(Topic ID: 105393)

Silhouette Cameo Pinball Restorers Club!

By Curbfeeler

5 years ago

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  • 389 posts
  • 77 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 day ago by robotron911
  • Topic is favorited by 187 Pinsiders


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    #1 5 years ago

    Hi Guys. This is a club I feel needs to exist. The Silhouette Cameo is a great, low price but powerful tool, and I feel it's capable of helping us with the following pinball-related interests:

    1. Creating airbrush masks and stencils for playfield painting.
    2. Cutting printed decals with absolutely NO unprinted material.
    3. Creating DIY cabinet stencils
    4. Creating masks for cabinet touchups.
    5. Creating masks for the DIY creation of impossible-to-source playfield plastics.
    6. Other uses yet to be discovered....

    So, first of all, what is a Silhouette Cameo? The Cameo is a 12" wide plotter-like robotic cutter, capable of cutting a variety of materials. It's got a little razor blade that gets moved all around to different coordinates. These kinds of plotter-based cutters have been around for a long time, gracing us with rear window likenesses of Calvin pissing on Dale Jr. and the like.

    However, it's really only recently that these types of cutters have become affordable enough for the casual user to justify owning one. I got mine off Amazon with an extra mat for $230.

    Even though the Cameo is targeted at the hobby audience, I think it's accurate enough for our purposes. I actually researched this topic pretty extensively. First of all, there are number of pinsiders already using the tool for various aspects of pinball. Here are a few.

    Mk1Mod0's 6M$M Cabinet Stencils

    Mk1Mod0's Acrylic Pinball Machine artwork

    ArcadiusMaximus decals and airbrush stencils

    rufessor's Playboy

    Anyone I missed???


    Then there are the non-pinballers using Cameos for hobby purposes.

    Amazing Model Railroad Scenery cut out of polystyrene with a Cameo

    Cutting Solder Stencils


    The model railroad thread has some valuable best practice type stuff for getting good cuts, and the solder one the guys are printing from Linux using an open source software and getting much better cuts than using the tools that are bundled with the cutter. Very interested in following up with this.


    So what have I done? Well, I've only had my Cameo a couple days but here goes. I scanned my buddy's Baby Pac Man and traced the problem area with Inkscape. Took about 15 minutes. I exported that to DXF, imported that to the Cameo software, then scaled it to the same width as I measured with a steel rule, to the nearest 1/2 mm. Then I printed on regular computer paper, just to test.

    more to come!

    CAM01447.jpg CAM01452.jpg CAM01454.jpg CAM01453.jpg
    #2 5 years ago

    Last night I spent some time getting my Silohouette Cameo on a dedicated computer running Ubuntu. I'm hoping that by doing this I can up the ante of my cuts, because other users are able to eliminate the use of SilStudio and use more professional tools.


    So tonight I'm hoping to start cutting masks for an impossible to find plastic for my Robocop. I actually need 5-6 of these, because this thing gets absolutely pounded during gameplay.

    Wish me luck. Anybody who doubts I can get accurate enough cuts to rival the original silk screen prints, check out this blog....


    #3 5 years ago

    Well, I'm taking a break from my cameo... I had to bite the bullet and order a better material to work with. Badger Foto Frisket DOES NOT work with the cameo. Too thin and flimsy. I'm taking advice from both Lonzo and Mk1Mod0's and I ordered Oracut 813 and some proper release tape. I'd like to test out the Gerbermask per rufessor at some point also, but one thing at a time. Stay tuned. For now I'll keep tracing my Robocop plastics so I'll be ready when the time comes.

    #4 5 years ago

    I can provide much of the material bill needed to use the Cameo for pinball restoration-

    I have used this extensively in some fairly in-depth work. Thanks for starting this thread-

    I am going to start with the two most important materials you need to successfully use this approach-

    The stencil that your going to cut with the Cameo-
    The transfer tape you will use to transfer the weeded stencil to the part your restoring.

    I have tried a number of materials and spent a long time (pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/bally-playboy-restore) working this out and talking to pros who do either high end auto graphics or sign work.

    The issue with Frisket is two fold- the material is flimsy and large pieces with complex cuts are simply hard to manage in weeding etc. The larger issue is its nearly impossible to float frisket- I discovered that the glue is slightly water soluble and all the commercial people either use water with a drop of dish soap to float their stencils or a specially designed spray float thats also aqueous (water based). So if you have a complex piece you need to align and your not a robot you need to be able to float the stencil over the piece until you get it aligned and then lock it down by squeege to force contact between the stencil and the material. FRISKET sucks here- don't go there.

