Intro: Make Large-scale Drawings for Any Type of Project!
I'll show you a quick and easy way to make large-scale drawings by making one minor, but very important, modification to your vinyl cutter that will change it into an extremely rapid sketching tool. From: posters to leather templates; outlines for pillows to anything you could imagine! ANYTHING that requires a large quick outline to begin a project. Your vinyl cutter turns into an indispensable tool for all your drawing needs!!! Best of all, I made it at TechShop!!!
Step 1: Find an Image That You Want to Draw, and Import to the Vinyl Cutter Software.
Find the image that you would like to convert into a large-scale drawing. It can be anything: a boot, hat, belt, cat, dog, bird, tree, sun, car, etc, etc, and etc. The format can be jpeg, bmp, or png (there's also other options, but these work best).
Then convert it into an Encapsulated PostScript (.eps) file. You can use drawing editors like: Inkscape, CorelDraw, or Adobe Illustrator. I used Inkscape since it was free, and very user-friendly. (More in another Instructable on this topic.)
Open your Vinyl Cutting Software, such as FlexiSTARTER, import your ".eps" file, and adjust the dimensions to the size of paper that you have.
Step 2: Find a Suitable Type of Drawing Paper/material
The step that typically follows after importing your image file into the Vinyl Cutter Software entails that you load the vinyl paper that you want to cut.
Instead of adhesive vinyl paper, load a roll of any material that you would like to draw on. It can be a simple roll of white paper from your local office supply store; a roll of contractor paper for painting from your local hardware store; white poster paper from a school project; a large piece of smooth leather; and so on. The possibilities are endless!!! As long as the material is: flexible, relative smooth (no huge bumps), and can fit through the pinch rollers.
In my case, i used a roll of contractor paper for painting from Lowe's ($8) and a roll of plain white wallpaper ($0.94).
Slide the long. metal holding-bars through the middle of the rolls, place on the back of the vinyl cutter holding area, and feed through the pinch rollers.
Step 3: The Game-changer! Switch the Blade Cutter for the Pen Plotter!
This the most crucial step of the entire process!!! Instead of using the normal blade cutter to slice through the vinyl, use the "pen plotter" attachment tool.
The pen plotter tool is simply an ink-pen filler that sits inside the metal housing similar to that of the blade cutter tool. This simple swap-out allows you to make enormous drawings on all types of material.
Step 4: Load the Pen Plotter Into the Carriage Assembly.
Load your Pen Plotter onto the carriage assembly, and into the hole closest to the brass locking knob. Tighten down the screw just enough so that when you tug up, the pen plotter tool doesn't slide out.
Adjust your speed and pressure settings on the machine.
(I found that using CutSpeed: 200mm/s, and CutPress 70grams works best.)
Finally go back into your Vinyl Cutter Software, and START THE DRAWING!!!
Step 5: Step Back and Enjoy the Show!
Make sure your paper is loaded properly, send the image to the vinyl cutter, and enjoy the fruits of your labor!
In my case, I used brown contractor paper, and white wallpaper for a drawing of a hat that I wanted to make on a big scale.
You can use these templates for painting onto a wall. You can use them to make a cutout onto leather. You can use them as template for cutting onto cloth, and so on, and so on!!!
The possibilities are endless, and you can even do trial runs on cheap paper before you commit to cutting through an expensive piece of vinyl. Not only do you save money, but you can catch any mistakes that you made while drawing your figure. Then go back, polish your image, and create a better end-product.
I hope this helped, and make sure to check out your local Techshop for machine specific details.