating, full color window stickers, the removable stickers for walls and car. You just have to be ready to jump in to a bigger investmemtn. Our 54 inch Roland Versacamm paid for iteslft within 6 months doing signs and banners, something you may want to consider if you go this route.

Larry Bratton
06-04-2010, 9:23 AM
I agree Rodney..everybody would be better off with Print and Cut but unfortunately all of us don't have $20k.

AL Ursich
06-04-2010, 12:46 PM
I still have not got it to work yet... But my Graphtec FC7000 has the sensor for registration marks... I can print using sublimation on clear mates with registration marks and apply it to white reflective vinyl. Then put it in the FC7000 and in theory cut the stickers out.

I think my problem was putting the top registration marks too close to the top. Saw something posted here about leaving 2 inches from the top to the first sticker. Still need to put the time into getting it to work...

TOO many Toys... TOO little TIME.....:eek: