A vinyl cutter is a piece of equipment that is often utilized to trim vinyl or other material into various shapes and letters. On average, the device is roughly the size of a computer printer. Some models can be linked to a computer using a cable. Others rely on cartridges to receive instructions about the graphic design that will be trimmed by the vinyl cutter.
The machine receives the information that is sent from either a computer or a cartridge to cut a unique design from vinyl or a similar material. It works like a printer in that there is a slider that moves over the material but instead of printing, it is making minute cuts in the material. Once the cutting process is complete, the material can be removed from the cutter, and the design may be peeled off the material sheet. One can use their cut-out design for card making, scrap booking, sewing, sign making, or many other crafts.
Some devices are sold as a complete set that typically includes various design cartridges and a vinyl cutter. These machines can work on a standalone basis, but others can connect to a computer. The machine needs a power source and a cartridge to start cutting the design onto the preferred material. The designs cut by these machines are restricted by the cartridge or card used to send the instructions into the machine. These machines are usually a budget-friendly first investment.
Individual design cartridges or cards must be bought for each design or group of designs to be cut using the vinyl cutter. These cards must be inserted in order for the machine to operate. If a card is damaged or lost, it must be repurchased, because the designs aren’t saved in the machine’s memory. Not only should you find the specific cartridges, but the storage of these cards should also be considered when selecting a vinyl cutter.
Some devices must be linked to a computer in order to operate. These machines enable the user to design their own images to be trimmed from the material that is used on the vinyl cutter. All designs are saved in the computer instead of individual cards or cartridges. No designs are saved within the vinyl cutter’s memory.
Wide-format vinyl cutters are accessible for those using the machines to make signs or other wide-format designs. These machines commonly only cut vinyl. The big-format phonograph record is generally bought in rolls from specialty retailers. These machines may operate with special programs rather than packaging the applications with the cutter as part of the purchase.
Most craft-cutting machines support using a plethora of materials. These vinyl cutters are capable of trimming paper, vellum, vinyl, and card stock. Some machines will cut material which has been backed with a specific interfacing merchandise. One should determine how they would use the machine to fit their purposes before buying in order to choose the machine with functionality which best fits the intended use.