Our PixMax vinyl cutter is the model PME1350 (1350mm). It is located in our machine room and may only be used after personal instructions by an authorised member. Read the space rules and rooms-and-equipment first.
You can use inkscape to create your design as a *.svg file. Load it into inkcut and connect to the plotter via USB cable. Use inkcut to send the plot to the plotter.
You can use inkcut on the Windows-PC in the machine room or run it in the Ubuntu-VM on the host computer. Either way:
inkcutand hit enter.
Alternatively you can install it on your laptop. If you are not using the vanilla Ubuntu distribution, the installation instructions below may or may not work for you. Have fun debugging.
Plotting can be done using the inkcut software.
$ pip3 install -U --user PyQt5 PyQt5_sip
Note: The origin is the bottom left corner, meaning you may wish to rotate your drawing by -90° (anti-clockwise)!
The material will be fed moving from right to left (not up and down).
Uncover the plotter, connect the USB cable and switch the machine on. When you're done, make sure to disconnect the USB cable again and replace the cover.
Always remove the USB cable when done! The USB socket has been damaged before and had to be replaced, because the USB cable was left inside it and got knocked into a wall.
Instead of a knife you can also use a pen for plotting.
Loosen the clamps to insert the material you want to use from the back. Pull the black handles up:
Insert the material from the back and align it along a straight edge at the front. The laserpointer next to the knife will indicate the top left corner (in inkcut this will be the bottom left corner, since it is rotated by 90°). Make sure the laser is on the material.
You can now slide the clamps left and right to match the size and position of your material. If the pressure on the material is too strong and leaves marks, you can adjust the strength with the springs (golden screws) to your liking. When the material is in the correct position, fasten the clamps by lowering the black handles:
You are now ready for a test plot to check the knife for its cutting depth. See more info below for correct cutting depths on different materials.
The depth the knife will cut into the material needs to be adjusted to match the material you use. Test it first before starting the real plot e.g. use a 1cm rectangle in a corner as shown in the pictures.
To adjust the knife, turn the screw (silver) by a tiny bit in or out, e.g. a quarter or half a revolution. Fix the new position by adjusting the golden screw.
Put the knife back in the holder and fasten the holder-screw. Check the new knife position with another test plot.
Vinyl consists of two layers:
Feed the material with the front or "nice" side up into the plotter. The knife needs to cut through the top layer, but leave the bottom layer intact. Make sure the knife doesn't cut through both layers!
First, use tweezers to carefully remove all the parts of the plot you don't want to stick to the surface of your object. You may need a cutter knife to correct some sections.
Next, apply some transfer material ("Transferfolie", Orafol) to the front of your vinyl. Make sure to rub the plot into the transfer material. Turn it upside down and carefully remove the bottom layer to expose the sticky side of the vinyl.
You can now stick it onto your surface. Again, rub the plot into the surface before removing the transfer material. Carefully peel it back at a 180° angle.
Heat transfer material consists of 3 layers:
Note: You will want to remove the bottom layer, cut the middle layer and leave the top layer intact!
To do this you must plot upside down from the bottom and therefore mirror your design!
For the material used in the picture, to successfully cut through the middle layer (from the bottom), I had to adjust the knife to cut a little deeper than for cutting vinyl.
Do not forget to remove the bottom layer before plotting!
You can now apply the design to your 100% cotton t-shirt using a heat transfer press. Alternatively you can iron it on. Carefully remove the transparent transfer material when done.
Make sure you use 100% cotton only. The example below was not and has been slightly scorched by the hot iron. Synthetic materials will melt.
The below images show the heat transfer plot before application, ironing from the top with a cotton cloth in between for protection, and after removal of the transparent top layer: