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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to understand the limitations of vinyl printing. Let's say you get one of those good cutting machines with an optical eye. How detailed can the designs be?

For example, would this be too detailed to do with a vinyl cutter?



What about something even more detailed like this?



or does it have to be mostly solid area like this?

 

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All possible, althought it would be a pain to weed the middle one. BTW, the optical eye doesn't affect the quality of the cut. A mid-range vinyl cutter will be able to cut something like that, of course slightly slower.
 

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Your biggest concern with complicated designs won't be the cutting itself, usually - it will be the weeding. I believe many vinyl cutters can cut lines as small as about 2mm in width (feel free to correct me on that one, I'm not 100% certain). However, when you have a lot of small areas, you'll have to weed out all the little bits of excess vinyl from the design, which can be very time consuming.
 

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A good cutter would be able to cust all three depending on the size of the image. The smaller they are the harder to get clean cust espicalyy if it is not cleadn up very well.

As the others have said, the middle would take a lot of time to weed out the excess, but if you were only doing one or two is doable.

I primary do the vinyl materials and flock for shirts and have not run into much that isn't possible, but what I do depends a good deal on the amount of time it would take.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So has someone invented a good automatic weeder yet? I found discussion of a weeder/sheeter machine in another thread, but apparently it's meant for signs and hasn't gotten good reviews.

Also, can someone estimate the amount of time it would take to weed the above images I posted?
 

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matrixdecals said:
The 2 first pictures can take you probably 5 to 10 minutes each while the 3rd one about 30 sec. I might be a little slow compare to others but that is my estimation of time.

slow?? dam, i must be a snail. thats fast dude. those first two would take me about half hour each. lol.
well it looks like most people have answered your questions already Fat Tire. Like Twinge said, the weeding is the time consuming part, so you wouldnt want to use this process for making a large amount of shirts. Also, when it comes to complicated images like your middle one, its pretty easy to make mistakes (at least for me). Thats the frustrating part about weeding, sometimes you can get confused with the negative for just a split second and before you know it you're pulling up the wrong pieces. :mad:
However, if you're just doing one shirt, you can take your time and it can be enjoyable. I find weeding to be quite theraputic at times. ;)
 

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Fat Tire said:
So has someone invented a good automatic weeder yet? I found discussion of a weeder/sheeter machine in another thread, but apparently it's meant for signs and hasn't gotten good reviews.

Also, can someone estimate the amount of time it would take to weed the above images I posted?

Just so everyone knows, the Weeder and the Sheeter are two separate pieces of equipment made by the same company.

The Sheeter applies a transfer tape onto already weeded designs for signs and decals and it works excellently, however it has no useful purpose at all for t-shirts.

The Weeder is supposed to be able to weed large amounts of cut vinyl for signs. But it wouldn't work on the typical designs we use for t-shirts because of the detail and the small amount of vinyl we use for a shirt. I'm not sure it would work properly with ThermoFlex anyway. I don't really think it works that good on what it's supposed to do either unless everything is just perfect with the cut.
 

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Just a quick note...The optic eye would offer another alternative for you on the designs (especially the first two). You can print the image onto opaque transfer paper and then program your cut lines for just the outside of the design only. One weed and its done.
 
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