Props fab shop just got our first vinyl cutter!

Hey! I’m Adam, and I own Five Ton Monkey, a props and scenery design and fabrication business. We mostly serve the film and immersive entertainment industries, working in wood, metal, plastics, foam, etc. We do design/modeling, fabrication, CNC routing, mold-making and casting, scenic finishes, etc.

We just made a big move and purchased a Summa T-120 to cut vinyls and pounces for mural work. This is brand new territory. Time to really bring up our graphic design/printing/cutting skills and knowledge. Any guidance of any kind would be appreciated, but specifically, where would I post queries about vinyl cutting, running big pounces, best materials, etc.?

Thanks in advance!

You can post questions in Printing and Prepress, but I’ll start right off saying when we do large pounce patterns, we print them on a regular rather low-end drafting plotter on plain white bond paper then use an Electro-pounce. The pounce wheel on our 48" plotter is not suited to big stuff. The Electro pounce gives a nice legible line. Plus it gives the artist the opportunity for their own interpretation of the line work they want for the art in question, and more importantly cuts out the part of vectorizing.

The other trick might be to learn how to do large ‘gatefold’ layouts in Indesign. That’s a quick way to split up the larger images. Scale is your friend.

48" vinyl Plotter can be good for paint masking. You can also do sandblast mask cutting in a large sort of way. The rubberized sandblast mask on a plotter doesn’t lend itself to small detail. We use photo resist film for that. If I had to get a new plotter, I’d opt for the 60" Summa. The new air-release car wrap lines are 60" material and it’s a PITA to slit down to 48". And you want to use air release whenever you can. The higher price more than makes up for itself with less time in application

Actually, honestly you could post in General too. Most users here use the New Posts feature rather than go through all the forums. Any new post shows up in that list.