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Old 01-07-2014, 07:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Getting started with a vinyl cutter?

Hi!

I would like to try cutting some vinyl for paint masks but am not quite sure how to get started or what I want to do? I have found this thread that answered some of my questions about what kind of vinyl to use so I'll be ordering some. https://www.helifreak.com/showthread...highlight=mask

Here's some of my previous efforts:









So, what can I do with some plotter cut vinyl? Got any do's or don'ts? Could someone share some examples of the types of things that are are good to cut or even share a file I can look at? I've got a few stencils from Air Sick but want to make my own.

Everything I've done before has been done with tape and I've got four new primed and prepped canopies ready to start on. This has been an unexpected side hobby that I enjoy as much as working on and flying my helis.

Thanks for your suggestions,

--Elisabeth
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Just make sure you get low-tack vinyl, if it's to be used just for masking.I personally use Oramask 810 on my cutters.
HTH

Nice canos by the way. You'll be able to spray the logos as well soon!
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I had a stika 8" cutter, came with software and very high quality cuts. Pricey though...

never tried any other brand.

get low tack vinyl for sure!

Nice canos, really like the colors and designs
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Old 01-09-2014, 02:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have a 60" Graphtec vinyl cutter, and I use Oramask 810 paint mask vinyl. Tried the white Avery paintmask a few times, but always ends up going back to Oramask as I find it much easier to work with. If you lookup "vinyl cutter" on Youtube, you will find lots of tutorials explaining all details.
I also like to paint my marks instead of putting on stickers in order to get a surface as smooth as possible.
This is a link to a German forum that has lots of down loadable files with logos and marks:
http://www.rc-heli.de/board/showthre...icrobeast+logo
It is in German and you will have to register to get to the files.
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Old 01-09-2014, 05:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Argh! On a 48 hour work marathon and barely a minute to spare and I'm exhausted.

At any rate, thanks for the replies and suggestions. I've made a few play cuts and goofed around with my new toy for a few minutes here and there and think it's going to work out well once I get the hang of the settings.

I did talk to a guy at US Cutter that wanted me to use something else that I had read on an airbrush forum was unacceptable. One of his issues was the type of paints I use. Mostly, I am using Auto-Air and Wicked but I do have half a dozen or so solvent based colors from X-Otic that I also like to use for their shiny metallic qualities. Any problems here with the 810? I did just order 10 yds of it.

Also found a place (justforcrafters.com) with some single sheets of fun 12x12 and 12x24 vinyls so bought two types of carbon fibre, some chrome metallics in silver, gold, black and fluorescent pink and a silver mini-diamond plate. Picked up a few single sheet colors and two type of transfer tape too. Not all necessarily for heli painting but maybe a flourish here and there? Who knows?

It looks like some trial and error and probably screwing a few things up before I learn what works for me is inevitable? Sort of like my heli flying and crashing over and over.

The good news I already have a ton of heli type vector logos that I've created or gathered for making waterslide decals (samples below) and am kind of a semi-pro with CorelDraw and can export cuttable DXF's so I'm a little ahead of the game on that front and should be able to make a mask or two from things I already have. Granted, not for the little stuff though. The bad news is I'm so busy for work I don't know when I'm going to have the time to actually get down to painting? Heck, I bought a new mini detail gun from TCP Global for shooting my urethane clearcoat three + months ago and haven't even tried it yet. It's much better than my old one and until I started writing this, almost forgot I had it. My boss is a slave driver!

Thanks again for the feedback.

--Elisabeth (self-employed)










my somewhat messy workspace!
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- 6S 500 class. 1 FB, 1 FBL
Gaui X2 & X5- MKS,Scorpion, Castle and lotsa good stuff
2 FrankenHeli 450s, Axe 100SS, Futaba
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Old 01-10-2014, 11:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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For small marks and logos you should check out this product.

http://www.pulsarprofx.com/decalpro/

I bought the Export kit from them, but haven't been able to get the laminator and glue here in Norway. But I am off to the US in a couple of months and I will get it then. This looks very promising for those real small letters and marks that is almost impossible to do with the vinyl cutter. You use a color laser printer and just transfer the image. Very neat.
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Getting started with a vinyl cutter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EKron View Post
Hi!

