Sign in to follow this  
PixelPusher

How to make a vinyl cutter media basket for cheap!

Recommended Posts

Hello, this post will be a work in progress as I brainstorm (and fumble) my way through a process to make a working media basket for my Copam CP-2500 vinyl cutter on a low budget. The goal here is to get others to make a similar media basket for their cutters, regardless of brand (unless they've purchased a factory stand that already includes a media basket).

 

I'll edit this post to be more concise and proper once I work through some design challenges (like how to mount it to my existing stand), what sizes and dimensions I'll use etc. It is not intended on being an instructional article per se (at least off the start), but rather a bit of motivation for others to use to make one themselves for their cutters. We can also brainstorm and post ideas on how to overcome design challenges and make improvements since others may have better ideas than myself. This post may be rewritten as a "How To" though if I make some satisfactory progress in the period of time to come.

 

 

Running cost total so far: $19.99 CAD

So far the materials I've sourced out include:

 

1 - IKEA shoe rack called LUSTIFIK for $7.99 CAD that I will disassemble and cut and drill accordingly to make the basket frame and arms. There are ample metal tubes included in this shoe rack as it is. It will easily fit a 38" or longer (or shorter) plotter stand since the pipes can extend horizontally or lengthwise depending on how you're positioning them. Also, IKEA sells these metal tubes separately in their Drapery section of the store for $1.99 or more (I can't remember what the larger tube piece cost). I will need to buy two more "arms" in the future so I have 4 in total (you get 2).

 

1 - 54"x84" 60% Polyester and 40% Cotton Window Curtain for $12.00 CAD from a discount merchandiser for the basket material. I wanted a material that was as static friendly as possible in it's blend since we all know that static and vinyl cutters are no fun and pure Polyester is a static unfriendly material. I looked this up on the web and I was led to believe that the more Polyester blend, the worse off you'll be since it holds a negative static charge. Cotton on the other hand seems to be neutral in static charge. The material had to be strong enough to take some abuse but not heavy enough to cause other issues. I'll obviously need to get someone to cut and sew this material into a suitable looping "W-shaped" basket but that's where I'll employ my Mother to help ;) I also chose a brown color for the basket since my Copam is beige and the store didn't have a black curtain available at the time I was buying.

 

I have attached some pictures of what I've got so far and I'll add more pictures as I go along...

 

I have also attached some images of a USCutter stand (from this website) so those images are Copyrighted by USCutter and all credit goes to them accordingly. I'm sort of emulating the USCutter stand as a template to work from.

 

My plan is to cut the curved/rounded sections of the bars exactly in half to make identical sections for the front facing frame section as well as for the rear facing frame section. The arm extensions simply slide into the curved pieces as well.

 

I'll need mounting brackets of some type too and the goal is to slide the basket arms forward and backward as needed to allow room for the media to come off the cutter into the basket. Of course, I think they should be able to retract so not to take up space when not needed.

 

Anyhow, this is Day 1 of my design challenge. I'll post more as I progress. Stay tuned! Your comments and feedback (good or bad) are encouraged. Let's make this design something functional and decent but not too "ghetto looking".

post-96816-0-06533500-1454019659_thumb.j

post-96816-0-20884300-1454019726_thumb.j

post-96816-0-77159700-1454019791_thumb.j

post-96816-0-13513600-1454019850_thumb.j

post-96816-0-16827700-1454019852_thumb.j

post-96816-0-19672100-1454019854_thumb.j

post-96816-0-86097200-1454019856_thumb.j

post-96816-0-85441300-1454019859_thumb.j

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The LP2 media basket is sold for $30  ($35 for 34" size)  and it will fit both the SC and LP2 (not the MH, due to the narrower dimensions of the stand).

 

You'll have to drill holes throught the legs for the SC to accommodate the rails.

The LP2 stand already is pre-drilled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those (like me) who aren't up to speed on the lingo...does LP2 = Laser Point 2 and SC= ? I think I'm right on the LP2 abbreviation anyhow.

Those prices are awesome for the Americans. But for me, in Canada, USCutter's shipping policy (and cost) makes this outrageously expensive. I originally tried to buy a basket from their eBay store (as they were on clearance) and bypass all this DIY nonsense but shipping alone was like $150 to Canada (not adding in the cost of the basket itself too). Also, since our dollar is worth $0.30/dollar less than the American dollar, prices quickly spiraled out of control. I could almost buy a new cheapo cutter for the cost of the basket once bought and shipped. That doesn't factor in possible duty charges at the border too.

 

$30 USD printer basket (as quoted by you) + $150 USD shipping = $251.58 CAD That doesn't include import taxes at border either. Besides, thanks to the terrible new USCutter shipping policy to Canada, I have to spend over $1000 to get them to even consider selling to me. Here is a copy/paste of their policy off their website for International customers.

 

International Orders

USCutter, Inc. has always been pleased to offer their products around the world. However, there are always challenges to our customers as well as losses to our business associated with these orders. The policies below are intended to minimize such losses so that we continue to offer our products. When placing an international order, make sure you follow the following policy otherwise your order will not be attended to or shipped.

  1. Minimum order amount is $3000 ($1000 for Canada). This is the subtotal. It does not include shipping or any other fees.
  2. Payment has to be by Wire Transfer ONLY. We do not accept any International credit cards issued by Non-U.S. banks/issuers.
  3. Customer will pay all shipping, customs duties, insurance, and any other applicable fees before shipment.

NOTE

  • USCutter will gladly ship to freight forwarders at buyer's request.
  • USCutter reserves the right to change the above policy without further notice. So make sure you check this page before you place your order.

 

By all means, if you can buy a real one for cheap then DO IT, but for us living North of the border (or elsewhere) buying "anything" from USCutters is a complete joke.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Here is a (not so good) photo of the IKEA bars separated.
  • Also here are some cheap vinyl "C"-clamps for mounting the bars to the frame. They just so happen to be grey too - bonus! Now I have to decide if I wish to drill into my stand frame or make this whole unit detachable and non-destructive. My preference is to do this non-destructive so when I sell the plotter, if my new one doesn't have a media basket, I can reuse this setup.

    I will need to mound the C-clamps to two pieces of wood or some type of strapping (like cheap dollar store "dog leash" style vinyl strapping). I actually have quite a bit of this style of material from making snowboard leg leashes. I also just happen to have plastic strap buckles that snap together in the same size. I also have some plastic elbow pieces (for lack of a better word) to help tighten the straps to the cutter stand frame. I can then re-use the media rollers that the Copam stand already comes with by simply placing it overtop of the basket material. It will also help keep it in place.

Once I get the frame attached to the cutter, I will start on the basket. Since the basket has a "W" shape to it, I'll use the crossbeam in the existing cutter as the center of the "W" shape and attach it with adhesive Velcro to the frame. I'll get my Mother to sew the basket material on her sewing machine and also sew the matching Velcro strips onto it as well.

post-96816-0-42235100-1454089747_thumb.j

post-96816-0-84617700-1454105237_thumb.j

post-96816-0-25099900-1454708238_thumb.j

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this