    HERE is what I found to work exceedingly well

    Gerber 15 SM-4 GERBERMASK 1 ULTRA

    This is a medium tack pressure sensitive stencil material that is a slightly grainy white surface, think thin plastic. It cuts in the Cameo EXCEEDINGLY well. It has a PRESSURE SENSITIVE adhesive DESIGNED to work with a float solution.

    Buy this- or any similar. They are available on line or just call and sign/auto graphic shop and they will be happy to sell you some- Its NOT expensive, but it does add up.

    So- you cut your stencil... now you need to weed out the regions you want to paint. Then, your left with an adhesive backed stencil thats on the cardboard backing. You need to apply the appropriate transfer tape to stick to the TOP of the stencil (the painted side). This tape will hold small floating parts of the stencil in place and allow you to apply it all at once to the material- because the transfer tape is stuck to the TOP of the stencil you can now peel the adhesive backing OFF the back of the stencil without moving any part of the stencil nor loosing even tiny floating bits.

    You NEED to get a PAPER based transfer tape of medium tack. Buy the paper based transfer medium tack from


    This is also WIDELY used in industry and should be available from numerous places. You may end up needing to buy a roll- if you cannot find someone to sell you X-feet. Not pricey but a roll is going to add up.

    You need the paper backed material for two important reasons.

    If your going to float your stencil (and you almost have to to align correctly) your going to be putting the stencil down on water. The water prevents it from immediately sticking in the wrong alignment and will let you gently move it around until things line up. The stencil material I suggest will adhere well with significant pressure (use a squeegee) under these conditions (wet). But I discovered that if you use a plastic transfer tape when you squeegee the stencil to get it to adhere you end up with trapped pockets of water (a lot of water) that are sitting in the weeded regions of the stencil. This is bad- it kills any paint you had previously applied and it will PEEL up. ALSO- I found that peeling the plastic transfer tape results in peeling up smaller parts of the stencil (cause its WET!!)

    So- if you use the paper based transfer material, when you squeegee the stencil DOWN onto the surface you push the water into the paper- it absorbs the water and no more trapped water. The SECOND reason to use paper-

    You apply your stencil with paper transfer tape- your squeegee it you let it dry, you now SPRAY the top with water or with the commercially available float solutions- The paper adsorbs this solution and now the adhesive between your transfer tape and you stencil is softened (not soluble, just softened) and you can PEEL the transfer tape of rapidly easily and WITHOUT pulling up the stencil.

    So- in a nut shell-

    Get these two products.

    Gerber 15 SM-4 GERBERMASK 1 ULTRA
    RTape paper transfer tape medium tack.

    I will post a short synopsis of how I used this method to fix 4 drop targets on a Williams GrandPrix- tonight or over the weekend-

    One last invaluable piece of equipment.

    Just as a hint of whats coming.

    #5 5 years ago

    Great thread, favorited.

    #6 5 years ago

    Ok... here is an example of what you can do with this system-

    This is a simple task. I have a 1977 Williams GrandPrix that has 4 drop targets. The drop targets are red with a white painted bulls eye- the paint is sprayed on to the bottom of a recess in the plastic (concentric circles) that makes the bulls eye. Naturally, none of the rivets are positioned anything close to the same, and naturally, painting ONLY the bottom of the bullseye and NOT anywhere on the top, and keeping it perfect density so it looks perfect- is a Pain in the ASS. Not something I have the patience for.

    Enter the Cameo and a scanner...


    You NEED to scan (1) dimension the piece.. so if its play field art what I do is stand on a step ladder, frame the art with two squares (carpentry- known 90 degree angles) one adjacent to the other so I make a u shaped trough around the art- and take 50 pictures trying damn hard to hold the camera perfectly straight by aligning the edges of the 90 degree angle with the precise edges of the camera imaging chip (or at least view finder). Then go into photoshop and find the one that most closely matches a perfect 90 you draw- to the squares in the corner of the picture. Then- measure 1 inch in both x and Y in photoshop using a ruler grid and compare to the 1 inch on the carpentry square, and adjust image proportions (you can calculate precisely) to get 1 inch to equal 1 inch (carpenters square on picture to adobe ruler). Then trace art work and it will be DAMN good. I covered over 12 inches x 6+ this way and it came out almost exactly friggin perfect.

