Vinyl cutters are typically used to make stickers, signs and graphics. In short, they are quite handy for Makers to have around, which is why LiquidHandWash recently upcycled an old printer by transforming it into a DIY vinyl cutter.
“My idea is to take an old printer and turn it into a vinyl cutter, as they are quite similar in there design and it would hopefully make the build just that little bit easier,” LiquidHandWash explained.
“As most people find the electronics an software the most intimidating part of a project like this, I’ve gone into a fair amount of detail on how to set it up. Turns out the mechanical part of this project is far more challenging, as it takes quite a bit of tweaking, adjusting and general head banging to get the vinyl to cut properly.”
Aside from an old printer with stepper motors, key project components include:
- Atmel-based Arduino Uno (ATmega328)
- Dupont wires 10 X 40 pin headers
- Standoffs 3mm nuts and bolts
- Vinyl cutter holder 3pc blade
- 2X EasyDriver Shield stepping Stepper Motor Driver
- Relay module shield board for Arduino Automotive relay
The first step? Determining where the the Arduino, relay and easy drivers will fit by removing all the old electronics and making a laser cut board to mount the components.
“Once that was done it was time to start using some of those Dupoint wires, they make every thing very easy to wire up,” said LiquidHandWash.
“Just pull a pin out of the headers and plug it in if you want to make the end of the wire male.”
Next up? Identifying the four wires on the stepper motor, wiring up the Arduino, installing and configuring the relevant software/sketches, modifying Inkscape, installing the blade and electromagnet, fitting the cutter and applying the sticker.
Interested in learning more? You can check out the project’s meticulously detailed page here.