What to Do with a Vinyl Cutter?
Getting a good vinyl cutting machine is the first step to do for a successful craft project. The more you’re willing to pay for it, the more you can expect when it comes to its performance. But are you really ready for its performances? Do you have to skills? Are you really interested into all the sophisticated projects that you can do with it?
Coming back to the beginning, what does a craft/DIY project really means to you? If you’re not really sure at the moment, scroll down so see what you can you with a vinyl cutting machine. This way, you may also get a better sense of why you need it in the first place.
Stickers and labels
You may easily design your own labels for anything you have around your house for better organization. You can create labels for supplies, materials or experiments and the best part into having your own cutting machine is that you may also get funny and creative when designing the labels. “Stay away from my chips” is going to bring a smile on anyone’s face, for sure.
Keep in mind that you may also print and cut some glow in the dark safety labels around your house so you don’t injure yourself anymore when coming back in the kitchen for a “glass of water”.
Craft, painting and woodworking
The diversity of the materials that you may use with your cutting machine is impressive and you may work on MDF, plywood, hardwoods on-site where your project is going to be installed. You may design trim markers from these materials and later on send them to a better-furnished woodshop for cutting, sanding and painting.
You may also design edge boundaries and resist patterns, saving them from the effort. Don’t forget to use stencil vinyl and plastic sheets to the specific water-based/solvent-based paints that you’re going to use.
Keep also in mind to design stencils and resist layers for chemical etching or sandblasting on glass, acrylic, metal sheets or wood.
Maybe it didn’t cross your mind, but you may create acid resist patterns for your custom PCBs and add some nice labels later on.
You may also use a conductive pen to plot a circuit in low-resistance silver, but also cut some thin foil traces, RFF interference protection and PCB layers for your paper circuits.
From the blinking “LED stickies”, to the sticker circuits, the diversity of electronics that you can make with your vinyl cutter is quite impressive.
For instance, you may cut and score the top layer of some thin foam core or some cardboard as part of a more sophisticated project: an instant foldable 3D object.
A vinyl cutter is also helpful when you want to add some pieces of paper or translucent acetate in order to make some pretty colored paper or plywood lanterns.
Vinyl cutters are great whenever you feel like you want to cut, score, crease, and perforate papers, thin plastics or cardstocks for creating sophisticated origami, kerygma and all sorts of paper craft projects.
Home, school or any other art-club
Have you ever thought about how to enlarge easier a nice handwritten note so that you turn it into a wall decoration? Well, you can definitely do it when using a vinyl cutter.
You may also work on photographs of your family, friends or pets. You can use a marking tool in your machine to do some sketching portraits that you hang around your house. Don’t forget to make another copy for anyone interested, too.
A vinyl cutter also gives you the chance to create a vinyl wallpaper patterns that is easy to remove first time you get bored with it.
Let your imagination flow and add some frosting or translucent blocking to window glass. Design an acrylic laser cut project with no worry about any acid etching/sandblasting equipment.
If you’re planning to engage in some fancy interactive shadow boxes, some panels and silhouette shapes are going to be great to use.
A vinyl cutter helps you create some labels with magnetic backing material so that you mark who’s turn it is to do the dishes or through the garbage.
There’s nothing more encouraging for your little ones but to wear some customized t-shirts in the Little League on their first match.
Whether you transfer designs or illustration, or create your very own designs, customizing apparel is another great thing to do with the vinyl cutter.
Prototypes and project decorations
A good vinyl cutter is going to be able to produce foam or stiff paper prototypes and even scale models of buildings.
Don’t forget to test your CNC and laser cuts in miniature though before you go on the larger or more expensive materials.
Take your projects to a whole new level and add text, weathering, decals and even patches of color to your 3D printed scale designs.
If you’re vinyl cutter is really performant, it’s going to make it possible for you to add some small text and embellishment details on your 3D designs as they are too small to make with your printer.
The attention is in the details so if you get cuts that are impossible to be seen, you’ve done an amazing job. You may use double-stick adhesive sheets to attach the embellishments nice and secure to your projects. This doesn’t mean you can’t attach your projects to walls or wherever you see fit.
The variety of projects that you can make with a vinyl cutter is amazing and you should start slow until you have the skills for the sophisticated ones.
Let your imagination flow and try to pay attention to the details! The more accurate the cuts are, the better your project is going to look. The more you’re willing to pay for it, the more you can expect from it. But you need the skills to master it as well, which is important especially if you’re an entry level crafter.