    Get a scanner and simply scan the piece (much easier).

    In the playboy thread I document the first approach and its ongoing, but the stencils came out perfect- so its up to me to paint them well. This WORKS.

    In this thread- I will show you what I did with simple targets, but painful to repair by hand.

    Place the targets onto the bed of a typic (each one- those rivets move and none are the same)..and scan them.

    Bring them into Illustrator (sorry- expensive but worth it) and make the angles work, did you align those squares damn well before you took a picture if your doing that, with a scan were OK with nothing but the scan. So you have your scan in illustrator- now trace what you need to cut.

    Like THIS

    Then- import into Silhouette (you need the expensive version) to do this easily (Adobe-->Silhouette) but its only something like 50 bucks.

    Then you will see this-


    See how I have moved it so its offset from the edge of the plot space- that plot space is EXACTLY the bounds of where the knife can go..

    More later....

    #7 5 years ago

    Ok... I kinda moved fast so I will recap-

    Photo or SCAN (better by FAR).
    Import into illustrator (or other)
    Trace elements with pen- or in the above case make concentric circles
    Bring Illustrator drawing into the Silhouette cutting software - YOU NEED THE RIGHT VERSION--you need to buy the illustrator plug in (used to be a different version now its a plug in or something).

    And the last screen shows my Adobe drawing for a stencil to allow me to repaint the white on the targets. I will cut that out and remove the rings by weeding, put transfer tape down and peel back adhesive backing on the stencil material- and align it to the target.

    WHAT I WOULD RECOMMEND- I got this aligned just fine but it would have been MUCH EASIER if I had cut the outline- or even just one edge to use as an align.... so were I to do this again, I would simply trace the outline of the drop target plastic and weed it... so the stencil would be perfect--- but that would mean I would have to mask that carefully with tape prior to spraying... This way- with the stencil oversized its a pain to align (sorta, just set over a bright light and you can see) but is masked better for spraying.

    Here is another of the drop targets... so some were sorta beat but mostly OK... like above... some were like this-595414A6.jpg

    #8 5 years ago

    Here is what I was talking about by leaving a little space on your stencil edge in the Silhouette software..

    The last screen shot showed my design with a select all--- then you can click and drag the whole thing without screwing it up- there are individual elements here. In that shot there was at least 1/2 inch from the screen edge- which is the precise bounds the plotter can see- but if you want to use it that precisely you better load the damn thing carefully and be dead certain your stencil is wide enough everywhere. Thats too much work, stencil is CHEAP- just cut a rough piece out and stick it on there and then move your drawing until you KNOW your on stencil and cut the damn thing.

    So this is showing what the drawing looks like if I move it too close to the edge and deselect it- its now clearly the rings, if you pull off the right parts (the white pieces on the drop -missing white) you get the rings..


    #9 5 years ago

    Here is the stencil that has been cut and weeded- prior to transfer tape application.


    Now I am sticking the transfer tape on- it goes on so that all the rings, which are not connected together- stay in perfect alignment once you peel off the backing to expose the sticky side- the backing is the only thing holding the rings together until you do this...


    Now you use a squeegee and apply firm even pressure over the entire stencil to bond the transfer tape. The smaller the floating pieces you need to bond- the harder I push.

    Then you can immediately peel of the adhesive backing on the stencil- and here it is next to its target- the stencil is upside down resting on the transfer tape and the exposed surface your seeing has the adhesive.


    I used a flashlight to back light the target as I applied the stencil- and after I squeegee'd it down it came out looking like this


    10 minutes later- a few light coats of a plastic bonding white spray paint and having peeled everything off... were left with this..


    #10 5 years ago

    Once they all got back into the game it looked like this


    The best part- these are NOT available. So far as I know there have been no reproduction runs for this drop target and there are basically no NOS available. So- if you want a nice looking game you have to paint these. Doing this by hand is difficult at best- and exceedingly hard to get even level coats of paint. These are essentially perfect- it took me an evening- start to finish to do every step- I literally decided to do this around 7 pm one night- unpacked the silhouette and computer and got set up and was done a few hours later and had them installed in the game the next morning.

