Category Archives: Tutorials

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,┬áselect 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.
photo (5)
photo (6)

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!
photo (7)
7. Remove the tape slowly. It helps to pull straight up rather than at an angle
photo (8)
8. Now, you’re ready to affix it onto a surface!
photo (9)
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

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. Continue reading