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Makerspace Vinyl Cutting Basics

Vinyl Cutter File Setup

1. Login to this computer using your ACE ID.

2. Open Adobe Illustrator.
You may need to create an Adobe account,
but you have access to the software
if you login with your UNLV email.

3. Open a Vector File in Adobe Illustrator
(.AI, .SVG, and some .PDF files work).
Vector files are made up of paths that
the vinyl cutter blade will follow.

If you only have an image file (.JPG or .PNG),
you'll need to draw the paths yourself
using the pen tool.

Tip: If you only have a jpg or png image, open it in Illustrator and try using Object → Image Trace.
Adjust preset settings (“Black & White Logo” works well), and click Expand. You may have to delete stray paths and solid backgrounds.


4. In your document, select the paths
you want to be cut by clicking and dragging
a box around them.

5. From the top menu, select
Window → Extensions → Roland CutStudio.


6. In the Roland CutStudio box that pops up,
select the model: Roland GR-640.

7. Click the R Icon which will open the Roland CutStudio software.
In the new window, you should see your outlined design.

If not, make sure it is all made up of paths in Illustrator, and it was all selected in step 4.


Loading the Vinyl Cutter

1. Turn on the Vinyl Cutter.

The Power Button is located on the far right, under the carriage.


2. Use the up and down arrows to select-

Roll: if your design will be cut out of a larger rolled sheet;
Piece: if your design is being cut out of a piece of scrap vinyl;

then push Enter.

3. Slide the two outer pinchers so that they align with silver sensors
and will pinch the edges of your vinyl.

4. Slide your vinyl underneath the pinchers, keeping it as straight as possible.
Suction will turn on to keep the vinyl from moving.
When using a roll, it is easier to do this from the back of the machine.

5. Make sure your fingers are out of the way, and press the Pinch button.

6. When the pinchers are done moving, press Enter. The carriage will move, measuring the vinyl.


Start the Cut from the Computer

Back on the Computer:

1. In the Roland CutStudio software, go to File → Cutting Setup.

2. In the new window, select Roland GR-640 as your Printer.

3. If using a roll, set the Orientation to Landscape.

4. Then click Properties…


5. Click Get from Machine.
This resizes the document width to what the machine measured.


6. Set the Height to something slightly larger than your design.


7. You may need to click OK, check your design, then repeat steps 12-13 until it looks right.


*If your design is falling off of the page now, you may need to edit it back in Illustrator.
Rotate or Resize so it fits within the width it told you in step 5.
Then repeat step 5-7 in the first section to re-send the design. Repeat this section as well.


8. When your design looks correct in Roland CutStudio, press the
Cutting icon.

9. The machine will now begin cutting. Please keep your hands away.

10. When it is finished, press Pinch on the Vinyl Cutter machine to release your vinyl.
Then press Origin which will slide the carriage to the right.

11. If you are finished, turn off the machine using the power button,
close your files on the computer, and log out.

12. Be sure to fill out a vinyl purchase slip and drop it off at the front desk.


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