    #11 5 years ago

    Wow rufessor, just back from a fishing trip this weekend and what a great write-up to come back from! Thanks so much for putting all this together. I got the transfer tape from SignWarehouse and hope get my mask soon. I also want to get a batch of the stuff you're using. Compared to other pinball-related stuff, all of this is super cheap. My mask was like $25 and my tape was another $25.

    I'll document using your methods for my project when I get the goods. Thanks again!


    1 week later
    #12 5 years ago

    Well, I'm waiting for my backordered Orucut 813 to arrive from Sign Warehouse in Texas. Sigh.

    So in the meantime, I decided to try something crazy. I was reading the web about airbrush masks on a non-pinball site and saw somebody refer to using contact paper to make them. Contact paper? I remembered seeing rolls of con-tact brand contact paper at the Dollar Tree. So for a buck, I thought I'd try it out.


    You know, it's not half bad. Took me a few cuts to dial in the thickness. Blade setting of 2, Speed of 3, Thickness of 4 is just about perfect with this stuff. For just messing around and getting to know your new machine on the cheap, I highly recommend a roll. Took me a few adjustments to get the scale just right for my playfield repair, but I feel like it's close enough. I'll re-cut when I have the good stuff, but for a test fit, why not?


    Good luck to all,

    1 month later
    #13 5 years ago

    you have just opened my eyes. I had to use frisket and a knife to cut the explosive lightning shapes around the pop bumpers on NGG. This would have saved me alot of headaches and sore hands.

    #14 5 years ago

    Great thread! I'm gonna try this on my bop PF restoration since almost all inserts have art on them and is worn. Huge time saver if dialed in correctly which will be time consuming but probably worth it!

    2 months later
    #15 5 years ago

    This is a little bit of a cross post- I put this information in my restore thread for a Bally playboy that has been in a holding pattern for months waiting for the weather to warm up so I can shoot clear again... but its very relevant to this thread...

    I decided to compare three common materials used for stencil/repair/restoration on this forum- with respect to play field or cabinet paint work.

    I cut the OraMask 813, GerberMask, and frisket on a Silhouette Cameo-
    I did this because I saw a few people using the Oramask 813 material and was curious if it would work better than the GerberMask material I found to be quite good.

    I have reconstructed the entire bonus graphic (12x9 ish) of a Bally Playboy using line art and stencil masks for every color, including reconstruction of the lettering. In one region, there are multiple instances of the word "THOUSANDS"

    This lettering is no larger than approximately 7 mm high, and thus represents a stringent test of material properties, silhouette cameo mechanical, and cut settings.

    I know how to cut the GerberMask and have cut settings that produce beautiful completely accurate nearly flawless cuts of the small lettering. I spent a while, testing settings to cut the Oramask 813, and I have previously established cut settings for Frisket.

    The results are informative and I hope will be useful to others going forward with their projects.

    Pics below-

    Results here-

    The oramask 813 material is not suitable for cutting fine details, at least I could not find the conditions to be successful. I tried a knife depth (ratchet blade) that could yield cuts through the backing, or cuts that were incomplete (not fully generating a through cut in the stencil material) by altering down force. I then changed speed at down forces covering this range-

    Whereas using Gerbermask generates incredibly clean cuts, the 813 material does not cut well, the properties of the material are such that it drags the blade resulting in poor alignment of the start and end of a cut along a closed line (say the edges of a 7 mm high letter), resulting in severely mis-shaped lettering, difficulty in weeding (since cuts don't line up its not fully cut- I even tried over cutting line ends), and resulting in it displaying an annoying tendency to chip up small (or even medium sized) pieces that are "floating" after the cut. See the photos.

    I would not recommend Oramask for detail work, perhaps is barely acceptable for use in larger graphics, but I think even there, the lines are not as straight, not as sharp at the joins, and generally not nearly as useable as generated using GerberMask material.

    Firsket (no photos) is somewhere in-between, its close to Gerbermask in fine details, harder to weed (MUCH) than the GerberMask material, and a total fail if you need to float your stencil onto the surface (apparently a water soluble adhesive).

    If you have frisket and are certain you can place and align the cut stencil perfectly- its widely available and cheap- it works better than the Oramask in terms of cut accuracy- but I warn that placement of the cut stencil and getting a good transfer paper to work with this is a challenge. GerberMask is just plain old amazing in comparison to both these.

    Check out the photos- note how rough the edges are on the blue (Oramask) whereas the white (gerberMask) is perfect.

