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Messages - deball

Tools of the trade / Re: Making Chassis Overlays with a Cameo
Great summary! I've been using a similar method, but with 'Sure Cuts A Lot 3'. My cutter doesn't have any optics, but then I did buy it as a non-runner off ebay, one rather old Allegro driver was blown, I decided to replace all four so they were all from common production runs and the same version.

I design the panel, or import it as a PDF/JPEG etc to get the panel component locations, scale to 1:1 and then print the file only the base adhesive vinyl as you do on my A3 HP inkjet. Equally, I could just draw it in Sure Cuts A Lot..

Now comes the tricky part, as I don't have the magic eye, I have set a calibration/cutter head start point and align the page to this point. Then perform the cut, removing the printed detail by hiding that layer(s), leaving just the cut profile.

If I know the panel is going to get wet or be used near solvents, laminate it with a lustre self adhesive film, cold rolled through my office A3 laminater. This does mean there is then twice the amount of vinyl to cut through, there are two or so options. The first is to increase the pressure setting on the blade assembly, ensuring that the blade depth is increased to clear both layers. The speed also needs to be reduced at this time, not too slow or the blade could dig in and become stuck as there isn't enough momentum.

Second option is to cut twice. This isn't my preferred option, these cutters are fairly accurate, but absolute repeatability is a tall order, and you need to stop after the first cut and release more blade to get through the bottom layer.

I've found out the hard way about the depth that they blade protrudes from it's carrier, especially with lots of curves or small circles :(

The results are on a par with most panels I see on commercial product and compared to the low volumes I had screen printed they are much cheaper and the quality is better.