When it comes down to using vinyl cutters, it doesn’t matter much that whether you are a noob entering the vinyl print business or a highly skilled professional as everyone makes a few mistakes. When you are still learning the basics of vinyl cutting, making the similar kind of errors is quite frustrating. In case of a professional, it creates havoc when you need to deliver the project ASAP, and you accidentally make a mess of the substrate. Today we will learn how to avoid such common mistakes while using vinyl cutters.
It’s a human tendency to make a mistake, and there is very little that you can do about it. But to repeat the same error is considered as a crime in the professional world. We have a couple of tips and tricks that would help you to avoid such mistakes, and in some cases, that can minimize the effect of the error.
Based on the occurrences and the user who commits these mistakes are classified into two general categories; the learning mistakes and the cutting mistakes.
These are fundamental kind of mistakes which are committed by the new users, as you gain exposure and knowledge about vinyl cutter you won’t make such mistakes again. Let’s have a look at some of the fundamental mistakes which a newbie makes and how you can avoid them.
Wrong selection of vinyl cutters:
For starters what more can go wrong than purchasing an entirely different vinyl cutter than what you need based on the posts and advice made by your trust worthies. Based on various comparison charts and tables you concluded that the X cutter is very best in its class but what if you don’t need all those features. Check out some of the best vinyl cutting machine reviews.
First of all, try to identify your business needs, make some research that what kind of material you will be dealing with or what sizes of cuts are required by your client. Then accordingly choose the best suitable vinyl cutter from the options available at your disposal.
Afraid of mistakes:
Most of the learners that we came across have a fear of making mistakes, which is not a good thing. When you are scared of making mistakes, you avoid trying new thing thus you fail to learn the new techniques.
You need to have patience, try to analyze that why such mistake happened and most importantly do fear that you will make such mistakes again. Once you have analyzed the situation try the process once again, you will surely upskill yourself.
Believing everything that Google offers:
I don’t blame you for this one as today no one gives a rat’s eye to the user manual. If you face a problem, just Google your way to get the solution. But it’s not sure that every piece of information available online is correct. There are cases where you get a more expensive solution.
To avoid such situation what you can do is have a chat with an expert with first-hand experience. They will always have clearer and quicker fixes for your problem.
Ignoring the User Manual:
I know that user manuals are quite thick these days and I don’t expect everyone to read the entire thing. But what you can do is just go through a couple of pages that describe optimum settings, calibrations, and other troubleshooting guides. Your most of the simple problems can be sorted out via the user manual.
Purchasing additional software packages:
I have observed the fact that if the new users are not getting desired cuts, they tend to blame it on the software package. While the mistake is on the designing part. Most of the people like to go for a more premium software which would offer more designs and artwork collection.
The very first thing that you need to do is to understand the functionality of the preloaded software. Genuinely speaking, the bundled software is more than enough to take care of all your cutting needs.
Incomplete information regarding the problem:
This is one of the most common mistakes that a new user commits when in a problem, you call the tech support team and are unable to give them the correct details about your query. Without the proper information, no one can help you doesn’t matter how small the issue may be.
To overcome this try to understand the situation which you are facing and then appropriately answer the questions asked by the technical guy.
There are some mistakes which a user tends to commit while cutting the heat transfer vinyl even after getting much experience and exposure in using the vinyl cutter. Let’s see some of the important ones and how to avoid them.
Avoiding the test cuts:
It is the most common mistake found among the professionals. If you avoid test cuts then at some point in time some of your vinyl sets get damaged causing wastage of materials. You think that you know your machine pretty well and do not want to waste vinyl or time on test cuts.
The ideal way to avoid such wastage is to make a habit of test cutting on a smaller section of the substrate. The cuts sometimes get spoiled because of wear and tear of the machine, blades getting blunt or the mat condition.
Avoiding calibration while change cutting materials:
You may have got a new cutting tool which was working perfectly up until your last project. All of a sudden it stop giving that excellent quality cuts. The machine may provide partial cuts, tearing or even no cuts and you would be blaming the software and cutter.
To tackle such a situation, first of all, identify the material you are working with and then accordingly check the blade exposure, blade height, speed, force and no of pass required to cut the stuff. If you set all these parameters correctly then cutting will great.
Cutting without a mat (Stabilizing):
You need to stabilize your media before you are ready to start the cut, this can be done by using an adhesive mat as the base. If the substrate is not adequately adhered to the mat it will cause snags, tears or vinyl may even get stuck in
While using a new mat, then you won’t face such issues, but if your mat is quite old, you need to be sure that vinyl adheres to a mat. If the problem persists, get a new mat. Cutting without a mat causes the chipping of your blades.
Avoiding blade maintenance and settings:
If desired cuts are not obtained, then most of you think that the blade if not sharp enough and it’s time to change the blade.
To avoid such a situation, look at the blades and try
- adjusting the increasing the force if possible, this will give you good results
- check the blade exposure; it should be slightly higher than the thickness of material which you are about to cut
- adjust the blade offset setting according to the cutting requirement
These are some of the most common mistakes made by the users when using a vinyl cutter. Now you know how to handle such problems and mostly avoid them. There are some other points which were worth mentioning; those will be covered at some later point in time.