pawdell

Starting Out With Vinyl Cutting

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Hello,

  I am thinking about adding vinyl cutting to what I already offer. I don't know how well this will work out, so I like the idea of starting small in order to see where this may go for me, I would appreciate your opinion on this path to (hopeful) success:

  I would like to start with a Silhouette Cameo 3 for me to see if I can actually do this and use the results to measure customer demand. If this is considered successful, my goal is the Graphtec CE 6000-60 Plus. I just can't get myself to start with the Graphtec.

  I am curious what you think of this plan? Is there a better option than the Silhouette in it's price range-ish? And am curious what you think of Graphtec CE6000-60 Plus. The Graphtec is my target because of price, servo motors and read-about accuracy.

  Thank you for your time and opinions!!

 

Paul

PawDell.com

 

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Don't do it.

For just $419 you'll be better off with the SC2 (24" with stand) and get a feel for a "real" cutter.
The little Cameo3 is $249, and if you can't justify the extra $170. capital outlay for a BUSINESS, then you are not a business.

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Thank you! That's what I am looking for.

 

  Info I should have mentioned initially: This is considered just a hobby, but am impressed with customer response to our current items. Vinyl cutting is what I see for me in the future. Customers may not see it this way.

 

  Thanks again - I will look into the SC2. Much appreciated.

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I agree, you do not want to start with a Cameo. Start with a full size vinyl cutter. You can do anything,  No reason to limit your self to a small size like that.  There is so much more that can be done with a full size vinyl cutter. You really will want a cutter with a stand.  Vinyl tracks much better, when it is on the vinyl rollers behind the stand, and you can cut at much longer and wider lengths. Don't go cheap and buy that MH. At least start with the SC2 or up. 

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the sc2 wasn't available when I bought my 53" sc.  I needed to be able to do a large sign is why I was buying a cutter. so a sc model cutter was the brand I could afford that size. but I didn't see the titan 2 . if I had it to do over I would've spent the $ to start with atleast a titan2 so I was starting out with a servo motor cutter. heres a starter kit same price as the cutter and has upgrade cutting software https://www.uscutter.com/Titan-Design-Starter-Package 

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What the hobby cutters can't do is load a roll of vinyl.  That for me is a face palm.  Rolls are cheaper per foot.  The are far easier to manage.  I can understand wanting to test the waters.  But it is a poor test wadding in the kiddie pool.  You just get your ankles wet.  If you truly want to start small, at least make a 24" your initial jump point.  Then you can load a roll.

But, if you are just really doing this as a hobby, making small items, scrap book cuts, ect., maybe it is ok.  If you want to make things in inches thats fine, if you are thinking in feet, get one that can do feet of material.  It is not so much the width of the roll, but that it is a cutter that can take a roll can cut 2-4 in lenght times its width.  So for a 24" cutter that is 4-8 feet, (maybe better if it tracks well.)  A hobby cutter can only go the length of the sheet.

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Thanks for the input. I have fought this kind of thing before. I can understand getting a full 24" wide machine for not much more then the Silhouette. It makes sense. If this goes as well as I hope, I would then be looking at getting the Graphtec. I may just bite the vinyl bullet and go directly to the Graphtec. I'll have to think about it.

 

  Thanks again!

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I started off as a hobbyist, and still consider myself a hobbyist. 10+ years ago I started off with an original LaserPoint (LP). Even as a hobbyist, I had word of mouth jobs and got that machine paid in a very short amount of time. Last year I picked up a Graphtec CE6000-60 Plus, haven't regretted it. It will take me a little longer to get this machine to pay for itself, but I know it will. The Graphtec is so much better, it actually makes me wish I bought it a lot sooner - it would have made some of my jobs a lot easier to get done. BTW - Nothing is wrong with my LP,  just thought it was time to get a "back-up" machine since the LP is very well taken care of, but also getting old. Now the LP is my back-up machine :lol:

Like Slice recommends - go directly to Graphtec. (Do not pass Go, do not collect $200, just head straight for the right machine the first time out)

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Go directly to graphtec, I'm just starting out and went right to it and don't regret it. Bought it because I already had people committed for $300 in sales so it was an easy choice. Had it set up and cutting within an hour.