I would like to try cutting some vinyl for paint masks but am not quite sure how to get started or what I want to do? I have found this thread that answered some of my questions about what kind of vinyl to use so I'll be ordering some. https://www.helifreak.com/showthread...highlight=mask

Here's some of my previous efforts:









So, what can I do with some plotter cut vinyl? Got any do's or don'ts? Could someone share some examples of the types of things that are are good to cut or even share a file I can look at? I've got a few stencils from Air Sick but want to make my own.

Everything I've done before has been done with tape and I've got four new primed and prepped canopies ready to start on. This has been an unexpected side hobby that I enjoy as much as working on and flying my helis.

Thanks for your suggestions,

--Elisabeth

I love the look of the two helis side by side. Amazing work. totally reminds me of the boats I've designed and built! Actually my helmets and bikes I've done all share a similar look.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk - sorry for typos!!!
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Old 02-08-2014, 12:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EKron View Post
...and goofed around with my new toy for a few minutes here and there...
.... I already have a ton of heli type vector logos that I've created or gathered for making waterslide decals
Really nice work!
- What make/model of cutter did you eventually settle on?
- I'm wondering how you made some of those intricate background shapes like the honeycomb pattern without typical vinyl stencils, or did you have it by then already?
- I'm interested in your water decal comment, do you have a favourite source or vendor? (I assume you upload a graphic image or something?)
- Looks like this is a neat side business, but if you ever wanted to photo document a typical spray job sequence, there would be a lot of interested followers I'm sure.
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Old 02-08-2014, 04:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petertha View Post
Really nice work!
- What make/model of cutter did you eventually settle on?
I wasn't expecting much after considering several $400 - $700 models from US Cutter but ended up buying "just" a craft grade cutter, the Silhouette Cameo for about $269. I have been more than pleased with the results though.











From various sources, I purchased a variety of vinyl.



I got some foil and other specialty types too.



The patterns on these carbon fibre ones are awesome. Don't know what I'll use them for yet but they're impressive.



And I got some reflective/holographic sheets to make blade decals.


The rolls were 12" x 5 yards and I got some in 24" width that I split in half. I should be set for vinyl for a while. Heck, I haven't even tried cutting some paint mask yet which is why I got the machine in the first place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by petertha View Post
- I'm wondering how you made some of those intricate background shapes like the honeycomb pattern without typical vinyl stencils, or did you have it by then already?
Yeah, I had purchased a few stencils from airsickstencils.com and what started me down the path of wanting to cut my own stuff

Quote:
Originally Posted by petertha View Post
- I'm interested in your water decal comment, do you have a favourite source or vendor? (I assume you upload a graphic image or something?)
Oh no no! With the special decal paper, you print out your graphics on your ink jet printer then spray them with clear spray paint. You soak them in water a bit and they work just like the decals that come with plastic model kits. Testor's makes small packages of clear and white paper and their own clear spray but it's kind of expensive for what you get. For $24 bucks, you can get 25 sheets of 8.5 x 11' paper from decalpaper.com and use Krylon acrylic clear for the covering and it works every bit as good as the Testor's brand paper and spray. If you've got a decent ink jet, you can make some really detailed high quality stuff. I prefer to use the paper with a clear background but the decals aren't very opaque and don't cover well but the white background solves that problem as long as what you put them on is white.


Quote:
Originally Posted by petertha View Post
- Looks like this is a neat side business, but if you ever wanted to photo document a typical spray job sequence, there would be a lot of interested followers I'm sure.
Maybe, if I ever get some friggin' free time. I've still been working crazy day and night hours and have 4 canopies all prepped and primed I haven't started on yet. Been playing with my cutter too much, have a new 450 I've been trying to finish building for 3 months, a new head on my other 450 I need to do the setup on and 3 new lipos I need to solder connectors on and my house is a mess. I love this hobby and the side hobbies that have been spawned from it but time has been my biggest obstacle lately.

Sorry to ramble. Got lots to do so back to it...

--Elisabeth
__________________
Granny's House of Choppa-R&D Division
2 Rockin' Gaui Hurricanes
- 6S 500 class. 1 FB, 1 FBL
Gaui X2 & X5- MKS,Scorpion, Castle and lotsa good stuff
2 FrankenHeli 450s, Axe 100SS, Futaba
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