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Vinyl Cutting

A guide to operating the Silhouette Cameo 4 owned by the WeatherTech Innovation Lab

Background

Image of the Silhouette Cameo 4

The Vinyl Cutter is a device that cuts material known as vinyl, useful for making things such as decals and stickers. Certain types of vinyl can even be applied to clothing! The vinyl cutter is a versatile and relatively easy to use machine, but you do need to know how it works to get the most out of it. The model that the Innovation Lab has is the Silhouette Cameo 4, one of the most highly regarded vinyl cutters on the market currently. It even comes with its own, easy-to-use software known as Silhouette Studio for free (though some tools are locked behind paid subscription).

The other prominent vinyl cutter at the time of writing is the Cricut Maker 3, though these two are not the only vinyl cutters on the market. More information about these vinyl cutters can be found here.

Dominican University's Vinyl Cutter can be found in the WeatherTech Innovation Lab (Crown 110). Either come to the lab when it is open (weekdays 10-4 during the academic year), attend one of the weekly Vinyl Cutter workshops held by the Innovation Lab, or email innovationlab@dom.edu to set up an appointment.

Materials

The vinyl cutter can cut a variety of materials, not just vinyl. Most of the time, though, you will be using either removable or permanent vinyl. Currently, the Innovation Lab has Oracal 651 and 641, both of which are the permanent variety as well as simple cardstock. We will likely try to acquire Oracal 631 and heat transfer vinyl in the future, and possibly more depending on what the DU community wants.

If you know how big your object will be, please cut the vinyl or use a “weed box” (explained in the “Silhouette Studio” section) before using it so as to reduce waste.

Photo of Vinyl in packaging