I do this as my side business and would rather spend my time making money than fighting the machine. Since I've gotten it, I've gotten all kinds of requests from friends for stickers and shirts (got it with the heat press).

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16 hours ago, slice&dice said:

Go directly to Graphtec?

Hmmmmmmm....

::)

Ah, I meant go directly to Graphtec on my list, not try to go directly to Graphtec, themselves.

 

Just wanted to throw that in there...

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Just to play devils advocate I too started out with a budget cutter like Haumana. Mine was a Creation P-Cut. It had all sorts of quirks and issues with static but was still able to produce fairly decent work if not in volume. The limitations of a budget model will be very small stuff and very large stuff. All your medium sized stuff (up to a couple feet maybe 36") can be done and especially single layer work. Multiple layers you will probably notice some inaccuracy if they have tight registration one with another. Starting out with a budget model will teach you things that you may never learn with a higher end machine. About the only cutter we consistently steer people to avoid is the MH. It's the door buster deal and for just a smidge more you can get into a better cutter. I also steer people away from the laser mounted one. It sounds like a great idea but is not practical and so I feel it's a sales gimmick as well. The SC2 seems to be the budget cutter sweet spot on the low end. I have not owned one but they get good reviews. 

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if possible go right for the graphtec ! I mean I started small and it became an addiction and I love what I do and continuing to grow daily. just bought a hat press without testing the waters. hey if it don't work Im into hats thats what I collect so I will just make myself a bunch worse comes to worse LOL. I know you said a hobby but believe me even as a hobby the graphtec will be great and the learning curve is extremely easy to overcome. DO IT YOU WONT REGRET IT. haha no pressure 

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Thanks for the insights. I do understand learning about things on marginal equipment that may not happen with higher-end machines. Although I'd hate to miss a learning session like that, I may end up avoiding it this time. I tell myself this is a hobby to lower the pressure of being a successful money maker, but if it works out like I hope, it will only add to our current hobby-went-to-business. At least the IRS says it's a business :-)

 

  This endeavor seems to offer more than I initially thought. I will probably be addicted once I get going.

 

  Can anyone comment on how loud the Graphtec is while cutting? I assume the servo motors help and my Wife asked because of the place I intend to put this relative to our family room.

Also, US Cutter offer includes Oracal 751 vinyl - Is it acceptable to use this indoors for vinyl wall words to start out (even if more expensive) compared to 631 or 651?

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"Loud" is not a word that goes with Graphtec machines. Servo motors are quiet.  They are gliding along, not stepping.  You can use 751,  but most people use matte vinyls inside to avoid the glare of lights on it. It will be harder to remove later.  It's your choice what you want to use.

You can go on youtube and find videos of a Graphtec cutting vinyl, and hear how quiet they are.   

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Graphtec is so quiet, it’s ridiculous on how the servo motor makes such a difference compared to machines out there that don’t have it. 

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I've owned pcut, mh, copam,. titan2, rolands and several graphtecs - I still use a graphtec daily . . .once you use a graphtec it is hard to go to any of the others I have seen

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Thanks everyone. I plan on ordering as soon as I can determine what supplies I think I may need to start out.

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Tools are important.

Utility knife. Rulers and tape measure. Weed Pick. Masking tape. Scissors. 

 

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Thank you, thank you, Slice&Dice. I will see if some of those items are included with the cutter before adding.

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White, black, red 651 - 4076rla application tape, squeegees and on the ruler that slice mentioned the safety rulers are a must for me - had a couple of cuts across the thumb before I learned there were worth it

 

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Ditto on the rotary cutter, I have actually wore a few out over the years

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