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Discussion Starter #1
I have been getting a lot of request for custom stickers for my website, and a few other sticker ideas I have. Anyone got any experience with cutting vinyl? I am looking into getting one of the machines, and it looks like the best deal I am finding is this one:

http://www.signwarehouse.com/cutters/ve/lynx24.htm

24" should be good enough as the lettering on the cars doesn't go past that on more than one side.

Pros, Cons? I am sure I could come up with enough business to make this worth it, but don't know how much of a hassle it is. I am very familiar with vector graphics tools, so that's not an issue. I am more concerned about things like machine quality, connectivity, actual workflow. Things like that.
Thanks in advance,
Fig
 

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I use a similar(company called Bren)set-up at work to cut stencils for our "products". I find it quite painfree, so much easier then cutting stencils with the old school stencil machine. However it's slow, at least for me cause my characters usually must stay under 1/2". I'm glad I don't have to pay for the material as it's quite pricey for the rolls we use...damn Mil-Spec. All in all it's a pretty sweet set-up.
 

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I bought a Roland a couple years ago. Thought about the Lynx, but heard better feedback with Roland equipment.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
BDA, I am looking at this link for the Roland.

http://www.beacongraphics.com/gx-24.html

Question, how would you do a multicolor cut like that? Is it simple, or is this mainly a two color operation? I am afraid here that I will be dropping some serious money to end up making stickers that look bland. If I go this route, it looks like I will be springing for a Roland 24" and a nice stand.
Fig
 

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These cutters just cut one at color vinyl at a time. That "two color" is really just a blue cut and weed - (removing the excess vinyl).
You can build some multicolor decals by overlaying the different colors of vinyl, but to really do it right you need to buy a print - cut machine.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So another question. Are "monochrome" graphics common? I was perusing one of the class of cars I take pictures of, and it looks like about 2 cars out of 30 have single color numbers on the car. The other graphics like driver name and division sponsor are single color. So if I can only do single color am I in the same category as a pro photographer using a disposable camera?

Suggestions on a print cut machine? They seem to be a little more expensive.
Fig
 

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Yes, there is still a large market for vinyl cutters. However, if you are looking to make it a large business,you'd best get a print machine as well.
Making multi-colored decals isn't that hard unless you're talking photo-type decals, or somthing with multiple shadows where you'd be doing a lot of layering.
If you're doing it for a secondary source of income or hobby, then the cost of a good print machine wouldn't make sense. I have not yet purchased a print machine for that very reason. The sign stuff is strictly a side thing for me, and the print technology gets better all the time.
I'll pick one up eventually, but I'm not going to waste $8-10K on something I won't be putting to a whole lot of use and that will be worthless in a few years.
You won't be like a photog with a disposable, as the cutters do a better job of fine detail. You'll just be limited in what you can do.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks. Right now, it's mainly folks at the track needing something quick and dirty, and I have the graphics and skills to crank out the files. There also seems to be a large demand for stickers for my website. A couple of years ago, I forked over a couple hundred to have some stickers made. I literally had drivers put them on the car, go out on the track, have the sticker rubbed off by another car hitting it with their tire, and them coming back to me that night wanting another sticker. At the price I paid, it was getting expensive. I have a number of side ideas for this as well. Our oldest is 17 and has a lot of friends with cars and trucks, and imagine they would pay for some nice graphics they could apply to their trucks and such.

Looks like I might be picking one up after all. I did look at the Gerber Edge, but just about fell out of my chair when the price came up. Thanks for all the help.
Fig
 

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ConqSoft said:
BDA can cut you a deal on decals for your site. :eyebrows:
I was gonna tell him that as well, but figured he really wanted a cutter.
But yes Fig, I would cut you a good deal on the stuff if you'd like. Like previously mentioned, it's not a primary business for me, and those that have purchased from me would probably agree that what I charged was quite minimal.

One other thing to consider is the software. The cutter came with software that kinda worked, but was a pain to use. To really make things work right you'll need one of the different packages out there. It's only an extra ~$400-500, but still a consideration.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If I go ahead and spring for one, you sure can. I was riding along on the bike yesterday, and saw the ever popular dirtbike sticker with the guy doing the superman seat grab. I was thinking it would be quite funny to put one on the back of my helmet with a guy doing a superman off the back of a truck.
Fig
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Update - Well I ended up getting a Graphtec CE3000 24". It's one kick ass machine. I have made the squid sticker I posted above, but it's a pain in the ass to weed. BDA, thanks for all the help, my website stickers are coming out awesome. I made some last night with my logo, and they look amazing, and aren't that hard to weed.
Thanks,
Fig
 
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