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cutting vinyl for t-shirts

7483 Views 18 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Mabuzi
We are just starting the t-shirt aspect of our business. I have made shirts using transfers but I am trying to make one using vinyl and my plotter. I am having trouble getting the settings right so that it will cut the vinyl. Does anyone have any suggestions on what the settings should be and maybe what size blade I should be using.. I am using spectra cut II vinyl. Any help would be great. thanks.
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What brand/model of plotter do you have?
the settings on every cutter are different. You may have to play around with it for a while to get it right. There arent usually any manufactureres reccomended suggestions for thermoflex, since it isnt a commonly used material.
Roland Camm-1 CX-24 use a 45 degree blade and pressure at 110 for heatpress thermoflex-plus vinyl. This is my setting so start here...if its cutting deep just reduce the pressure.
I'd check with Josh at Imprintables Wareshouse. I had some major troubles whith the Spectracut II and cutting it to deep. It would not peel from the backing and didn't want to stay on the shirt.

Josh provided me the cutting pressures and other tips, but I had already moved on to a new supplier so unfortunately I can't remember what they were.
I don't know much about the material that your cutting, but some vinyls cut better with a 60 degree blade than a 45 degree blade. You might try changing blades and see if that helps. Also, cutting too fast can cause problems if the vinyl is very elastic. Try slowing down the cutting speed.
I'm having the same problem with a smartcutter24 and the thermoflex plus. I can't get the right pressure.
After messing up a lot of vinyl I finally figured mine out. Just a lot of trial and error. Hopefully you will figure yours out as well DeEstella.
It depends on the brand and model of your plotter, and the sharpness of your blade. For thermal vinyl, we usually use about 140g down force at about 50cm for speed. We have a CAMM1 Pro CX-400.
I havent a clue about the machine you are using, but I can tell you that on our machine, even after following all the instructions and making adjustments, it still wouldnt cut properly.

....the only thing that has worked, and works wonderfully for us is to double cut your design. It was a dream to weed, and it made it 100% easier to see the cut lines.
stellargraphics said:
After messing up a lot of vinyl I finally figured mine out. Just a lot of trial and error. Hopefully you will figure yours out as well DeEstella.
What settings did you end up with?
I run a Designtech 24" and in terms of basic settings;
down force of 20 grams
speed of 22 for garment vinyl and 25 for sign vinyl
no offset.
Sorry if my settings mean nothing to some, my only experience is with the Designtech and Graphtec plotters.
And on a sidenote, these settings work great on the flock from Spectra.
Pulllease someone tell me your settings for cutting Spectra and Spectra II with a Roland GX24 ??
Make sure you have the material in the correct way. The shiny side goes down. I made this mistake and relised I was trying to cut the backing material. With my machine, I use the same setting as I do sign vinyl and have no issues. Unless Im cutting Spectra-cut 1 everything stays the same.
Spectracut II should cut at 100-130 grams of downforce on the Roland GX-24. If it is not cutting properly, you will need to conduct test cuts, examine them and adjust accordingly.

How to do a test cut on the GX-24 (other cutters might be similar)

Now that you have set the blade we need to do a test cut to make sure that the depth of the blade is correct.
Hit the Test button on your cutter. The carriage should perform various movements and the blade will now make its cut.
After movement is stopped, use the down arrow key to scroll your material out until you see what you have cut.

Take your weeder tool and peel up the first layer of the box that was cut.
After peeling up this layer, simply take the weeder tool and lift up the center circle as well. After lifting the circle you must examine the clear mylar backing to make sure you have an accurate cut.

An accurate cut will be demonstrated by the fact that everything peeled up easily to this point and no blade/score marks are present on the mylar backing where your circle was peeled from.

Upon weeding, if everything peels up and the circle is not left on the backing then your blade is not deep enough. Go back and adjust your downforce. Make sure your downforce is adjusted to cut SLIGHTLY deeper.

Upon weeding, if you notice blade/score marks you will need to decrease your force.

Upon weeding, if the mylar backing is completely cut through in any areas go back and decrease your force significantly.

If none of the symptoms above are present: your blade is set properly.

If any of the above symptoms are present: continue to repeat the force setting process and test cut process until you get accurate results.
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:D :D :D :D :D

Houston ..... All systems go!

I'm embarrassed to tell ya - My husband had brought some sign vinyl home for me to practice on. So last night, when he and I were at it together, we were putting the shiny side UP to cut. That doesn't work very well - :eek: Then today - he was off to work, and I got up and mistook the sign vinyl for the Spectra, so of course I couldn't get the stuff to work!

So far now .... so good. It's still a pain in the Arse to weed. I think I'll try the easy weed stuff next time.

Thanks again for all your help guys!:)
Glad you got it Pam. Still don't be shy. feel free to call Lou
I have my force where it is cutting my vinyl but my HUGE problem is it keeps bunching up when cutting... I have a craft robo pro and I dont know how to keep it from bunching... I am waisting alot of material so do I need to turn down my speed?
Always do the text cut and weed check. Do it several times to make sure the pressure and speed is right. Write these settings down and keep the hand book next to the cutter for reference. If it is scroing the carrier the pressure is too high.

Make sure the blade is not protuding to far beyond the blade holder.
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