Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional, there’s no doubt that some accessories and equipment is hard to live without, particularly when it comes to crafting your favorite pieces. A great example is a vinyl printing machine that is soaring in popularity courtesy of its power and versatility.
Also known as a vinyl cutter, it comes in handy in the barrage of imaging, art, and craftwork. Vinyl cutters have evolved from bulky devices to compact and user-friendly variations, making them perfect for home hobbyists and professional workshops.
In this in-depth guide, you’ll gain insight into how these devices work and what they do to make life easier. And soon, you’ll be ready to start covering walls, windows, doors, and everything in between with superb, decals, signs, and inspirational décor. Read on!
What is a Vinyl Printing Machine?
To grasp what a vinyl cutter is and how it functions, the best way is to think of it as a conventional printer. It receives data that could be an image from another source, typically a PC, and outputs it onto a piece of paper.
A vinyl printing machine works the same way, with the only difference being that it depends on small blades to cut the image design onto the vinyl or other materials.
While initially operated and owned by those in the sign-making business, vinyl cutters are increasingly popular with people that delight in artwork at home. They vary in scale and size, based on the type of craftwork they’re used for.
Uses of a Vinyl Printing Machine
A major reason that has contributed to the tremendous success of vinyl cutters in homes and professional workshops is their compatibility with a vast assortment of materials. And, they are at the heart of the production of a multitude of arts and crafts projects, some of which are discussed below.
- Stickers and Decals: Crafting stickers or decals with a vinyl cutter, means you can add a personal touch to your designs and print them as small or large as your machine will permit.
- Signs: These are typically used in the sign printing industry. But home hobbyists can cut through vinyl and other adhesives to craft signs for walls, doors, windows, and other surfaces.
- Iron-on Transfers: A vinyl printing machine grants you free rein to design patterns and logos that can be cut into iron-on transfers then attached to clothing.
- Stationery and Cards: Crafting your stationery is a walk in the park with a vinyl printing machine and is perfect for cutting on light materials such as paper and cardstock.
- Magnets: Armed with a top of the range vinyl cutter, you can create cute refrigerator magnets for your workshop or home that spark a smile every time you glance at them. Moreover, you can individualize each magnet you make.
- Accessories and Clothing: When the machine cuts into the fabric, you can craft a sewing pattern or make clothing and accessories such as hats and bags.
How Does A Vinyl Printing Machine Work?
While there are countless models of vinyl cutters, they all function in the same basic manner. They comprise a computer system coupled with a small blade. And, the computer guides the blade on where to cut.
The material such as vinyl is fed into the device on the cutting platform. After the cutting process, the extra material is removed or weeded, which paves the way for the printing of the final image design. The designs can be uploaded via software uniquely created for the machine or programmed into the cutter.
Each vinyl printing machine comes with a unique manual on the best way to use it for optimum results. Nevertheless, most desktop vinyl cutters function in such a way that upon achieving the best results, you can feed the vinyl and other materials to get the ideal cut in no time.
Essential Vinyl Printing Machine Specs to Consider
If you’re a first-time shopper, buying a vinyl cutter can have you engulfed in a wave of confusion because to the unfamiliar eye, they’re all the same. Therefore, with the wealth of options available, below are the important specs to consider for a worthwhile investment.
1. Cutting Capabilities
A vinyl cutter’s capabilities encompass the surface it works with along with the various materials. Despite its name, this machine is built to seamlessly cut through paper, fabric, cardstock, and tint transfer material.
2. Blade Pressure
It’s the determining factor in the precision of the cut along with the kinds of materials that a vinyl printing machine is compatible with.
While not all vinyl cutters come with a built-in scanner, most of the modern counterparts do. They allow you to craft a design that is then scanned into the machine and used to cut the material of your preference. A scanner is measured in DPI, which is the indicator of how high the image resolution will be.
It refers to how fast a vinyl printing machine can cut in terms of millimeters per second (ms/s). But remember, speed doesn’t determine the cutting precision.
Despite the pool of options, below are a few of the best vinyl cutter brands to choose from that’ll give you value for your money.
As a powerful machine that you’ve invested your hard-earned money and valuable time in, the tips below ensure you get the most out of your vinyl printing machine.
- Always check your blade, keeping your eyes peeled for signs of wear-and-tear or bluntness. If so, you’ll need to replace it with a new one for optimum functionality.
- Keep the machine’s cutting strip free from debris and dust. Doing so avoids a bumpy path for your blade, which negatively impacts the outcome of your print.
So, frequently wipe down your machine’s exterior and clean the blade after every few uses for increased longevity. Pressurized air is perfect for getting into the smaller crevices and cracks that are otherwise unreachable.
Few machines deliver the same versatility as vinyl cutters. Thus, this makes them the go-to for those that revel in arts and crafts right from the comfort of their homes.
Whether you want to craft a few fridge magnets, design a new logo, make stickers for your kids, and more, the world is your oyster.
These handy devices can handle it all. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to fire up that cutter and craft superb banners, signs, and decals today!
Did we leave anything out? Feel free to share your thoughts or pepper us with questions in the comments section below.