    Image-1.jpg Image-2.jpg
    #16 5 years ago

    I apologize for pic quality on the gerber, its really hard to capture the cut lines against a perfectly white background. Trust me- its basically perfect-

    #17 5 years ago

    Soooooo, where can I get the Gerber in a smaller roll? 'Cause it's kinda pricey that way!

    #18 5 years ago

    I just picked up a 34" wide cutter....

    #19 5 years ago

    This is great info. I'm picking some up right away. I am actually going to post some good results I got painting keyline circles using Oramask, but I can see why for more detailed outlines this stuff is boss. thanks so much rufessor!

    #20 5 years ago

    Ok- Here is the complete catalog description of the Gerber material

    Gerber 15 SM-4 GERBERMASK 1 ULTRA

    I went to a local supply shop - Regional Supply- and they were willing to cut from a master roll and sell me this in segments of some minimal linear foot order. They will ship. They can be found at


    Its pricey- but I would guess I spent less than 50 on a roll that is going to outlast my entire project- having started knowing nothing about this I have used many many feet screwing up and still have way more than I require. Its worth the investment- especially if your cutting details.

    I would be curious is someone else can figure out how to get the Oramask to cut as well- I tried hard enough to feel confident enough to post the problem, but if someone only had Oramask and HAD to get it to work- maybe- just maybe they could find a way. Not saying its not possible... but with a Cameo I had enough trouble dialing it in whereas the GerberMask cut like butter over a range of settings, so it may be hard/impossible.

    #21 5 years ago

    Oh- just FYI- The target drops that I showed a repair for (white bullseye rings) have now been in the game for months and had hundreds of games played and they have ZERO defects- still look as good as they day I installed them- This works!

    1 month later
    #22 4 years ago

    I have a Silhouette Portrait, which is the smaller version. I used it to make decals for some classic Stern drop targets, but haven't done stencils yet. I may try to repair my Space Shuttle pf with it. This is some good info here.

    One concern I'd have about using water to slide the stencils around, is having it soak into any damaged, unsealed areas of the wood. Anyone having issues with that?

    #23 4 years ago

    Just got my cameo a couple of days ago.

    Here's some test prints I did.
    The fine detail is incredible.

    cameonew1.jpg cameonew4.jpg
    #24 4 years ago
    Quoted from winteriscoming:

    I have a Silhouette Portrait, which is the smaller version. I used it to make decals for some classic Stern drop targets, but haven't done stencils yet. I may try to repair my Space Shuttle pf with it. This is some good info here.
    One concern I'd have about using water to slide the stencils around, is having it soak into any damaged, unsealed areas of the wood. Anyone having issues with that?

    Not if you fix the damage and seal it against water first.

    Quoted from Steevsee64:

    Just got my cameo a couple of days ago.
    Here's some test prints I did.
    The fine detail is incredible.

    What is your material?

    #25 4 years ago

    I get what you are saying about the Oramask, but I am still having great results with it for bigger items. Here's a few samples of the home made stencils I did for my latest projects.

    IMG_3603.JPG IMG_3604.JPG IMG_3605.JPG IMG_3607.JPG IMG_3608.JPG IMG_3610.JPG IMG_3613.JPG IMG_3615.JPG IMG_3616.JPG
    #26 4 years ago

    A few more...

    IMG_3660.JPG IMG_3663.JPG
    #27 4 years ago
    Quoted from Mk1Mod0:

    Here's a few samples of the home made stencils I did for my latest projects.

    Umm, okay so now I feel inadequate in every way.... Sheesh. That's amazing.

    I am still using Oramask as well, and for circles and basic outlines it's crazy good. I had to quit trying to use it for lettering, though. Had the results rufessor posted above. For the really fine detail the contact paper from dollar tree actually works very well, but I'm worried about residue so don't use it except for practice.

    Pictured are my latest results using Oramask on F14 (the black keylines around the inserts). I wiped all my progress from before with alcohol and started from scratch. It's ready to clear and then I will probably waterslide the lettering. I really just miss it and want to get it back together and play sooner than later.



    #28 4 years ago


    Yessir! That's some sharp work there.

    The waterslide stuff I did on the acrylic pin worked out well. I am going to try the Gerbermask the next time I have really small and detailed lettering. I may be doing an acrylic bingo and EM shooter next. EBD and Space Invaders should be wrapping up soon.

    #29 4 years ago
    Quoted from Mk1Mod0:

    Not if you fix the damage and seal it against water first.

