1-10 feet of regular vinyl
vinyl cutter (US Cutter)
sewing needle for weeding in addition to dental picks
contact sheet for transfer
I made it at Techshop
Step 1: Blade Depth and Cutting Strength and Speed Balance
A good starting speed is from the lower range of 10 up to 70 for testing purposes.
Successful cutting for letters on a 4" decal is best done under speeds of 120.
TIP: The blade pressure setting is related to using the right blade depth when setting up the blade. If on a test print you are using more than 180 as your pressure setting on regular vinyl consider moving the blade to a a greater cutting depth.
TIP: On mirrored vinyl (which is very thick) the cutting pressure was almost maxed out at 300 on a similar project.
Step 2: Good Settings Produce Great Results
A setting group will include
roller location (work holding)
weeding and post processing requirements
TIP: Line up the vinyl edges using both of the rulers on the vinyl cutter both in the front and the back.
Step 3: Direction Matters When Weeding : What to Do Before Weeding
Start at different angles to test weeding
make note of what letters pull away when weeding
The correct weeding angle which is unique to each vinyl piece will allow you to pull off the entire inverse image and use that as its own decal. This is not required, but the ability to use the weeded vinyl again demonstrates a great choice in your settings.
Step 4: Weeding the Inside of a Letter
When weeding the inside of the letters start with the sharpest corner and attempt to fold the letter back on itself.
TIP: take not of the location where the cut stops and starts and start with that portion to avoid lifting the letter away from the backing.
Step 5: Transfer Paper or Contact Sheet Usage and Application
TIP: At this stage it is helpful when working solo on larger pieces to place the vinyl onto the transfer sheeting by unrolling the transfer sheeting with sticky side up and placing pre-cut sections of your weeded vinyl onto the upside down transfer sheeting.
Step 6: Hand Lettering Vs Typography
One technique to blend 2 approaches is to use a font for vector tracing to make your hand lettering appear more consistent and even. It is also helpful to do the hand lettering inside of a box to make sure the top and the bottoms are even.
Typography (existing fonts) will give you the best most readable vinyl lettering for small, and medium size projects.
Step 7: 5 Minutes Per Decal 15 Count Production Run in Black
TIP: If an individual decal is taking more than 10 minutes to produce consider changing the technique or simplifying the weeding process to save time. Also consider using the weeded portion (the inverse image by placing it intact onto the vinyl backing) to get the most from your time.