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Vinyl Cutter help??

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Plotters' started by justin_2005, May 7, 2007.

  1. justin_2005

    justin_2005 New Member

    May 7, 2007
    Hi im in the process of buying a vinyl cutter. Im new to this so any info would be appreicated..Im wanting to stay around 1000 dollars for the cutter and software..What kinda vinyl cutter would u recomend..What all will a vinyl cutter do.Decals?Banners?signs?business cards?
  2. gvgraphics

    gvgraphics Very Active Member

    Mar 23, 2006

    For starters it is going to be hard to start up with only a grand. You will want a quality machine like Roland, Summa, or GRAPHTEC. (I'm not saying what one I have or like). You can buy the cheaper machines but as the old adage goes' "You get what you pay for". So be careful.
    Now for the rest of your question. Signs, decals, vinyl lettered banners -Yes!
    Business Cards - NO! BC's are printed on and offset printing press most of the time. This is an item you can sell, we do, but it is out sourced.

    Good luck in your new adventure.

    And you will also benefit from buying a Big Squeegee from Signs by Dale. Link on the bottom of this page.
    (Had to sneak it it there)
  3. justin_2005

    justin_2005 New Member

    May 7, 2007
    Thanks for the help..How is the software for these things..Are they user friendly? What makes a vinyl cutter differ from each other.. THANKS
  4. Ken

    Ken Major Contributor

    Feb 7, 2005
    Hi Justin.
    Welcome to S101.
    You could go with a Roland Stika machine within that budget.
    I quickly out-grew that and went with a 24 " cutter. In my case a creation CT630. That should still be within your budget. If you have a choice use the WinPCsign software. With a 24" machine you can do almost unlimited vinyl sign work, banners. There are other models that others may ,justifiably recommend. You could design business cards but not produce them with a cutter. Yes, you can do decals but small decals are a problem.
    I usually think of decals as a printed item. But you could cut out things like Calvin, Ford logos etc.
    What you need to decide is, what do you want to do with this?
    Do you have any experience with design programs and technique?
    I'm assuming this will be a side-line thing for you. Remember that, just because this is part-time, you should not give your work away.
    You have a steep learning curve ahead of you and you should be rewarded for your efforts. If you start giving your work away for cheap, everyone else will expect that of you.
    Find a vinyl supplier that will sell material by the yard - Keep the basic colours on hand- white, black, red, blue, yellow, green. Vinyl, on the roll, has a shelf life. I'ts a good idea to try to keep your supply of vinyl "fresh". Establish a good relationship with your supplier as well as the company you purchase your machine from.
    Various sizes of transfer tape - 2" on up to 18".
    Keep reading these forums--you can search for past discussions on various topics rather than asking and waiting.
    Good luck!
  5. chopper

    chopper Very Active Member

    Mar 18, 2006
    Big Lake MN
    you need to read the threads hear under plotters and you will see all kinds of info there, as ken stated the 24 inch machines will be the most versitile, for the reason that most materials come in 24" what kind of software are you going to use? with your budget of 1K you will be limited in all aspects of the sign equipment needed, the most comon design software I belive is corel x3
    which will run you 500 bucks altho I have heard some saying they have seen it for sale for 100 bucks make sure that when you buy software that you get the real deal not some knock off clone version, the plotter is another issue
    you might be able to find a used machine of higher quality for a starter machine, ken said he was using a p-cut Iam not a fan of the chinese machines but if you go into it knowing what you are getting so be it,
    I dont mean to discourage you just stating the facts, most of us have 5-10 K just in software not counting the machines that cut which ranges from 3k on up if you cannot afford all of this at once I would get the software first and spend time learining it that will be the hardest part to understand and learn //chopper
  6. ChicagoGraphics

    ChicagoGraphics Major Contributor

    Feb 27, 2007
    justin, what part of IL you from, we have a 48" ANAGraph AE-120 plotter for sale. pm me if you be intersted

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