How to Print & Vinyl Cut – Full Guide

File Set-Up

Make sure you save your files to a compatible version of Illustration (latest tested is CC 2021).

Layers

You will need an Adobe Illustrator file separated onto two layers, the print layer and the cut layer.

Print (bottom) layer: Contains all the images of stickers that you require, make sure your images are embedded – not linked.

Cutting (top) layer: Contains the cutlines around each sticker – this is a 1pt black stroke around the object

Sizing

The vinyl comes off a 610mm (24″) roll. The vinyl cutter cannot go edge to edge when cutting, it requires minimum 25mm either end to allow space for the rollers.

The cutting layer (artboard 1 – smaller top layer) cannot be wider than 550mm. It can be up to 1442mm (56″) long.

The print layer (artboard 2 – larger bottom layer) cannot be wider than 610mm. It can be up to 5000mm long.

Artboard 1 with a width of 550mm. Height is determined by how many stickers you want.

Alignment

Mark each corner of artboard 1 with 10mm black circles for the vinyl cutter to align with.

Ensure the circles are completely black and have no stroke
Ensure all four are directly centred on the edges of the artboard
Going into wireframe mode (CMD + Y) can help check the alignment
Artboard 1 with alignment circles applied. All cuts must fit onto this artboard.
Create a second artboard 610mm wide + 100mm to the height of the first artboard. e.g. if your first artboard was 150mm tall, your second will be 250mm. This is for printing.
Ensure it is centred off the first artboard. When moving it into place, make sure the Intersect pop-up appears.

Add your artwork to the print layer.

Check that you have both a print and cut layer.

Duplicate in place (CMD + C, CMD + SHIFT + V) your alignment dots so they are on BOTH the cut and print layer.

If you’ve made it this far, nice work! Upload your Illustrator file and get a TO to print this for you on vinyl. Make sure your fonts and images are embedded, linked files will not be able to be printed.

The file will be opened in Photoshop, opening Artboard 2 (The print layer) when prompted, and printed via the Canon Plug-In.

Upload & Pay

Upload and pay using the Sticker Submit Form and your two layer Adobe Illustrator file.


Pay for the vinyl material through the Print Media Payment Portal and attach your receipt to the form. Accept the terms and conditions.

Alignment

Export your cut lines out of Illustrator using the Roland CutStudio Extension. Exporting the alignment circles allows for visual alignment in CutStudio.

When you export your artwork, CutStudio won’t know there are registration/alignment circles.
To get CutStudio to register that there are alignment marks on the print, enable Print & Cut in the settings. Then into Printing Setup
The default page size will be wrong. Fix this in the Print Setup properties
In Page Setup: Select a custom paper size, it needs to be at minimum the size of your print (the size of Artboard 2 in Illustrator). Anything larger than this should also work.
Also in Printing Setup, change the crop marks to the size of your Artboard 1. This is critical to get exact, down to the .01 of a millimetre
Cutstudio’s alignment can look wrong on-screen when zoomed out. Zoom in to confirm alignment.
Zooming in will confirm whether the cut lines are directly around the alignment circles. You’re now ready to cut!
Send the cuts to the Vinyl Cutter
Change your settings here – by default the above work great for stickers on the Canon Adhesive Vinyl.
Updated on September 15, 2022

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