Vinyl Cutter In Your Airbrushing Projects

Vinyl cutter in your airbrush projects covers using a vinyl cutter like the Roland Stika to help you create your artwork, graphic’s. My use of the Roland Stika over the last couple years has saved me both time and money in my custom painting business. Turned out to be one of the best investments I have made in years Don Johnson, airbrush artist

“Ideal for small offices, schools and hobbyists, Roland STIKA vinyl cutters produce colorful POP displays, labels, and iron-ons. Creating custom vinyl graphics has never been faster or more affordable. Bundled CutStudio software lets users tile up to 16 designs and contour cut printed images.”

Above is Roland info on their Stika desk top cutter.
After years of putting it off I finally invested in a small cutter to help in the helmets I paint. After some research the Roland Stika seemed to fit my needs nicely so that’s what I bought. You can read my full review of the Roland Stika in issue #23 of Airbrush Technique Magazine.

The Stika is available in three different sizes 8-,12- and 15-inch widths.

Right out of the box the Stika is ready to get to work; very easy to use was my first impression. The Stika comes all ready to go, load the CD into your drive, load the driver, plug the cutter into your USB post and you are ready to go. If you are at ease using most photo editing programs like Photoshop you should have no problem with Cut Studio that comes with the Stika. Cut Studio is a print/cut program you’ll use to lay your design out and send it to the cutter to perform the printing or cutting. In Airbrush Technique Magazine issue #23 I walk you thru using Cut Studio to cut some lettering out of paint mask.

After using the Stika for several months I have to say I’m very pleased with my purchase and highly recommend the Stika to anyone looking to invest in a small cutter.

Below is a short out line of using the Roland Stika to cut a jpg (peace sign) and how easy it is to accomplish. When looking to buy a plotter, vinyl cutter pay attention to the cutting software it comes with. Many plotters require the use of programs like Coral Draw or Adobe Illustrator both of which have a fairly steep learning curve. With Cut Studio that comes with the Roland Stika the learning the program is a breeze, much easier than either Coral Draw or Illustrator. Personally I prefer to spend my time painting and not working on a image program on the computer.

In this simple project I was painting a motorcycle helmet for a teenage girl; her design called for peace signs covering the entire helmet.

Step #1 is to open Cut Studio and import the jpg peace sign image. From the File menu click on IMPORT.

Step #2 Locate the image you want to import, it must be in jpg format to import into Cut Studio.

Here you can see that my piece sign has been imported into Cut Studio.

Step #3 Now we need to convert the jpg into cut lines for the Stika. Click on Object and scroll down to IMAGE OUT LINE, select that.

Step #4 The Image Out Line box appears on your screen. From that box you can adjust the image density which is the lines out lining the image. Click on EXTRACT CONTOUR LINES than OK.

Step #5 You will now see the out line appear over your jpg image. Ypu can delete the imported jpg image at this point leaving the contour out line.

Above you can see the peace sign contour out line, this is what Stika will cut.

To adjust the size of your contour out line click on OBJECT then PROPERTIES, from that box you can adjust size and shape. Adjust the size to fit your requirements and when happy with your contour lines click on Cutting to send the image to Stika for cutting.

Below is the helmet with the peace signs cut in paint mask using the Stika. As you can see the peace signs came out great, nice clean edges. It took just several minutes to generate the peace signs for the helmet design saving me hours if I had to cut each peace sign by hand. This was a very simple design, the Roland Stika is capable of cutting much more complex designs but this shows you just how easy the Stika is to use and the time saving thsat be achieved by using it.

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