A cricut craft, or cutter, is an apparatus for accurately cutting any stencils or images from various materials for which the cutter knife is adapted. It can be vinyl film, paper, thin cardboard or any other material. Cutting has received the greatest distribution in advertising and design business. We see its results everywhere: these are billboards, window dressing, information signs, signs, as well as images on clothes made of thermal transfer film. Using the plotter, you can make patterns for cutting clothes, as well as stencils. Combining it with other craft tools like knitting needles opens up loads of creative ideas. The scope of application is simply limitless, which leads to a great demand for them.
Cutter is very easy to use, and programs for working with it are also very affordable. You can create images yourself in vector graphics programs such as CorelDraw or Adobe Illustrator, or you can use ready-made clipart.
In order to cut film or other materials to order, it would be optimal to buy a plotter with the ability to process 1 meter of material, since most of the supplied films have this roll width. In this case, image production will have less waste. For small production, for example, for decorating a supermarket, you can purchase a plotter with a working surface of 63 cm.
Almost all cricut crafts work on the same principle:
First you need to select an image (ready-made or created by yourself) to transfer it to film or other material. The image is loaded into the program.
The material is loaded on which the image will be cut into the cutter. The material is pressed by special rollers of the cutter.
Now you need to determine the depth to which the cutter blade will cut in order to successfully cut through the film coating and not damage the substrate. This is done with a test.
Now you can start the cutting process from the computer.
At the end of the process, the film cuts are removed, and the finished image can be transferred to the mounting film.
Now the work with the cutter is completed, and you can proceed to the next stage – transferring the image to the required surface.
Before sticking a film prepared for a cricut craft, it is necessary to carefully prepare the base. Even a surface that seems completely clean can have dirt, grease stains from touching with your hands. The temperature of the image and the base should be approximately the same: about 20 degrees (room temperature).
The surface must be prepared immediately before the image is pasted, because even after a short period of time, dust or condensation may accumulate on it. It is usually enough to wash the surface with some kind of detergent, and then wipe it with a solvent suitable for this surface and wipe it with a dry, clean cloth. Now the film prepared on the cricut craft will last a long time.
Often, those who create advertising inscriptions or images are faced with the fact that before sticking a new film cut on a cutter, there is a need to remove old advertising. This is an extremely time-consuming task, so in cases where plastic shields are involved, it is better to replace cheap old material.
If it becomes necessary to glue the film on the vehicle, then it is better to use special formulations made mainly from citrus fruits. They are harmless to humans, do not damage the surface and easily dissolve the adhesive base of the film. In combination with a plastic scraper, this gives a good result.
Types of cricut crafts:
- tablet – presented in the form of a table on which the material is fixed. A carriage with a knife moves above the working surface;
- laser – similar to the tablet version, but instead of a knife there is a laser. Such a plotter is used for cutting Plexiglas;
- rolled – designed for cutting rolled dimensional materials, for example, thermal films.
Cutting plotters are used for the production of advertising banners, car stickers, thermal transfers for clothes, stencils for subsequent sandblasting of surfaces such as stone, glass.
Working principle of cricut craft:
- preparing an image for transfer to film or other material, loading it into a computer program;
- filling the material with which further work will be carried out. For this, the unit is equipped with special rollers;
- determining the depth of cut so that the pattern is cut out without damaging the substrate;
- starting the cutting process from a computer;
- removal of film (material) scraps after cutting is completed.
Choosing a cricut craft
Before choosing a plotter, you need to decide on the cutting width. If the device is practically unlimited in length, then its width depends on the dimensions.
Also an important advantage will be the presence of a positioning sensor. This function of the plotter allows you to cut the image exactly along the contour. The sensor is able to determine the edges of the printed image by marks. This function is indispensable in the manufacture of magnets, badges, thermal transfers on T-shirts.
Cutting accuracy allows the plotter to cut, cutting all lines to the end, combining the beginning and end.
The cutting force allows the user to set the maximum possible knife pressure. Expensive plotters have a pressure indicator of at least 500 grams. For cutting dense materials, such as magnetic vinyl, a pressure of 200 grams is enough.
Cutting speed. Also an important factor. With a large number of small details in the figure, the speed should not exceed 5-10 cm / s, so that the result is of high quality.
There are a large number of plotter manufacturers on the market. To get advice on well-known models, you should contact our company.