Vinyl cutter - any tips for cutting a stencil?

Hi all. I’m looking at making a text stencil on the vinyl cutter, meant for use when spray-painting text onto a metal surface. Having never used a cutter, I’m soliciting any and all suggestions you might have on how to go about it. For example:

  • What is the most appropriate kind of vinyl for this purpose? I read the cutter’s manual available online, but it doesn’t really suggest materials.

  • Is there a general guideline for cutting speeds? Similar to above, the manual only suggests testing things out.

and really anything else that comes to mind, esp. if you’ve experienced it firsthand on this machine.

In case it makes a difference, the text I’m looking to spray paint using this stencil will have characters about 2" tall. It won’t be anything too intricate – think military-style block text with sharp lines.

Thank you!

Hey Branislav,

I’m certainly no expert but I’ve used the vinyl cutter to make some stickers and stencils recently, so will throw my two cents in…

Materials - as far as I can tell any old adhesive vinyl will work well as a stencil. There may be some that are better than others, but not aware of them.

Cutting speeds - I would just stick with the recommendations in the manual. As i understand you may want to slow it down when you have a really intricate piece with sharp turns, but it sounds like what you’re doing will be fine.

Prepping - when you’re getting your stencil ready, you will need to weed out all the vinyl that isn’t part of the stencil, and you will need to apply the stencil where it’s gonna do the stenciling. For weeding there are a set of tools by the cutter that do a great job. For application, depending on the piece you may need to use application tape. It will make it much easier to transfer, but I imagine if you’re careful and patient it’s possible to do without.

Hope that’s helpful! Let me know if you have more questions!

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One other thing, when you out the vinyl in for the first time, make sure there’s plenty of vinyl either side of the roller. Before it starts a cut the rollers roll back a forward about 6 inches or so, and if you don’t have that space your piece will fall out and it won’t cut anything. Then you should cancel the cut, but that seems to mess with the software so you may end up having to reset the software and/or the cutter. All in all a total pain, so it’s way easier to just give it a lot of extra room when you’re starting any cut.

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Thank you very much, Scott – those are all excellent bits of info!

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Btw there is a Pdf manual on the desktop thats by it.

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Awesome – I’ll make sure to study it first.