Stingray Vinyl Sizing

New to the vinyl cutting field, and just ordered the Stingray the other day to make some wedding signs. Wondering in general, or specifically with the Stingray, how small cursive lettering can be without being too small. Thinking it either gets caught up in the knife or tears too easily because the lettering is too thin, etc. I was flirting with trying .25" lettering, but do not have the Stingray yet to test anything out.

Short answer: you have to try it out.

Long answer: I’m using a DIY version of the same drag knife which is in the Stingray (see Optimized Vinyl Cutting G-Code Tool Path with DXF2GCODE | MCU on Eclipse), and I’m cutting letters down to 7 mm height, which is close to your 0.25". I did not had a need to go down to 6 mm, so you probably can get there. It will heavily on the fact that you are using that optimized tool path shown in above article, and of the vinyl material you are going to use. I had bad results with some cheap material: the vinyl was not adhesive enough to the back paper, pulling it off for small letters. The other thing is that you carefully need to calibrate and level the bed, to make sure it just cuts the vinyl and not the back paper. Additionally I had to ‘smooth’ the buttom part of the cutting head, so it really glides over the vinyl and does not take it off the back paper.

I hope this helps,
Erich

I go away for two weeks so I will have to wait to report back on use of the Stingray, although all seemingly very useful notes.

Currently reading through the optimized tool path, and hope that is my biggest bug to deal with, since ive been reading up on the pressure and feed/speed for the different vinyl types. Do you have a brand that has worked for you? Found a lot of references that just using a Oracal branded vinyl or those made for Cricuit may help. Bed has been flattened and im going to be using a self healing mat as well under the vinyl.

Appreciate this!

I do use Vectric Desktop for most of my toolpath creation, although I need the Pro version to use their drag knife ‘gadget’ which may include some of these optimized tool path features.

The drag knife gadget does include the corner optimizations for knife offsets and adds tangential entry and exit paths. It does feel incomplete as you can not define what is waste vs work piece resulting in some of the tangential motions in waste and others in the work. Luckily they are small and have not been a big problem but a required improvement to make it a pro tool. Pick your fonts carefully, avoid serifs and pips when the fonts get small and you’ll do well. The project I had was before the Stingray was available, I used a Bones woodworking Roland style knife holder. My wife needed signs for her new shop. The preexisting signs were reconditioned and painted plain white with Oracal 651 vinyl to the rescue. With a 24" tall vinyl x 31" (3XXL) limit to my cutting envelope they were cut as 3 panels per sign.


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Do you have a brand that has worked for you?

I have used the ones from d-c-fix: https://www.d-c-fix.com/