vinyl cutting.

jon and i have been taking a class at the fab lab in martinsville. the fab lab is maybe the coolest place ever. it's a room full of 3d printers, vinyl cutters, a cnc router, a laser cutter and a slew of other pieces of  snazzy manufacturing equipment. it also shares a building with the artisan center, which houses wood working equipment, pottery wheels and kilns, culinary arts classes and oh so much more. it's basically a maker's heaven.

the class we've been taking is the introduction to 2d class. for the first couple of classes we got to play with the vinyl cutter, and i made vinyl stickers to put on some margot pictures.

the vinyl cutter works from a vector file, so i did my text design in inkscape. after the cutter did its thing making the cut, i still had to do the 'weeding', which i learned in class the term for removing the unwanted vinyl from the sticker. i assume that the word's relationship to the weeding done in a garden is not coincidental, as the vinyl weeding is also quite tedious.

but i like tedious things, and it gave me an excuse to bust out my sweet box of exacto knives. after weeding, the sticker could then be transferred to the photo.

i just eyeballed the alignment, with varying degrees of success. i quickly learned that the vinyl sticks very readily to the glossy surface of the photo. luckily, i made three of each.

i really love the finished product. even more than i thought i would going into it. the contrast between the super crisp vinyl cut letters and the photo is really nice. now i want to do a whole series of photos with vinyl letters...

for those of you that have one of those magic cutting machines for scrap booking and whatnot, you could probably do this at home. for those of us who don't have one, there's always the martinsville fab lab. sign up for a class or get a community membership!

our next class project used the laser cutter, so stay tuned for that.

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