Vinyl cutting for sand-blasting metal.

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Jo Bury's picture
Jo Bury

 

As I use sand-blasting techniques on my acrylic jewellery, I wanted to experiment with using the vinyl cutter to cut intricate shapes which I could then use as a resist on metal.

I performed experiments with each vinyl that Makernow have in stock to see which worked best, the colours that I tested were yellow, orange, grey and blue.

The first three had similar settings listed below:

Yellow - Offset - 0, Speed -14, Acceleration - 2, Cut force - 8

Orange - Offset - 0, Speed -14, Acceleration - 2, Cut force - 7

Grey - Offset - 0, Speed -12, Acceleration - 2, Cut force - 10

However the Blue vinyl is advertised as being specifically suitable for sand-blasting. It is quite a lot thicker and proved difficult to find the optimum settings for such an intricate design. In the end the settings that worked for me were: Offset - 0, Speed - 8, Acceleration - 2, Cut force - 28.

After cutting, I removed the vinyl from the backing and placed on cleaned (and slightly heated) metal.

The sand blaster/compressor unit that I use has a 25L tank, 2.5hp, approximately 9cfm (cubic feet per minute) using fine aluminium oxide sand and I have documented the results below.

This is the first cut using the yellow vinyl, removing sections with a craft knife.
Experimenting with both positive and negative cuts.
Orange vinyl placed onto 0.9mm brass.
Successful sand-blasted results, no vinyl has lifted from the surface.
Results are crisp and clean.
This is the blue vinyl being peeled and placed on the metal.
You can see that it is quite a bit thicker than the orange vinyl.
Straight after sand-blasting.
Results are again crisp and clean.
All vinyl appears to work well with my set up, even the thinner (cheaper) sheets. If using a more powerful sand-blaster or a coarser sand then this may not be the case and the blue vinyl would be the better option.