Cutting Vinyl Rolls is Easy With the Right Equipment
Cutting vinyl rolls is easy with the right equipment. The first step is to make sure your cutter has a good grip on the material.
Next, you’ll need to create your design in a software program that is compatible with your vinyl cutter. Most of these programs are user-friendly and have a million YouTube tutorials.
1. Load the Vinyl
If you’re cutting a roll of vinyl, the first thing to do is load it into your cutter. Rolls are fed into the machine on a roller bar or pinch rollers. pvc film manufacturers Once the roll is loaded, choose a blade setting. The vinyl type you are using will determine the blade tip depth and pressure required for a clean cut. You may need to change the blade settings each time you switch between different types of vinyl as release liner thicknesses and vinyl characteristics can require a slightly different set up.
Make sure your vinyl is cut and ready to transfer to your substrate. Smooth the vinyl and remove any air bubbles. You can use a scraper tool or brayer to do this. You should also remove the paper liner from the vinyl. Now, place the vinyl onto a blue or green Cricut mat. Make sure that the vinyl is lined up with the blue lines on the mat and the paper liner side is facing down.
If you’re using a Cameo 4 machine, you can skip this step. The new Cameo has a built-in roll feeder that can feed a roll of vinyl up to 12 inches wide. If you’re using an older machine, make sure that your roll feeder is properly adjusted as described in this tutorial for the Cameo 3 and the Explore 3. Return to Design Space and on the Make screen select the Vinyl setting. You can click the star next to this setting to add it to your favourites list for future use.
2. Cut the Vinyl
Using rolls of vinyl allows you to create large wall decals that would be difficult with a sheet cutter. Ensure the roll is loaded properly into your machine to avoid any errors in cutting your design. Depending on your vinyl type, you may need to adjust your blade tip depth and/or cutting pressure to optimize the cut.
After your vinyl is cut and weeded, it’s time to apply the design to the project surface. First, make sure the surface is clean and free of dust, lint or oil that could prevent it from adhering to the base material. If the surface is textured, you can smooth it out by rubbing it with a dry washcloth or sponge.
Then, take your transfer tape and vinyl and place it on the surface with the vinyl side facing up. Rub it down with a scraper or plastic card and apply even pressure over the entire surface. Use your level to make sure the vinyl is straight on the wall.
When you’re ready to remove the vinyl, pull it back at a 45-degree angle and slowly peel it away from the paper backing. Repeat the process if needed to get the vinyl completely off of the transfer tape. Once the vinyl is off, you can easily remove the masking tape to reveal your final product!
3. Apply the Vinyl
Nothing is more frustrating than applying a perfectly printed vinyl graphic to a clean substrate only to wind up with bubbles and wrinkles that detract from the final product. The good news is that there are a number of things you can do to prevent these problems and make your applications perfect.
First, make sure that your project surface is clean and dry. It is also important to have a clear understanding of how to work with vinyl sheet and your cutting machine. There are a number of great beginner “How To” videos available that can walk you through the process step-by-step.
Once you have your project ready to go, carefully remove the transfer tape. Then, attach a small area of the vinyl (center or one end) to the surface. Use an application tool or scraper tool (such as an old credit card) to burnish the vinyl onto the surface.
Next, start in the middle and work your way out toward the edges using overlapping strokes to create a smooth surface. Be careful not to pull the vinyl, especially as you are working around curves or corners. It is important to work with the vinyl when it is warm, as it will stretch if it gets cold. Be very careful with the squeegee, as it is easy to rip or tear the vinyl.
4. Remove the Masking Tape
If you’re using paint masking stencil vinyl, you’ll want to remove the tape as soon as the cut is complete. This will protect the vinyl from damage during the cutting process, as well as seal the edge of the film for a uniform cut.
You can use a butter knife or the scraper from the Cricut tool kit to gently pull up the tape. It’s important to burnish the tape with your finger before trying to peel it up, because this will make it easier Cutting Vinyl Rolls and less likely that you’ll tear or scrape the vinyl underneath.
When you’re masking a surface for a high heat or chemical process, you need to take extra care to remove the tape correctly. Otherwise, you’ll end up with residue on the part that is hard to clean.
If possible, use tape with pull tabs that can be easily pulled up by hand without damaging the finish. This will help reduce the need to use an X-Acto knife or screw driver, which could cause damage to the part and slow down your masking process.
Another way to speed up the process is to put a second piece of tape on the surface where you’re applying your vinyl. This will provide a second line of defense against the adhesive on the first piece of tape, and it will also give you a guideline when cutting.