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What Equipment Is Needed To Start A Vinyl Cutting Business

16 March 2022 | 1 comments | Posted by Nicole D'Almeida in Ace of Trades

Starting a small vinyl cutting business

Essentially, vinyl cutters are used to create stickers which can then be placed on all kinds of materials and surfaces. These stickers are also referred to as decals. Unlike ordinary stickers, decals produced using a vinyl cutter are far more robust, often used for more permanent or outdoor purposes.

Where you can place decals

A few examples of what you can do with decals include placing them on t-shirts, cars, computers, cellphones, books, mugs, helmets and walls. Depending on the surface you're placing them on, you might need additional equipment. Below, however, are the basics to get you started;

A vinyl cutter

The most obvious piece of equipment you'll need is a vinyl cutter. As mentioned, this is a small machine which cuts your design to precise measure using laser technology. There are different types of vinyl cutters on the market, so make sure you find one that suits your needs.

A computer

You'll need a computer which can handle the correct software which will be used to communicate with the vinyl cutter. The computer's performance requirements will depend on the intricacy or complexity of your design. Depending on how large you expect your business to become, you might want to consider having more than one computer and vinyl cutter.

Design and vector cutting software

If you'll be creating your own design, you'll want to use software especially for design purposes, like Adobe Illustrator. This way, your design will be created using what's known as vectors. Vectors allow you to resize designs without losing any quality. This is vital when it comes to making vinyls for larger objects or spaces.

These designs are cut out of vinyl paper, which is fed into the vinyl cutter. Vector cutting software allows you to accurately place your design exactly where you'll be placing your vinyl paper. This saves you vinyl paper, as you can place multiple vinyls to fit onto one sheet. Depending on the software you choose, some also come with thousands of premade decal designs.

Vinyl rolls

Vinyl rolls come in all sorts of colours. Without them, you won't be able to cut any of your decals. Vector cutting software also comes with different types of vinyl settings, which can be clicked on to match the type of vinyl you are using.

Tweezers and weeding tools

Once you've cut your decal using your vinyl cutter and vinyl paper, you'll need to pull off the excess vinyl that isn't part of your design. To do this, you can use what's known as weeding tools. If you don't have these, you can try using ordinary tweezers to lift any unwanted vinyl layers.

Transfer tape

Transfer tape is used to transfer your decal from the vinyl sheet to wherever you'll be placing it. To do this, place the transfer tape over your vinyl sheet, and then peel off the back revealing a sticky surface. Place this sticky surface onto your desired location and then peel it off to reveal your finished decal. To save transfer tape, cut transfer tape to the same size as your design.

A cutting mat and pair of scissors

A cutting mat is useful when it comes to placing your vinyl sheet and design in the right location, as well as holding it in place if you get a slightly sticky one. Depending on the vinyl machine you choose, the cutting mat actually slides into the vinyl cutting machine.

If you don't already have a pair lying around, you'll want to get yourself a pair of scissors. You'll need these for cutting the vinyl and transferring tape into your desired sizes.

A squeegee

A squeegee isn't essential to start a vinyl cutting business, but it sure will make life easier for you, as well as make you appear more professional. These are tolls which come in various sizes, used to get rid of or prevent any bubbles between the decal and vinyl cutting stages.

Measuring tape or a ruler

Depending on the size of your project, you'll also need measuring tape or a ruler. This will ensure that your vinyl cut is the correct size for wherever it's going. Depending on what software you're using, this way you'll also be able to match your measurements between software and real life.

Who uses decals

A vinyl cutting business is a great way to make income, whether it be a side hustle or full-time venture. Just take a quick look around and you'll notice that people place stickers on all sorts of things, transforming ordinary everyday items into custom projects bursting with creative flair. Businesses also use vinyl stickers to advertise or decorate their assets, like branding on company vehicles.

Fortunately, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to operate a vinyl cutting machine. It's a great piece of machinery that can produce incredible results, all through a little practice and a very simple process.

Contact us

If you would like us to help set up your marketing or want to know more about digital marketing for your business, then don’t be shy we’re happy to assist. Simply contact us

Are you looking to promote your business?

South African Business owners can create your free business listing on nichemarket. The more information you provide about your business, the easier it will be for your customers to find you online. Registering with nichemarket is easy; all you will need to do is head over to our sign up form and follow the instructions.

If you require a more detailed guide on how to create your profile or your listing, then we highly recommend you check out the following articles. 

Recommended reading

If you enjoyed this post and have a little extra time to dive deeper down the rabbit hole, why not check out the following posts on small business

Tags: Small Business, Startup

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