Mistakes To Avoid While Using A Vinyl Cutter Machine
If you have a vinyl cutter machine, you may be wondering why it is not giving you the results which you have in mind. It may also mean that you are struggling to get the best results whenever you use the machine.
Well, there are certain things which may be causing your frustration which has to do with how you are using your vinyl cutting machine.
Also, if you are yet to buy your vinyl cutter, you also need to read this article so that you can start enjoying your machine from day one. We have taken our time to present you with the mistakes which you must avoid while using a vinyl cutter machine.
1. Overlooking the importance of test cuts
Many people make the mistake of jumping into cutting their materials without doing a test cut to see if the recommended settings for different materials will give them what they want.
Well, if you don’t want to waste your materials, it is strongly recommended that you carry out a test cut before you start the main business. This will help you to avoid producing unwanted results that will waste your money.
In order to get the best result out of your test cuts, choose a shape which is similar to the material to be used in the project. E.g, use small letters as a test cut if you are cutting a title etc.
2. Not taking the time to investigate a failure.
You may think that it is a waste of time but a problem defined is easier solved than an unidentified problem. When you make a wrong cut, don’t make assumptions about what may have caused you to make a bad cut.
Sometimes, people will reinstall the software in their trucks from the Trucker Section in order to fix their mistakes not knowing that their assumptions were wrong from the beginning. So take a little time to find out what may have caused your bad cut instead of doing unnecessary things.
However, there are some problems which you can easily identify such as:
- Tearing: this occurs if your blade is exposed more than required or if the material is wet or not suitable at all. Also, if you apply more force than necessary, you will avoid this mistake.
- When you experience a partial cut, it is either that the speed was too fast, the force was lower than necessary, the blade was close to the material or you should have passed the machine more than once on the material.
- When your material is not cut. If your blade is chipped or too high, your material will not be cut. If you also apply a low force or didn’t expose the blade enough, the same could happen.
- The end point misaligns with the start point. This can happen if you have a sticky mat or if speed and force are higher than necessary.
Read our guide on: choosing a heat press machine here.
3. Exposing the blade more than necessary.
You may think that if you expose more blade on the holder, you will get a good result. Please avoid making such mistakes because you will not get a better result by doing that and this is applicable in all vinyl cutter machines.
Make sure that the amount of blade exposed will match the thickness of your material and a little extra.
The danger of exposing more blade is that you will cut into the mat and make your blade dull. You will also experience some tearing, incomplete cuts and crumpled corners.
4. Not making the material stable before cutting.
To stabilize your material, you will have to provide a kind of backing to the sides that are not touched by the blade. This will ensure that the blade will not shift the materials and also help to keep the cut pieces intact to prevent them from falling away as the operation goes on.
If it is vinyl or other iron products, you don’t have to worry about backing them because they come with a layer for that. Paper products, on the other hand, will require you to press them onto a sticky mat which your blade can only graze and not penetrated.
5. Not knowing what blade offset setting means.
Some people usually think that when they have a bad cut, it means that their cutter blade has offset. Or when the corners of their materials are rounded, hanging or bubbled, it was a blade offset. Well, the setting is not for what they assume.
Blade offset is that distance between the tip and the center of the blade. If you leave it at 0 while cutting a large or medium shape, you will notice that your shape becomes part of the waste. So the setting is there to send instructions to the blade so to go a little bit further to complete the cut.
6. Thinking that the blade is chipped after a wrong cut.
That you experienced a wrong cut doesn’t mean that your machine blade is chipped. Many people make this mistake and you can avoid it. The main thing that can chip your vinyl cutter blade is by excessive exposure and force and when this occurs, the blade will not cut your materials at all not to talk of bad cuts.
If you want to know whether your cutter blade is chipped, the simple thing to do is to scan the blade so that you can easily examine it. When you examine it, bear in mind that you may see a cutback on the blade. This does not relate to what you are looking for but rather, it is used for the offset.
Other mistakes you can avoid are:
- Not studying your machine manual and not cleaning or servicing your vinyl cutter from time to time.
- Not watching your machine as it operates
- Using metals, liquids or flammable substances inside the machine
- Leaning on your vinyl cutter
- Manually stopping the machine when it is still operating
- Leaving your hair, wearing a tie or belt when the arm is operating.
Learn some more watching the video from below!
We have taken the time to research on this and we want you to enjoy your vinyl cutter machine by avoiding the above mistakes. Not only will you work with peace of mind, you will save unnecessary costs.
I also believe that if you avoid these mistakes, you are sure to use your vinyl cutter machine for a very long time.
Relevant reading: Types Of T-shirt Printing.