For some of my project upcoming projects, I need vinyl letter stickers. But also to get the name again on one of our boats and make a sticker for our rally Saab. On the internet, you can find a lot of online shops with vinyl cutters where you can order your own vinyl letter stickers. Some of them pretend you have the ability to make your own sticker. Unfortunately, you’re still bound to there set of fonts and colors. This made me curies how to make my own (letter) stickers.

Samples of text and images to cut with the vinyl cutter

Searching the internet, I discovered that vinyl stickers are created using a vinyl cutter. This is a kind of printer but with a sharp knife instead of ink. The used knife is called a drag knife. This is a free rotating knife rotating in the direction of movement of the knife.

There are smaller cutters but also big professional cutters on the market. At first, I was thinking to buy a smaller one as an additional tool for my workshop. When looking at the control software for these devices it was hard to see how they work. Many software for vinyl cutters is closed source and have a limited use for the default version. If you want to use your own fonts and drawings you need to buy another version of the software. This results in still limited to the software for the device. But I want to be free into my creativity and use of the cutter.

Next step

The next step was to investigate if I will be able to control a vinyl cutter directly from other software but there you can not find a lot of information about this. Instead of this information, I discovered that other makers use there CNC system or 3d printer. They attaching a drag knife and cutting vinyl. If it is possible to use this type of devices for cutting vinyl than it should also be possible to build my own vinyl cutter. This means a new project is started, beginning with drawing and finding materials.

Drawing and getting materials for the vinyl cutter