[KwartzLab] we have a vinyl cutter
doug at moens.org
Wed Sep 21 07:33:31 EDT 2011
We now have a fully operational 24" vinyl cutter, thanks to Don. This
is one of the 5 basic digital fabrication tools found in every FabLab
It's actually a "cutting plotter" which is capable of cutting a
variety of thin materials under computer control. These materials are
normally backed with a paper substrate. You adjust the blade to cut
through the material, but not the paper. Our current software is
ArtCut running on Windows, although TuxPlot on Linux is also supposed
to work. We have a large supply of sign vinyl, and other materials
can be obtained as needed.
You can cut sign vinyl:
* For putting decals on laptops, projects, windows, doors, signs,
vehicles. The kwartzlab door has a large vinyl kwartzlab logo (which
we had professionally made), and a second decal with just the word
"kwartzlab, oriented vertically, which Don made last night. The small
vinyl Kwartzlab logo decals that Ben was selling some time back can
also be manufactured. The maximum decal size is 24" x 11 yards.
* Masks for etching. Andrew etched an aluminum plate with the
kwartzlab logo using a vinyl cut decal back in March; it's on the
* Stencils for airbrushing.
* "glitter tattoos" stencils. Alexandra sells these at Queen Of
Hearts (I saw them during Car Free Sunday), and she'd like to make
* Silk screen printing masks. It's faster and easier than the
photoemulsion technique, according to
You can cut copper for flexible circuits and antennas. RIM engineers
cut prototype cell phone antennas using this tool, and I bet you could
cut RFID antennas as well. Here's a tutorial for cutting flexible
You can decorate t-shirts and other garments. asc365.com sells "heat
transfer PU vinyl": decals cut from this material can be bonded to a
T-shirt using our heat press. They also sell "hot melt adhesive
film", which is basically hot glue. Patterns cut from this can be
used to glue badges, foil, etc to t-shirts and other textiles, also
using the heat press. You can cut mylar backed "tackle twill", a
polyester fabric which is common used for names and numbers on sports
You can make stencils for sandblasting, there is a special material
sold for this purpose.
The sign vinyl in the scrap bin is free. Don can get more.
There are 10 meter rolls of white, black and red sign vinyl, 24 inches
wide, which I am selling at cost for $1.50 per meter (1.5 cents per
centimeter). There is also a roll of reusable "pre mask" film, at
$1.00 per meter. The pre mask is transparent and sticky on one side.
It is used to lift a vinyl decal from its backing paper for transfer
to another surface.
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