    What is your material?

    This was cut on the silhouette brand adhesive vinyl that came with the cutter.

    2 weeks later
    #30 4 years ago

    Excellent thread. This looks like a great device, but to really take advantage of it, you need to know how to vectorize images. For someone with no experience doing this, what's the best way to learn?

    #31 4 years ago
    Quoted from Spyridon:

    Excellent thread. This looks like a great device, but to really take advantage of it, you need to know how to vectorize images. For someone with no experience doing this, what's the best way to learn?

    For some stuff you can get away with the trace function in the software that comes with it. For vectorizing complex stuff, I usually punt and send it to a service such as www.copyartwork.com as they do it quickly and cheaply.

    #32 4 years ago

    I normally scan on a flatbed, import the scan into Inkscape, and just trace it. You get good at knowing where to draw a point and how to drag that point. It takes practice. I knew nothing and completely traced a Jolly Roger backglass from pics only, no scan at all. Learned a lot.

    That was pre-pinside for me, deets on that here.

    Lately for text I've been finding the closest font in whatthefont and after typing the text just converting the text to a path and dragging the points to perfectly match the scan. It saves quite a bit of time over drawing each letter completely by hand. As pkiefert says the autotrace function can be useful, but I've never found it saves time in the long run once you learn to trace/draw by hand. It's either just trace/draw or autotrace and correct mistakes. Early on autotracing was quicker, now I'm faster to just trace/draw it manually.

    Feel free to send me a scan and I will trace the shape you need.


    1 month later
    #33 4 years ago

    Got mine today and just cut my first stencil. This thing is great once you invest the time in the software.

    #34 4 years ago

    In the middle of Curbfeeler's F-14 restoration, Gov shows how he used a vinyl cutter to make masks for his Taxi. He mentions that "You have to have a good machine though for the detailed stuff." But it's not clear if the masks he made count as "detailed stuff". Can anyone who owns one of these things speak to whether or not a Cameo would be suitable for making the kind of masks that were used on this Taxi, or is it pretty much only good for straight lines and lettering?

    #35 4 years ago
    Quoted from rufessor:

    Gerber 15 SM-4 GERBERMASK 1 ULTRA
    This is a medium tack pressure sensitive stencil material that is a slightly grainy white surface, think thin plastic. It cuts in the Cameo EXCEEDINGLY well. It has a PRESSURE SENSITIVE adhesive DESIGNED to work with a float solution.

    I don't understand, what does "Designed to work in a float solution" mean? it isn't a water soluble stencil, so what floats?

    #36 4 years ago

    I've joined the club and am awaiting delivery of GerberMask I Ultra from the US. Didn't feel like springing for a 50 yd roll! Regional Supply uses the awful iGlobalStores for Canadian delivery so I'm having my father send it up.

    What are the settings for cutting GerberMask? Knife depth and speed....

    #37 4 years ago

    The designed to float statement was a clumsy way of saying it not a water soluble adhesive- so you can spray the surface with a flotant- like water with a drop of soap or spend $$ amd but a bottle of soln made for this. By wetting the surface you can shift the stencil asround and align it perfectly then squeege it down and away you go.

    The cut settinggs for me are speed 2 depth 8 blade 4. For Gerbermask material and Silhouette Cameo.

    And finally- Most excellent work on the cabinet stencils!! What are you cutting them on?? The oramask is so sweet because you can see through it- looks to work really well for the bigger art work on cabinets- really outstanding job...

    One more thing- I agree- matching fonts with what the font and then stretching to get perfect is probably the best way and fast comparably.

    #38 4 years ago

    I've tried importing my decals to an image and then importing them into Design Studio so I can trace them for Print and Cut. However, I was having problems getting the trace lines to get close enough to the black lines around each decal. Not even for the intricate parts, either. The red trace line for a long straight black line would be off by as much as an 1/8 of an inch in some cases. So I figured I would have an easier time if I paid the 30 bucks to upgrade so I can import SVG files. I'd think that if the software had the actual vector lines to go off of, its traces would be more accurate, right? Nope.

    What are some techniques that people have used when using white-backed decals for print-and-cut to make sure that the blade cuts away as much of the surrounding white as possible?

