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cuttting vinyl stencils for sandblasting and scoring glass

Posted by seachange 

My husband and I are just about ready to buy a Handibot and have it shipped to Australia. His number one use is for making circuit boards, though I am sure that lots of other interesting things will be created with the Handibot.

I work with glass (fusing). Before we place the order, perhaps you could please help me with these two queries:

Vinyl stencil cutting (for sandblasting) with the drag stencil cutter: Would I be able to use this tool to cut a variety of font styles and sizes, let's say like your "Carve your Path" decal? The only video demo I could find was cutting large simple letters with rounded corners to stick on a wall.
In dedicated vinyl cutters, tangential emulation and digital servo motors are used for accuracy and precise corners in fonts smaller than 1/2". I do not expect the Handibot to fully replace a Graphtec vinyl cutter, just would like to have an idea of what is possible.

One of my main uses will be to score vertical, then horizontal lines on glass with the drag diamond tool. This forms a grid of squares. I can then "run" the scores to make lots of precisely sized square glass pieces (I do this at present by hand, though not so precisesad smiley).

Can I determine the tool path myself? Even so the final product are squares, the tool path cannot be making one square next to another square. To make clean runs (or cuts) in glass, it is necessary to have straight long lines in each direction.

Not sure if I explain this well. But if you tell me that yes, I can modify the toolpath the diamond cutter will follow (I don't have to accept what the software thinks is best), then it will work.

Many thanks for your help. Hope you can reply soon, would like to order this week.

Best regards, seachange

The software that the tool uses (vcarve) is nice, in that it presents a very basic, easy interface--but has advanced options available for users who want more control. When scoring a line, you can select the direction that you'd like the tool to run--and you can program the tool to make cuts in a specific order.

I don't have a lot of experience with the vinyl cutter attachment--so I'll have to borrow one from the shop and give it a try. I'm going to be out of town at the San Mateo Maker Faire (California) for a week starting tomorrow--so it may be a little while before I can get back to you about it.

In general though--the way that text cutting works is that you simply type the text on top of your work area in the software--choose the font and size--then create the toolpath by selecting the text and telling the software which tool you would like to use to cut it out. You can use any font that you have on your computer to create text for cutting in vcarve.

I hope this helps! Don't hesitate to ask if you've got other questions!

Hello Seachange,
I am in Cannons Creek, Victoria (near Cranbourne). I have a Handibot and a diamond drag bit.
Contact me 0427 331 948 if you want to chat.
Thanks Brian

Had a helpful chat with Wazza and we ordered the Handibot.

Looking forward to the results of your tests cutting smallish letters on vinyl. This will help me to decide regarding the specialized vinyl drag bit and holder.

Best regards, seachange
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