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questions about vinyl cutting for SCIENCE

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Hi friendly cutsters,

We use vinyl cutters all the time in a research lab to make tiny stencils to control tissue growth, micro-plumbing, and generally try to take over the world. Precision is really important for us (we cut lines 0.3 mm apart and need to be able to make clean, repeatable squares and triangles down to 1.5 mm width), and we've been able to get by with a Silhouette Cameo, but I've been eyeing the servo systems for a few years and am curious to see if they will outperform the Cameo. We have the budget for a new machine and we've been looking at the Graphtec CE6000-40 (all of our cutting takes place in a 6x6" patch, so a large cutting field is not an issue.

The CE6000 sounds like a great machine, but I'm confused about the thickness of the material is can cut since it's only officially rated to 0.25 mm (10 mil) thickness. We do our cutting in 0.25 mm silicone membrane on a 0.15 mm backing liner on top of a cutting mat. It is not clear to me if this will cause a problem or not, and I did not receive a clear answer from Graphtec when I called. Given our layers, could the CE6000 handle our material? What if we wanted to switch to a 0.5 mm membrane someday--would we need to buy a new machine to cut that?

How about resolution? Does anybody have experience with servos and such small features--will they really cut more cleanly than a good stepper system?

Thank you!

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