    #39 4 years ago

    Never done this- but its all about the trace. Unsure but now that you have upgraded- I would do this in photo shop or Illustrator- I believe you will get a much better trace using something like thresholding, the magic lasso, or some other technique. Then go to Silhouette studio for print. I have not used their package for art work, AT ALL. I tried and its just not the same as the other software I mentioned.... and it should not be. Its not designed to do that stuff, or at least I perhaps should say, its learning how to do that stuff, photoshop/Illustrator have been refining these tools for literally decades....

    And an update-

    I played around extensively to get the best possible cut for very fine lettering, and with Gerber Mask, I learned something I didn't previously appreciate.

    I used to cut with blade at 4 on the ratchet and thickness of 6 or so at low speed-
    I tried blade at 5 and thickness to 5 and its just slightly, ever so slightly, but reproducibly better.... so I change my prior posts-

    FOR MAX DETAIL RESOLUTION- GerberMask is blade depth 5 speed 1 and thickness 4. I tested both sides of blade 4 and if you decrease blade on ratchet and increase down force, its making it messy and it tends to chip pieces up, so I think the basic trend here- is that using the least down force possible to get a clean cut is the best- and go slowly for super fine resolution.

    My large intricate (9x11 or so) stencil for the black lines on the Bally Playboy bonus region of the play field takes a very long time to cut... over 30 minutes... but it is very very good.

    2 weeks later
    #40 4 years ago

    I am having tracing/cutting problems with an intricate stencil. Do you guys have the upgraded version that handles SVG's?

    #41 4 years ago


    #42 4 years ago

    wow! this thread is just full of all kinds of awesomeness. keep it coming guys

    #43 4 years ago

    Anyone considering a Cameo, should also look at the larger 31" vinyl cutters for $239 from Signwearhouse:

    ebay.com link » New Your Best Value Signmakers Vinyl Signwarehouse Cutter Vinly Sign Plotter

    And USCutter:

    ebay.com link » New 28 Vinyl Cutter Sign Cutting Plotter W Sure Cuts A Lot Pro Uscutter

    They both take standard Rolland blades, so that saves you $$$$$ - fresh from China!

    #44 4 years ago

    I use the Signwarehouse LXi software with one of their 24" desktop vinyl cutters at work. Decent stuff.

    #45 4 years ago

    I used my Silhouette Portrait to make some tongue decals for my Improved T-Rex. It worked out well. I printed with the registration marks and the cutter did its work.

    It seems like this could easily be used for other pinball related decals. If they're small enough, you can use packing tape as laminating layer.


    #46 4 years ago

    I was wondering about that, printing and cutting sticky-backed paper with the art printed on it rather than just a painting mask. Seems like it would be too thick though, perhaps for graphics but not on the playfield itself.

    #47 4 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Vinly Sign Plotter


    #48 4 years ago
    Quoted from winteriscoming:

    It seems like this could easily be used for other pinball related decals. If they're small enough, you can use packing tape as laminating layer.

    Even better is sheet Mylar, much more durable than packing tape (although they do make Mylar label protection tape, but it's only 1 mil thick).

    This is the 3 mil thick stuff:


    #49 4 years ago
    Quoted from mark532011:

    I was wondering about that, printing and cutting sticky-backed paper with the art printed on it rather than just a painting mask. Seems like it would be too thick though, perhaps for graphics but not on the playfield itself.

    I use a vinyl cutter to do masks for painting, but printing on vinyl is too thick under the clear.

    Waterslide decals from a color laser printer come out great. Super thin, does not fade as fast as inkjet, and the toner does not bleed into the clearcoat like inkjet does.

    Most "real" hobby shops have a printer than can even print white ink on waterslide decals.

    1 month later
    #50 4 years ago
    Quoted from dr_nybble:

    I've joined the club and am awaiting delivery of GerberMask I Ultra from the US. Didn't feel like springing for a 50 yd roll! Regional Supply uses the awful iGlobalStores for Canadian delivery so I'm having my father send it up.
    What are the settings for cutting GerberMask? Knife depth and speed....

    Slight problem, my father ordered 10 rolls of transfer tape instead of 10 yards of GerberMask!!!! Got more than a lifetime supply of that stuff now -- 1000 yards

    For Canadians, you can get GerberMask by the yard from ND Graphics at $8.01 / yard (or $4.40/yard for a 50 yard roll). I tried ordering a roll from the US they would not sell to me due to their dealer agreement.

    Update -- had to buy a roll, they told me they don't sell it by the yard and made a mistake

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