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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been doing t-shirts and sweats on the side for a couple of years. I am always looking for better ways to make my gear -- more efficiently, less expensively and still high quality.

Currently, I use Transfer Express for most of my work. I love 'em! My only issue is with small quantities and more than one color. For smaller quantities, I bought a Brother 3070 laser printer and some Image Clip Light and am pretty happy with the results.

I have started looking at vinyl as a possibility and have some questions:

1. What are vinyl's strengths?
2. What are vinyl's drawbacks?
3. At what point do you think that vinyl would *not* be the most efficient/effective way to decorate a tee or sweat (maybe in terms of number of colors, number of items to decorate, or other considerations)?
4. How hard is it to learn how to decorate with vinyl? I've never used a cutter/plotter before, never weeded a design, etc.
5. Are there any products or packages that you might recommend for someone starting out in vinyl? USCutter has a 34" cutter on eBay (NEW 34" Vinyl Cutter / Cutting Plotter USCutter w/USB | eBay) for $299. Am I looking at the right thing?

Any and all help you can provide is greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Joe
 

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Vinyl cutters are a great option for small quantites and customizing shirts with names and such. They also have a bunch of crazy holographic/glow/fuzzy..etc...etc materials that you can really upcharge with.

The learning curve is fast. The only think you really need is a vector program, like CorelDraw or Illustrator. If you don't have those, that will be the hardest thing to learn, but theres lots of YouTube tutorials on that stuff.

As far as colors, I've seen lots of crazy stuff, but to make any sort of reasonable money, one or two colors is the most I usually do with vinyl.

As far as limitations, they can cut extremly detailed images...the only problem is weeding it. Simple designs weed in seconds, complicated designs take time.

Good luck,
Nick
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They also have a bunch of crazy holographic/glow/fuzzy..etc...etc materials that you can really upcharge with.
Yes, I've seen some really cool sheets on Stahls site (and I am sure others have them as well).

The only think you really need is a vector program, like CorelDraw or Illustrator.
I have CorelDraw X3.

Is the cutter I referenced the right sort of cutter to use? Any options I should consider when looking at a cutter?

Thanks!
 

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I have a Roland. I don't know too much about that USCutter, but a lot of people on the board have that cutter and everyone seems to like it a lot. Never heard anything bad about it. I'm sure some owners of this will chime in, or maybe do a search on that cutter. I know there are a lot of threads in the past.

Good luck,
Nick
 

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you do need a vector program BUT...if you are using Corel or Illustrator... you have to make sure there are plug ins available for your cutter...not all do..

As for the cutter you show...run for the door...Check the threads you will find that US Cutter after sales support is minimal..relying on their forum.or so I have been told...to me not acceptable. also it has a stepper motor, not the more robust servo motor. it also it only has a 90 day warranty...you should get a machine with at least a one year warranty...especially if you are not cutting tons of vinyl a week At best it is an entry level machine but to me not the greatest deal...just my opinion
 

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I have a Roland. I don't know too much about that USCutter, but a lot of people on the board have that cutter and everyone seems to like it a lot. Never heard anything bad about it. I'm sure some owners of this will chime in, or maybe do a search on that cutter. I know there are a lot of threads in the past.

Good luck,
Nick
I have seen lots of complaints about US Cutter over at their forum, but I think sometimes the really bad threads "vanish"....

Some have no problems with their US Cutters but it does seem like a crap shoot at times as they seem to have a much higher DOA rate than more expensive cutters....

Also they ship their cutters a "Trial Version" of Signcut whixch has to be renewed in a year for 200.00 or you have to endure Sign Blazer, which is a good program if you can tolerate it.....It is old and no longer supported as the author died years ago.....

If I was stuck with 200.00 or 300.00 to spend, I think I would look at a Signwarehouse Ebay package....Still not much of a cutter but they have sure sold a lot of them over the years...

eBay My World - signwarehouse

But as luck would happen, they have nothing for sale today.....So you have to look at their feedback to see the packages they usually sell....
 
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