Vinyl Cutter

The Hackspace has two Vinyl cutters. A Graphtec Craft Robo CC220-20 and a Silhouette Cameo 2. Both of these are made by the same company and should work with the same software.

The official software is Silhouette Studio which you can download for free from http://www.silhouetteamerica.com/software. This is free, but there is a commercial upgrade. Without the commercial upgrade, it doesn't support SVG import. It will keep bugging you to create an account to access the library, but you can safely ignore this.

There are also open source alternatives that should work with both the cutters:

  • Robocut – unclear if this will work. It doesn't list support of Cameo 2 (only Cameo and Cameo 3), and it crashes when I test it
  • Inkscape-Silhouette which lets you cut directly from Inkscape. I've found this to be a little unstable

Note that going through the process to set these up requires using Zadig to change the driver associated with the plotter. Once you do this on a computer, you can't reverse it and go back to using Silhouette studio. If you have done this and then want to create projects using Silhouette studio, you'll need to use a USB memory stick (see below).

You can also create the files to be printed in Silhouette studio and then transfer to USB stick and print from that.

Location

The Cameo 2 is on the shelf at the back of the hackspace. The Craft Robo is in the wooden draws next to the heat press. There's a box of bits in the draw with the Craft Robot – the Cameo2's power supply is in this box.

Current status

  • Craft Robo: This is missing the power supply. The Cameo power supply is the same voltage (24), but not as high a current (1.25A vs 2A). There might be another 24V 2A power supply in the box of power supplies. It's a standard 5mm power jack.
  • Silhouette Cameo 2 – All bits are there and is working.
  • Cutting mat has lost all it's stick.

Setting up the Cameo 2:

  • Lift up the front flap to get access to the internals of the Cameo 2
  • Adjust the blade. Gently turn the white leaver on the front of the black blade holder anti-clockwise about 45 degrees. You can then lift the black blade out. The base of this twists so the red line is against a different number. Higher numbers expose more of the blade.
  • Power on the Cameo 2
  • load cutting mat (if used). Gently press against the white rollers with the left edge aligned with the blue line of the cameo 2 then press load on the touchscreen
  • Get your artwork ready to send to the cameo. If using Silhouette Studio, this means going to the send tab and selecting the material you're cutting and making any adjustments (see below).
  • Place the media to be cut against the white rollers.
  • Press send
  • The cutter should now start cutting.

Settings (Cameo 2)

There are three settings that you need for any material. * The blade (the amount it pokes out of the blade holder). This is from one to ten. You need to remove the cutting tool from the cutter (see above). * The speed * the force

There's a wide range of pre-sets in both silhouette and the open source programs. Your material may also come with a guide to the settings. It's best to do some small tests before cutting anything large as you risk wasting it if the settings are wrong (don't assume pre-sets will definitely work!).

Setting up Craft Robo

Unable to test without power supply

Cutting vinyl for a t-shirt

For this, you'll need heat-transfer vinyl. There are a wide range of options from different manufacturers, but make sure that it is for t-shirts as not all vinyl will work

  • equipment/vinyl_cutters
  • Last modified: 3 months ago
  • by benev