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plotter/cutter

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Phil 906/09/2018 13:19:01
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4287 forum posts
256 photos

I would love a plotter/cutter for producing my own vinyl stickers and paint masks .

Has anyone here have any experience with this. I have never used one before so are the tricky to use. What would be a good entry level model to buy

Alan Gorham_06/09/2018 13:37:03
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1287 forum posts
145 photos

Yes, I have and it is worthwhile if you build a few models a year.

It's nice to be able to make graphics to your own exact requirements.

There is a learning curve in producing the artwork, especially if you start looking for exact scale fidelity, but it's interesting. The machine itself is as easy to use as a paper printer.

My unit is over 10 years old and is now obsolete, so I will make no recommendations on what to buy.

Some results:

13923577_10208175398715058_9114253461997369865_o.jpg

Flair Dr1. All markings and stencils made as masks.

imag0317.jpg

Precedent Hi-Fly. All decals cut in vinyl.

imag1957.jpg

 

38241985_10216547319625820_6800483253200355328_o.jpg

Balsacraft Blenheim all paint masks

img_2126 (600 x 417).jpg

Flair Cub - all markings in vinyl

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Precedent Lo-boy. Vinyl

pict2730.jpg

Shark flying boat and Beaver. Vinyls.

pict2736.jpg

Tony Nijhuis Hawk. Paint masks.

Edited By Alan Gorham_ on 06/09/2018 13:40:31

Simon Feather06/09/2018 14:43:58
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242 forum posts
178 photos

There was a thread on this a little while back - see here for some suggestions and more examples:

**LINK**

Max Z06/09/2018 14:59:05
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554 forum posts
248 photos

Silhouette Cameo, its accuracy amazes me everytime. The standard software will accept .dxf files besides a number of pixel file formats, I am using cad software to create the artwork, then export to .dxf and import into Silhouette Studio. I have not used the included drawing software much, but I feel it is a bit sluggish.

The Cameo is also capable of printing any picture on a regular printer, together with orientation marks, then cut out along the picture outline using these marks.

Thoroughly recommended!

Edited By Max Z on 06/09/2018 15:08:25

Max Z06/09/2018 15:33:31
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554 forum posts
248 photos

dsc03751.jpgTo give you some idea: this was done with the Cameo. The main rectangle is 60 mm high and 48 mm wide, the little planes are just 19 mm span! I cheated a bit, I drew the wheels and struts with a fineliner. Not that they were not cut properly but because it proved impossible to lift them together with the main body of the plane keeping their correct positioning.

 

Edited By Max Z on 06/09/2018 15:36:28

Alan Gorham_06/09/2018 15:38:20
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1287 forum posts
145 photos

Max, it probably would be possible to lift and place the decal if you used application tape to carry the decal to the model.

Max Z06/09/2018 17:46:08
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554 forum posts
248 photos

Alan, yes I need to do a bit more experimentation with that. I used airbrush masking tape with little succes, it does not stick well enough to lift the bits of vinyl off the backing without some help. I managed to work with it by prying the various parts of the decal loose with a scalpel. I also tried narrow strips of 3M Scotchtape, but these stick too strong and although it works you have to be very careful with removing the tape to prevent pulling parts away again, or worse, tearing them. Both methods do not go well with very small parts like the wheels and struts in my example.

I get the impression that the downforce of the cutting knife sort of works the edge of the vinyl into the backing material, once you pry a corner of the decal loose the rest comes off more easily. Again, maybe I should experiment more with the settings.

Alan Gorham_06/09/2018 17:57:23
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1287 forum posts
145 photos

Proper Application tape is what you need. It is clear, so you can see where you are placing the decal on the model and you can also check that you have firmly pressed the decal into place on the model, so that it won't pull away once you begin to remove the application tape.

It does sound like your cutting force setting is slightly too high, as I haven't seen the second issue you describe (although my cutter is an old Graphtec CraftRobo I think it works the same as yours).

Allan Bennett06/09/2018 20:38:21
1688 forum posts
49 photos

One feature of the Silhouette software I find very useful is the ability to import a picture and then have it trace the outlines to create a cutting file. The traced outline(s) may need to be adjusted if the original picture is not very sharp, but that's easily done in the software with a little practice. Apart from nose-art and emblems, it's handy for recreating registration lettering without having to find exactly which font was used on the original aircraft.

Phil 906/09/2018 20:48:26
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4287 forum posts
256 photos

**LINK**

would this low cost version be worth a try? what added features will the Silhouette Cameo give me?

Max Z06/09/2018 21:44:00
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554 forum posts
248 photos

I cannot find the specs of either right now, but the obvious differences are the cutting width of 8" for the Portrait versus 12" for the Cameo, and the possibility to carry and use of two different tools in the same job for the Cameo. If I am honest, I have not found a realistic use for that yet, but the larger cutting width comes in handy at times.

Chris Barlow06/09/2018 22:26:55
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1904 forum posts
1308 photos

If you use vinyl on a roll you can flip most decals vertical and print the full roll legnth. So letters up to 200mm high and 3m long.

Alan Gorham_07/09/2018 12:18:01
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1287 forum posts
145 photos

Yep, that's what I do Chris.

Broken Prop07/09/2018 13:26:38
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624 forum posts
1 photos

Thumbs up for the Silhouette Cameo. The ability to cut vinyl up to 12 inches wide is extremely useful. As others have said, the software is very flexible too.

Silhouette also make a roll holder that clips to the front of the machine, allowing you to use vinyl straight off a long roll without cutting it up first. The holder contains a small guillotine and guide for cutting the sheet off square afterwards.

OK its a bit of a luxury, but it saves having to fiddle with a long unwieldy sheet of material whilst trying to feed it squarely into the Cameo's feed rollers.

Max Z07/09/2018 13:51:28
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554 forum posts
248 photos
Posted by Broken Prop on 07/09/2018 13:26:38:

The holder contains a small guillotine and guide for cutting the sheet off square afterwards.

The cameo has its own crosscutter on the rear. At first I did not understand how it was supposed to work, when I chose "move to cutter" all it did was move the top end of the sheet to the cutter, and there was nothing to cut off. Now I understand it is a setting, instead of automatically moving the knife back to the origin and roll back the sheet at the end of the session, you should set it to a margin to move forward, then hit "move to cutter".

I use rolls, I do not miss a holder. When the vinyl has been stored rolled it has a tendency to stay that way anyway so I just rest it on the table in front of the machine.

Edited By Max Z on 07/09/2018 13:53:49

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