Cheap Vinyl Plotter for 50cm Vinyl Roles


Jri

Member
Hey!

I'm keen to see if anyone's got any experience with any budget vinyl cutters (ideally the mid size ones that can take a 50cm wide vinyl role).

The market has all sorts of options, so naturally you can spend thousands if you want - but I really want to keep my costs down.

I'm not sure what my budget would be at the minute, probably around £200-£300 ish.

This is for cutting vinyl for T-Shirts, so anyone in the print industry can feel free to chip in.

To give you an idea of what I'm interested in, here's the Roland cutter that dominates the market (it's out of my price range, but the specs should give a vague impression of the size I'm after):

https://www.rolanddga.com/products/vinyl-cutters/camm-1-gs-24-desktop-vinyl-cutter

Thanks,

Jri
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
I was looking at getting something similar recently.

We use one for making stencils but that's a pretty large one.
I was speaking to one of the guys though who swears by a small Cricut one he bought from Ebay but sold at Hobby Craft which may be large enough for t-shirts.
I didn't have a go with it but he said it ran it's own software and could even output from rasters and cut all sorts of stuff, even quite heavy card.

I think the software can be a bit of an issue with plotters though as many of them only run on PC and the Mac one is a subscription based thing.
 

Jri

Member
Yeah, I use a Mac so I'd probably wind up using a cheap and cheerful windows lap top to serve the artwork up to the plotter.

Most Roland cutters work with 'CutStudio' which is a Mac-friendly plugin that allows them to output cut paths directly from Illustrator, but the cutters themselves are mega money. Hopefully some of the cheaper brands have something similar in terms of drivers/plugins. I could always look around for a second hand high-end cutter, but it's super risky as they break really easily and the slightest bit of damage render them useless.
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
We use an old PC lappy for the plotter and I think you can get new plotters pretty cheaply now off eBay but not sure how good they are.

I think the Cricut ones software is Mac friendly though which is probably how he ended up getting one of those.
He also said something about getting an "extended bed" so he could output longer artworks.

I remember looking on eBay a while back and there were a few mac friendly plotters as I recall which were not too expensive but not many.
Some came with the software and you could choose which version you needed.
 

RGreen

New Member
If you are interested in my experience, I’ve recently bought such a device. I have the model TM GCC AR-24. Although this is a budget series, I’m sure this is the best vinyl cutting machine for a starter. Its width is 60cm, without an optical “eye”. The advantage of this model is the ease of use, availability, quality, the width of the material used, and the cutting speed of 400mm/s. The pressure is 250g. And the high-precision drum cuts accurately to 1 mm. Since this model has a dual USB port connection, this allows you to transfer information between the device and the PC quickly. But the greatest benefit for me was the special software for VLCD included in the package, which simplifies the work.
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
If you are interested in my experience, I’ve recently bought such a device. I have the model TM GCC AR-24. Although this is a budget series, I’m sure this is the best vinyl cutting machine for a starter. Its width is 60cm, without an optical “eye”. The advantage of this model is the ease of use, availability, quality, the width of the material used, and the cutting speed of 400mm/s. The pressure is 250g. And the high-precision drum cuts accurately to 1 mm. Since this model has a dual USB port connection, this allows you to transfer information between the device and the PC quickly. But the greatest benefit for me was the special software for VLCD included in the package, which simplifies the work.
Does it work with Mac's?
 

RGreen

New Member
Well, with my MacBook Air 13 it worked, although it slowed down a bit. I think there shouldn't be any problems with more professional laptop models.
 
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