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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Cockatoo Vic
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    993

    Default Cutting sign vinyl on a CNC router

    I have long had a hankering to try cutting vinyl on my router.

    I bought, off ebay, a roland blade holder that holds the tiny blade and allows it to turn with cut direction changes.

    Looked at making one but the sub miniature bearings would cost almost as much as a holder.

    The holder holds the blade and the cutting machine puts the correct amount of downward pressure on the whole holder to make the blade cut.

    However I used the little shaft that sticks out the top to eject the blade, to place the pressure directly onto the blade. Pics of my assembly below.

    It works well. As with most things I cut on my router I use vacuum to hold the vinyl flat. I don't know how you blokes live without vacuum.

    Pics of one of a series of decals I cut for my brother in law who collects and restores antique oil engines. He has a very good collection of Sunshine engines which were built in Ballarat I think.

    Greg

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Perth WA
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    3,785

    Default

    Hi Greg,
    Opening another door for us.
    Slow down a bit as I am still making the diamond tipped engraver.
    Cheers,
    Rod

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Moss Vale NSW
    Age
    77
    Posts
    317

    Default

    I am still lots of steps behind ... I know that I will never catch up but it is great to see what I can aspire to down the track.
    I had not thought much about vinyl signs, being an olde carpenter, but a mate runs a sand blasting business and asked if I could do sandblasting mats for him ... mmmm ... possibilities to dream about!!

    Thanks for all your innovations Greg and your willingness to share them. I have bought myself a vacuum pump from ebay and am now looking at ways to connect it all up.

    Cheers,

    Alan
    4 out of 3 people have trouble with fractions.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    NOWRA
    Posts
    648

    Default

    Greg,

    everything looks great as usual. i was thinking about build one from cuttingedgecnc but now know which would be a better option. Less stuffing around (lets face it...its taken a while to just build my newest cnc. lol).

    Keep the ideas flowing.

    Daniel
    P.S Are you still using a reversed compressor for a vacuum or a proper pump? Im looking at implementing something soon as its a pain with awkward things to try and clamp them.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Brisbane
    Age
    49
    Posts
    922

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by twistedfuse View Post
    P.S Are you still using a reversed compressor for a vacuum or a proper pump? Im looking at implementing something soon as its a pain with awkward things to try and clamp them.
    Didnt we have a thread on Vacs? mmm I will have a look for it as I would like to hear what everyone is up to as well. if not I will start a new thread.

    Lets keep this for Vinyl
    I like to move it move it, I like to move it.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Cockatoo Vic
    Posts
    993

    Default

    This is an old thread but I got inspired to give this another try.

    Always I had to fiddle around with the pressure to try and get it to cut the vinyl but not the backing paper. Ended up being more fiddly than I wanted to bother with.

    Someone with vinyl cutter experience told me that I had this set up the wrong way.

    I was trying to use a spring acting directly on the blade to set the cutting depth. Partly right and partly wrong.

    This expert told me that the black cap gently rubs on the surface of the vinyl and the blade is adjusted as to how far it sticks out past that cap.

    Then the whole blade holder has some amount of downward pressure. This is done with a solenoid on the Roland cutter.

    So having some misc. ebay purchase linear bearings laying around I decided I would give it a try.

    It works much better. No fiddling with trial and error cuts. It just cuts perfect.

    The blade holder with its bracket and the linear bearing block provide the downward force. No spring. It can just float.

    Turns out to be 110 grams weight. That is just what it happened to be. No trial and error. Have not tried more or less. Pot luck.

    Here is a cheap seller of blades and holder,

    eBay Australia Store ? SUPERWORKSHOP-BITBITWORLD: Search results for.

    Greg

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    NOWRA
    Posts
    648

    Default

    Looks awesome Greg, just proves the KISS method works well. Its funny though as the other day i saw a vinyl cutter that multicam made as it turns out one of the guys i work with, his father bought one a few years back. It is just a holder made to quickly insert onto the Z axis which holds a linear bear (Full round type) with a shaft similar to the holder that slides in the bearing. On the back of the shaft is a small pin which uses weights to control depths of different vinyls (sandblast vinyl, standard vinyl etc). I do have a picture or two on the phone but didn't want to post them due to copyright.

    Can't wait to get a chance to make me one of these and also a diamond drag. Great work again Greg,
    Daniel
    P.S What hold-down method did you use for the vinyl?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    sydney
    Posts
    29

    Default

    Great stuff Greg!!
    Could you advise what angle blade your using? The ebay seller on your link has many available.
    Cheers
    David

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Cockatoo Vic
    Posts
    993

    Default

    David

    45 degrees is what I am using.

    I believe this is the general use angle for normal sign vinyl.

    Greg

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    NOWRA
    Posts
    648

    Default

    Greg,

    just thinking maybe you should post your taz into the projects post just so when people come to this site they wll see your great work easily.

    Daniel

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    649

    Default

    Good to see someone got it working, a year or two ago I went down the same path trying to cut vinyl on the cnc, with no luck always bad corners etc, I ended up buying a dedicated vinyl cutter. Now having used the vinyl cutter I can see my downfalls with the cnc version,

    If you wish to use the cnc then definetly get the roland holder and use a weighted mechanism 100 - 225 grams (for blunt cutters and blasting vinyl) which is free floating in the z axis

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    988

    Default

    Just wondering but could the same knife be used to cut out custom boxes? Or any idea on what the commercial boys use?

    I know on standard smaller boxes it would be a die press but small qty custom boxes im certain they use a similar type of machine with a knife.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    NOWRA
    Posts
    648

    Default

    Not sure what type of boxes your thinking about but if you mean standard cardboard boxes i know the industry use oscillating knifes or rolling cutters (looks like pizza cutter) to achieve custom sizes or to cut out promo stuff. I bought some vinyl knives a while ago and am thinking the size wouldn't be enough to cut through too much more than heavy sandblast stencil but without alot of experience in here i'll wait to be proved wrong by someone with more knowledge.

    Daniel

  15. #14
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Cockatoo Vic
    Posts
    993

    Default

    I just saw this a couple of days ago.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anspATAZZQA]YouTube - Sistema Quattro - Taglio guarnizioni[/ame]

    Tangential control is something that Mach3 has built in.

    Greg

  16. #15
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Cockatoo Vic
    Posts
    993

    Default

    Here is another one

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mh5IZRJPC80]YouTube - Techno CNC Tangential knife[/ame]

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