MemberMay 16, 2021 at 8:25 pm
Had a job involving some chrome/ mirror vinyl on a van, had to cut it in the plotter as it was a complex shape but noticed quite a few scratch marks in the vinyl after cutting. The problem seems to be the vinyl won’t sit flat between the cutter rollers and keeps springing up, so when the blade lifts up to travel across the design to cut the next bit it scores the vinyl where it’s bulging upwards.
I tried to stretch it across before clamping the rollers down but that didn’t always work and was tricky without an extra pair of hands. Has anyone else had this and how did you get round it? Thanks in advance.
AdministratorMay 17, 2021 at 12:33 am
sounds like your using a polyester film, mate, and not actually a vinyl.
Chrome polyester films are common to have this issue. It’s kinda termed as tunnelling but happens when the roll has not been used for a long time. maybe even past its shelf life of 2 years. (that’s IF polyester has the same shelf life as vinyl)
basically, the vinyl has set itself to the shape of the cardboard core. so when you roll it out it starts to lift creating tunnels from one side to the other.
exactly as you said, it will catch, score and snag/tear!
all I can suggest is, lift the film off the lining paper and squeegee it back onto the liner flat and trying to cut again.
polyester is prone to scratch is metallic foil type finish also. unlike vinyl where you can heat the scratches out, polyester doesn’t have the same benefit.
you can buy “chrome cast” vinyl but you will pay anything from £75 to £140 per linear metre.
MemberMay 17, 2021 at 8:05 am
Hi Robert, thanks for the reply but that’s not what’s happening. I know what you mean about the tunnel effect where it’s a 5 – 10mm wide tunnel that’s lifted away from the backing paper.
This is the whole width of vinyl forming a slight dome between the rollers, it seems to me like it’s down to the rigidity of the vinyl, it always wants to roll back up again, which you wouldn’t think is a problem once it’s clamped into the cutter as the roll would go the other way. I get the same effect if I lay out a 600mm square of this on the bench with heavy weights on each corner, it forms a dome effect with the centre about 5-6mm off the surface, hope this makes sense.
MemberMay 17, 2021 at 9:35 am
You might try taping a print head swab to the side of the cutter head (perhaps with a bit of microfibre cloth to cover the foam), so the swab acts as an extra hand to lightly hold the doming down.
MemberMay 17, 2021 at 10:30 am
I was thinking along similar lines, just working out how to fix something to it. I thought maybe there was a chrome vinyl that laid a bit flatter when unrolled, I’m using Metamark stuff, but I suppose the very nature of the shine means it has to be quite rigid. As Robert stated, I could get some cast chrome and give that a try but it’s an expensive trial if it doesn’t work.
AdministratorMay 17, 2021 at 11:10 am
Can you take a photo and post it here mate?
MemberMay 17, 2021 at 7:35 pm
Not very good pics but it shows the chrome vinyl in the plotter being gripped both ends by the pinch rollers. Ruler is resting on the vinyl without pushing down, the second pic shows the ruler dropped by approx .3 inch by pushing down on the vinyl till it rests on the cutting strip, this is how much the vinyl is bulging upwards.
I have found it makes a difference if I support the vinyl with flat pieces of wood on both sides, keeping it flat rather than letting it roll up.
AdministratorMay 18, 2021 at 8:12 pm
OK, I think I understand what your saying now.
I think your material is probably old, or at least by its shelf life of two years from “date of manufacturing”.
if not, then perhaps how it is stored has affected the carrying paper liner. by that I mean, it could be stored in a cold damp room or stood on its end on a stone-cold floor. Over time any sort of room moisture and cold has an effect on the lining paper.
the reason I say that is that the roll is wound tight on a tube, so for it to deform and rise in the middle along the length of the material, means the lining paper is most likely affected by something for it to change its “stored shape” so drastically.
personally, I would contact your supplier because your material should be unwinding off the roll and laying perfectly flat.
MemberMay 19, 2021 at 2:05 pm
Metamark MM-SSS has 1 year shelf life, and hate to say this, also isn’t really suitable for exterior usage (they state ‘short term’).
MemberMay 19, 2021 at 10:13 pm
i agree, the silver mirror stuff is short term mate. i wouldn’t use it on a van, the car washes will chip it and scratch it if using the spinning brush car wash.
MemberMay 20, 2021 at 7:19 am
Thanks for the replys, I’ll have to ring Metamark about how long it’s been in their warehouse as I only bought it a few weeks ago for this job so it’s not as if I’ve been sitting on it for years.
It’s not MM-SSS as that is only indoor stuff, it’s M1-BS which they assure me is suitable for outdoors with a 3 year lifespan. At the end of the day I could always hand cut some of this if I need to redo it, it’s a squiggly shape so doesn’t need to be precise.
MemberMay 20, 2021 at 12:51 pm
hi Gordon, if its cutting ok but just scratching you could try paper application to it and drop the weight a little when cutting. that might stop the scratching?
MemberMay 20, 2021 at 2:40 pm
Not a bad idea! Another thing for me to play with. Thanks.
MemberMay 22, 2021 at 2:41 pm
I am not trying to tell anyone how to do business, but if this was me mate. I would be on the phone to Metamark demanding a replacement of the material. we could all give you tips and tricks to make this work but you have bought a material that is clearly faulty and should be replaced by them immediately.
hope all goes well for you on this.
MemberMay 24, 2021 at 10:17 am
i am with you on this peter. the first thing i would have done was to be on the blower complaining to metamark.
MemberMay 24, 2021 at 11:07 am
I’ve tried that with Metamark & was a wasted phone call. Voted with my feet & bought stock elsewhere
MemberMay 24, 2021 at 1:36 pm
Totally agree with you Kev. I would do the same mate, but i would NOT pay the bill and let them know their vinyl was sat in my reception waiting on them. product not fit for purpose.
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