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Area 49

Vinyl Cutting

A vinyl cutter functions similar to a printer.  A computer controls the movements of a tiny sharp blade used to cut out shapes and letters from sheets of self-adhesive vinyl that can stick to walls, windows, and doors. Check with a Makerspace Monitor to get trained on the vinyl cutter.

Vinyl Cutter General Info

Roland Vinyl Cutter

Roland CAMM 1 GS-24

Location: Makerspace

Lanyard Color: Purple

Use Options:

  • Training

Cost: $1 per linear foot

Vinyl Cutting

  1. Lower the loading Lever located in the back left side of the machine. Do not use excessive force, handle gently.

Loading Lever

Fig. 1. Loading Lever

  1. Place your desired roll of paper on the rack located on the back of the machine. Feed the paper from the back through the front similar to the first image shown on this page. Both edges of the paper and the outer pinch rollers should be aligned.

Ok Not Ok

Fig. 2. Feed location

  1. The left edge of the paper should be parallel with the one of the many guide lines.

Guide lines

Fig. 3. Guide Lines

  1. Raise the loading lever
  2. Turn on the machine
  3. Allow it to automatically measure the paper size.
  4. If this is your first time using the machine, run a test print. Press & hold the “TEST” for about 2 seconds and a small cross should cut. Ensure cutting blade will cut through the vinyl, but not the paper backing. Adjust the paper and pen force accordingly. Press the down arrow to feed paper forward. Cut a horizontal line across, cutting the test print off.
  5. Open the file in Adobe Illustrator. 
  6. Convert your dimensions from inches to points (multiply by 72). In Illustrator, adjust the image to the appropriate pt dimensions by selecting the image and dragging the corner of the image.
  7. Move the image to meet the lower left hand corner of the white page.

Image location

  1. Under “Image Tracing,” click the drop-down menu for “View.” Select “Image tracing with outline.”
  2. File > Print. Change printer to “Roland GS-24”
  3. Press the down arrow to feed paper forward as needed. Cut a horizontal line across.

To create the file for cutting

To create a vector image from a raster image

Option 1

  1. Open the image in Illustrator.
  2. Click the image and go to Object > Image Trace.

Option 2

  1. Open the image in Illustrator.
  2. Place the image on the first layer.
  3. Add a layer above the template layer.
  4. Use the paint brush tool to trace the image. Hold the spacebar to move the image while tracing.

To clean up the lines

  1. Go to “Object” and “Expand Appearance.”
  2. Go to “Window” and choose “Pathfinder.”
  3. Press “n” on the keyboard to get the pencil tool and shape the lines you want to change.
  4. Use the “Merge” and “Trim” tools to clean up the lines.
  5. Select the full image (Ctrl + A) before moving to and from these tools.

To save an image for cutting

  1. Find and save a vector image and open it in Illustrator.
  2. Save it as an svg file.
  3. Print the file to send it to the cutter.