Monthly Archives: October 2013

SketchUp Make in the Media Lab

Next time you stop by the Media Lab, make sure you check out SketchUp Make which has been installed on the lab computers. Newly rebooted, SketchUp was recently sold from Google to Trimble. Under new license, SketchUp has undergone some simple design changes while maintaining its easy to use capabilities.

The new application can be found in the doc on any of the lab computers:


Whether you’re trying to rebuild Paris’ Gothic architecture,

Reconstructed interior, showing a much narrower nave.

explore geological processes,
Screen Shot 2013-10-15 at 11.09.12 AM
or simply have fun creating your favorite houses— make sure to stop by and try out SketchUp Make. Don’t know how to use SketchUp? No problem, simply ask a Lab staff member and they will help you get started.

Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 2.56.58 PM


Using the Vinyl Cutter

The Vinyl Cutter in the media lab can be used to make simple and complex decals that can be affixed to most surfaces!

Before using the cutter, you’ll want to make sure of a few things:
1. Make sure that the vinyl is not too taut: it should look something like this

2. Make sure the vinyl is sticking out past the cutting area a few inches. This can be achieved by manipulating the blue POSITION arrows on the cutter

Now, you are ready to prepare your image using Adobe Illustrator
1. Open Adobe Illustrator and create your image.
If you want to use an already-made image, select the image and click on “Image Trace” in the top bar. After clicking Image Trace, the button will change to “Expand”. Click on Expand.
After creating your image, go to File > Cutting Master 2 > Cut/PlotImage

2. Then, this window will pop up. If your graphic isn’t already in the lower right corner, place it there by clicking and dragging in the preview area. Cutting Master 2 is able to detect the size of the vinyl as well as the placement of the cutters, so you generally don’t need to adjust the size and settings options

3. When you’re ready to cut, press Send.
4. When the vinyl is cut, you have to use a razor or scissors to cut the vinyl away from the cutter.
5. Remove the vinyl surrounding your cut image.
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6. Get tape (ask a Media Lab monitor for tape) and place the adhesive side onto the color side of the vinyl. Rub it down vigorously, especially over your cut area!! You can use a card to really press down on the tape. This is important!
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7. Remove the tape slowly. It helps to pull straight up rather than at an angle
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8. Now, you’re ready to affix it onto a surface!
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Place it on, vigorously rub, and slowly remove.

Remember, you can always ask a Media Lab Monitor for help!

Printing with the Epson Stylus Pro 7900


Printing with the Epson Stylus Pro 7900

The biggest machine we have in the Media Lab is the Epson Stylus Pro 7900 printer. It can be intimidating to approach, but have no fear! Follow these steps to print successfully and master the basics of large format printing from Photoshop.

Step 1: Size Your Image in Photoshop


First size your image appropriately. You want a resolution of at least 200-300 ppi. In order to allow an inch margin above and below, make the width/height 2 inches less than the paper width/height you will be using.

Step 2: Size Your Canvas

Screen shot 2013-06-05 at 10.15.45 AM

Set your canvas size to match the size of your paper.

Step 3: Select File-Print


This is where you’ll adjust the printer settings including, paper size, orientation, color management, and paper type. Make sure that these settings allow a border around the edges of the image so it does not fall off of the page.

Step 4: Print Settings


Choose the preset that matches your paper and choose a paper size that matches your image.

Step 5: Orientation and Color Management


Click landscape or portrait and choose Photoshop Manages Colors. For standard Media Lab papers use PremiumLuster260 or EnhancedMattePK printer profiles.

Now you’re ready to print!

As you gain more experience with the machine you may want to vary these settings. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask a Student Media Consultant. Happy printing!