Instructables
Picture of How to Customize any Surface using Vinyl
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This is an explanation of how to use vinyl sheets to customise any surface, which in this case is a trashcan. This instructable is an easy-to-follow, step-by-step process of how the signage ‘ProtoTrash’ came to be.

This project was inspired by a desire to do something with the dull-looking trashcan in our ProtoTank office. Fortunately, this project was easily carried out using the Vinyl Cutter tools and machinery located in TechShop San Francisco, which just so happens to be where ProtoTank is based as well.

Again, the methods explained in this instructable can be applied to create any type of vinyl signage, for any type of smooth, curved and non-curved surfaces.
 
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Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials
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Tools Required:

MH Series Vinyl Cutter
Computer with FlexiStarter software
Squeegee
Weeding Pick

Materials Required:

Vinyl for signage and test pieces
Transfer Paper

(All of this is provided in TechShop SF)

Step 2: Setting up the Vinyl Cutter

Picture of Setting up the Vinyl Cutter
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1. The first thing to do is to adjust and lock the height of the blade within the blade holder.

2. This is done using the two screw rings, A and B.

3. The protruding blade height should only be enough to cut through the vinyl but keep the backing paper intact.

4. To test the blade depth, scratch the blade holder on a scrap piece of vinyl. If the blade goes through the entire thickness of the vinyl, than you need to reduce the height of the blade.

5. Next, place the blade holder within the rear slot of the carriage assembly, located along the cutting area of the machine.

6. Make sure it is seated properly within the slot. Hold the blade holder in place by tightening the lock knob until the tension becomes moderate, but not too tight.
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sensational and informative ,thanks

motherprune2 months ago

Its splendid :)

cobbledbeard2 months ago

I am with Fstedie......Don't have an expensive vinyl cutter sitting around waiting for me to 'discover' it!

mousepaper2 months ago

Thats cold...

mousepaper2 months ago

Sensational looking

Excellent...!!

good

amazedgreen2 months ago

sensational and informative
thanks

fastbobble2 months ago

Its spectacular :)

gorgeddamp2 months ago


Thats trendy

clearedeager2 months ago

Its exceptional

illrings2 months ago


Thats sweet

airbugger3 months ago

so simple yet so powerful


Fascinating

headlymph3 months ago

good

tealrink3 months ago

GREAT

grousebandit3 months ago


Its sensational looking :)

grousebandit3 months ago


Its sensational looking :)

grousebandit3 months ago



Incredibly good...!!

harechubby3 months ago

amezing

jiffymanager3 months ago

super

calmlunch4 months ago

super

clapfilk4 months ago

super

great

spongeraffle4 months ago

This is so great!

workexaminer4 months ago

nice

clickyummy5 months ago

great

Mariska Botha11 months ago
Nice Instructable.
BunnyRoger11 months ago
Very cool indeed. Nice one
Amanda Culbert11 months ago
Would have been very cool if I actually had a vinyl cutter I could use. Don't think everyone just has one lying around.
MAApleton11 months ago
Hhhhmmmm.... Wonder if anyone maybe has a MH Series Vinyl Cutter lying around that I can borrow hehe....
You should enter this in the Hurricane Lasers Contest! http://www.instructables.com/contest/hurricanelasers/
richb772 years ago
If only there was Techshop (or anything similar!) in the UK!
t.rohner2 years ago
You can get decent 24" cutter including a plugin software for Coreldraw, Illustrator and the free Inkscape for 500$.
(GCC Expert 24)
Of course, these cutters wouldn't be my choice, if money isn't a issue. (I would go for a Summa S-Class...) But the GCC work quite well and the supplied software is pretty good.
The noname (chinese) cutters i inspected at tradeshows, are a waste of money. This may change of course.

I sell cutters and other signmaking machinery for the last 25 years.
When i started, a cutting system (flatbed cutter, software and PC) was over 100k$.

But then, as another commenter pointed out, bring your design as a vector file to a sign shop a have it cut. They have all the vinyl colors around and know how to set up the machine.(mostly;-)
MakersBox2 years ago
Does the vinyl have adhesive on one side or is it more of a static cling?
You can buy vinyl that does either, adhesive and cling vinyl are not terribly expensive and can usually be bought by the yard or roll.
paulstaf2 years ago
I am with Fstedie......Don't have an expensive vinyl cutter sitting around waiting for me to 'discover' it!
Same here. I've been out looking in my garage for that CNC machine I lost. Maybe it's next to that ...
next up how to sew your extra diamonds into that mink coat thats just lying around on your platinum plated rolls royce.
bpenner2 years ago
As a sign shop owner with the cheapest cutter in the shop being around $4500 I can tell you that for a job like this or any other simple job you can print your design on thick paper and cut it out to use as a template and just score the vinyl by hand with an exacto knife. Investing in a cheap machine like a USCutter will simply end up with you being agrevated and feeling jiped out of your hard earned $$$. The cheapest and best bang for your buck for home use or a small shop is the Graphtec Craft Robo Pro about $1200 but you would feel like you got an actual capable machine. Just my 2 cents :-)
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