Vinyl Cutter quick reference
IN PROCESS UPDATE
This entire page is in the process of being updated and not all information may be accurate. If you have working expertise on the Tital Vinyl cutter, please review and/or update this page.
Vinyl Cutter Basics
This page is not intended to be fully comprehensive or a replacement for attending a class or using your own common sense.
There is no cost to use the cutter if you bring all of your own materials. If you use DMS-supplied material, there is a consumables cost. Current cost is identified on the Creative Arts committee page, in the Consumables section, and also with a sign at the vinyl cutter.
Create a vector-based EPS file
1. Open file in Inkscape (if it is a bitmap not vector follow the sub-steps)
- a. Path > Trace bitmap
- b. Adjust settings as necessary (enable "live preview" if it is not already enabled to preview your conversion as you adjust settings)
- c. Pull resulting image away to see vector result
- d. Doesn’t matter whether you have positive or negative image – you’ll remove the appropriate part when weeding the cut vinyl
- e. Delete the background original bitmap image
2. Save as... or Save a Copy... as an Encapsulated PostScript (*.eps) file or Scalable Vector Graphics (*.svg) (to your Member directory folder or USB thumb drive)
Note: SignCut has trouble importing “I” (capital i) and “l” (lowercase L) text in vector format and may have issues with vertical rectangles. In most cases using one of the following methods on the elements that are missing when importing into SignCut will fix the issue:
- Combine (Path > Combine or Ctrl + K); this will convert the text into a path which should allow import but will make it uneditable as text,
- Convert to bitmap then convert to vector inside Inkscape.
- Generating the EPS file from Adobe Illustrator and bypassing Inkscape completely eliminates this problem. (Note some users report that route may result in additional bounding boxes being created from Adobe.)
Bring your EPS vector file into VinylMaster software
5. Double-click on the VinylMaster Cut for Titan icon on the desktop.
- a. Click the grey Register button. This software will not work correctly unless this button is pressed!
6. Menu: File > New > Document..
6. Size your print at the top left. Do not exceed the size of the vinyl you will use! Setting the size slightly above the print size can be useful
7. Menu: File > Import.. (A dialogue box will open, select the image you created in the last steps.
8. Your cursor will change! Click on the document to place your image.
9. Making sure your image is selected, position the image in your document by dragging the pale dot at the center of your image.
10. Resize the image to your intended print size. The corner resize selectors will keep the image at the same proportions.
11. Look at the image, some *.svg files can create errors. Some troubleshooting might be needed.
12. If everything is ok, go to Menu: Cut/Plot > Send to Cutter...
13. You might need to rotate the image 90 degrees to use less vinyl by checking "Rotate"
14. Click "Cut Now" at the bottom when everything looks good!
Cut out the vinyl!
15. Load vinyl into machine. Lever at back to engage rollers down. Try to straighten. Rollers near but not on the edge of the media.
16. If no vinyl cutter is found, do not panic! This is normal. Do not proceed with cut. Click the Connection tab. Click the Detect button.
17. A window will pop up with a magnifying glass. If the device is off, turn it on! If the device is on, press reset or turn it off and on.
18. The magnifying glass should then have a green check mark on it. You can click Next/ Done.
19. Instructions on best way to identify your job name among the hundreds of job files need to be filled in here
Weed and prepare your vinyl for application
20. Weed carefully, going into sections being removed not to damage material intended to stay.
21. Stick weeded vinyl to vinyl backing material.
- a. Only remove as much backing material as needed. Lay down flat on table with sticky side facing up. Carefully lower down vinyl side onto backing. Secure carefully, using finger nails/credit card or similar.
22. When ready to apply, carefully remove original vinyl paper so that vinyl sticky side is exposed. Pull slowly from corners at steep angle making sure detail areas remain stuck to backing material.
23. Line up and now apply vinyl and backing to area you want to apply it too. Again use tool/fingers to make sure vinyl sticks to intended surface. Carefully peel away the backing material using similar technique as before, this time making sure the vinyl is permanently adhering to intended surface including small details.
Tidy up the space. Leave your contribution in the vinyl cutter fund box, or PayPal at https://dallasmakerspace.org/vinyl
The most commonly used material is Oracal 651 vinyl (13" usable width). SISER EasyWeed 15" is commonly used for heat transfer vinyl.