VOTE: Equipment, software, and first stock of consumables for the vinyl cutter

If you’ve been in the weekly meetings recently, you may know that I’ve been working on getting the vinyl cutter to a user friendly and well documented state. It now lives on the network with a Raspberry Pi print server and works quite well.

This vote is for a budget to get the vinyl cutter into top shape and begin stocking some consumable materials so it gets some use.

In order to make the vinyl cutter “walk-up ready” we will need to make some investments in the equipment. The plotter still has its original Graphtec CB09UA blade which makes clean enough cuts, but its mileage is still unknown. As part of this proposal, Hive13 will purchase a 3-pack of 45° 0.9mm cutting blades to keep on hand. Each blade has a rated lifetime of 4km.

This proposal will also include the Sure Cuts A Lot v5 software package for the CAD workstation and a weeding kit for vinyl projects. Unlike the Sign Cut Pro software which the Hive used in the past, SCAL has a perpetual license model and will not involve recurring costs.

This portion of the vote to get the vinyl cutter to a usable state involves the expenditure of up to $140 (blades, software, weeding kit).

In my research, I have found that consumables are relatively inexpensive when bought in bulk. For example, one square foot sheet of Oracal 651 at a craft store will set you back $2. A 60 square foot roll of the same material costs $25.

I am proposing the Hive purchase two 24” x 10 yard rolls of Oracal 631 or equivalent indoor removable vinyl (one white, one black), one 24” x 10 yard roll of Oracal 651 or equivalent outdoor rated vinyl (black), and one 24” x 100 yard roll of medium tack paper transfer tape.

The first stock of consumables will cost another $140. Subsequent purchases will likely be from the warden budget as needed. More colorful projects will be on a BYOV basis.

The total on-paper cost is $280, but I am asking for $350 to help soften the blow for surprises (e.g. blades aren’t in stock and we need to spend the extra $30 on the Graphtec OEM CB09UB blades). I’d say there is a 98% probability of this coming in under budget.

Cost Breakdown:

1x 3-pack of CB09U compatible 45° cutting blades $50

1x US Cutter weeding kit $30

Sure Cuts A Lot v5 $60

Equipment Subtotal $140

3x 24” x 10 yd vinyl roll @ $25 $75

1x 24” x 100 yd transfer tape $65

Consumable Subtotal $140

Buffer for surprises $70

Grand Total $350

This vote should come up for consideration at the September 17th weekly meeting if I have the timing right.

Vote yes. Thanks for taking responsibility for this, Drew.

Drew, Thank you for resurrecting the vinyl cutter. These changes should make the vinyl cutter much more user friendly.

I support this, by voting Yes.

This is great work. I fully support it and throw my hat in to help write documentation if desired.
I also vote YES.

Great work, Drew!

The vinyl cutter should be a really good solution for helping to create silk screens from computer designs which is something I’ve been interested in doing since the day I joined.

I do have some concerns about providing fairly expensive consumables. The first screen I wan’t to make is 48" x 48" which would require nearly 3 yards of vinyl (assuming I don’t screw up). Is it acceptable to help myself to or would that fall into “maybe you should buy your own darned supply of vinyl”?

I certainly wouldn’t want that question to hold up moving forward so I vote “yes”.

Dave Schwinn

Or how about this thinking; “I’ve used a buncha vinyl. Here’s $?? into the kitty to cover it.”

Just sayin, at $2.50 a yard you could help assure that we work our way through the vinyl and have some bucks to buy more.

A contribution might be a fair way to handle this.

Sure, that works.

I’m all for this.

And as a side to derail the conversation, I want to understand your math Dave S. The rolls are 24" wide. If done properly, that could be done in a top and bottom half to get 48" , or 3 parts to ensure overlap and wastage. so that would leave you 48" of the vinyl roll either 2 or 3 times. So WORST case 3 x 48 which is 2 yards of the 10 yard roll. Which is 20% of the total roll, and therefore you could toss in a fiver and call it a wash.

Yes I think that is a good system.
The general idea is to have “starter” supplies to allow people to walk up and see if it is something they want to do. For larger projects the person would bring their own or replace the supply.

I vote yes.

Great work thanks.

This vote passed last night. I will get supplies on order.

Also a big thanks to Noah who brought in several rolls of 24" vinyl for the hive.