5 Tips for Maintaining Vinyl Printer-Cutters

April 02nd, 2018

Let's talk about vinyl. We're not talking about the old school vinyl that a DJ spins for mixing beats. There's another type of vinyl that is just as cool.

We're talking about the shiny, sticky paper vinyl with an adhesive back.

What can you do with it? Lots of things! You can put flame designs on a car, stick a "World's Best Dad" print on a coffee mug, or decorate your laptop with a nice pattern.

All you need is your imagination and a vinyl printer-cutter.

Vinyl printer-cutters let you put your design on vinyl with laser precision. These devices, like 3d printers, have become important learning tools for students today.

But like any equipment, you'll need a routine maintenance plan to keep your cutter-printer in tip-top shape. Follow these five maintenance tips and reminders.

1. The Blade

A surgeon doesn't operate with a dull blade and neither should you. To create the most intricate patterns, you need to keep the cutting edge sharp.

This means using the right blade for the job. A 45-degree blade is used for general purpose cutting of average-sized material and designs. If you're working with a thicker material, you should be using a 60-degree blade.

Other blade types are flock blade, twill, carbide, and sign vinyl blade.

Once you start seeing poor performance from the blade, it is time to replace it. If the blade is losing its edge, you'll notice some skipping over the vinyl. You can use a magnifying glass to inspect the blade for chips and nicks.

2. The Blade Holder

A sharp scalpel is not enough, a surgeon also needs sturdy, reliable hands. The blade holder is the hand that guides the blade of vinyl printer-cutters.

Maintenance of the blade holder requires regular cleaning and lubrication. However, normal use will wear out the blade holder after one year to one and a half years.

Once you see signs of a worn out blade holder, such as failure to cut corners or failure to join the ends of a circle, you'll need to shop for a replacement.

3. The Cutter Protection Strip

The cutter protection strip has the same purpose as the kitchen cutting board. It provides additional support to the vinyl and also protects the blade from damage.

By its nature, the protection strip is expected to wear out over time. However, you can increase the lifespan of the strip by doing two things.

First, make sure that the blade depth is set correctly. Second, keep the protection strip clean of debris.

When the cuts become inconsistent, consider replacing the cutter protection strip.

4. The Work Area

Cleaning the workspace is a common procedure for maintenance of any equipment. Dust is public enemy number one of machines with electronic parts. Dust can clog up the motor or collect in the blade holder.

Most problems can be avoided by the simple act of keeping the environment clean.

5. The Operator

The knowledge and training of the operator are key to extending the run of your machine.

They have to study the print-cut guidelines to prevent critical mistakes. Whenever the materials change, they must know what adjustments to make.

Vinyl Printer-Cutters Are Great Educational Tools

Hopefully, this guide will help you take care of a reliable partner in the school laboratory.

Contact us for more information about the products that help students in their journey towards learning.