Relabel these chips with me in real time (1 Viewer)

After much experimentation, I’m finding that if I upload my chip design in HEIC format, it seems to lose less resolution.

The main struggle now is getting the color correct, as the output to HEIC, import to Cricut, and output back to my printer seems to alter the color along the way. No idea why, but it’s different than if I just output it straight to the printer from my design program (Pixelmator, a Photoshop substitute).

Getting the laminate down evenly is also going to take some practice. @GreekRedEye showed a good method earlier in the thread, but I am nowhere near expert yet. Lots of bubbles and crinkles. Anyone else have tips?

Meanwhile I found that to produce a 26mm label, I needed to make the image a hair larger, around 26.3 mm. It’s possible that the cutting blade tries to center on the outline, or even cuts inside it, losing some material.

What material setting do people use when cutting laminated vinyl? The only one which seemed to match in the Cricut menus cut too deeply, separating the backing sheet from the labels.
 
After much experimentation, I’m finding that if I upload my chip design in HEIC format, it seems to lose less resolution.

The main struggle now is getting the color correct, as the output to HEIC, import to Cricut, and output back to my printer seems to alter the color along the way. No idea why, but it’s different than if I just output it straight to the printer from my design program (Pixelmator, a Photoshop substitute).

Getting the laminate down evenly is also going to take some practice. @GreekRedEye showed a good method earlier in the thread, but I am nowhere near expert yet. Lots of bubbles and crinkles. Anyone else have tips?

Meanwhile I found that to produce a 26mm label, I needed to make the image a hair larger, around 26.3 mm. It’s possible that the cutting blade tries to center on the outline, or even cuts inside it, losing some material.

What material setting do people use when cutting laminated vinyl? The only one which seemed to match in the Cricut menus cut too deeply, separating the backing sheet from the labels.
Glad to hear things are getting better.

For applying laminate (assuming a full letter size sheet), I peel the top one inch or so and fold the backing paper. Then align and apply the top line and slowly peel away the backing while using anything as a squeegee to press down the laminate as you peel the backing away. Very seldom do I have crinkles/bubbles. The vinyl may seem slightly bowed but after cutting it doesn’t have any issue on the end label.

For a laminated vinyl, I use the Light Cardstock setting and occasionally use the “Less” pressure setting with it for a kiss cut.

Good luck!
 
Glad to hear things are getting better.

For applying laminate (assuming a full letter size sheet), I peel the top one inch or so and fold the backing paper. Then align and apply the top line and slowly peel away the backing while using anything as a squeegee to press down the laminate as you peel the backing away. Very seldom do I have crinkles/bubbles. The vinyl may seem slightly bowed but after cutting it doesn’t have any issue on the end label.

For a laminated vinyl, I use the Light Cardstock setting and occasionally use the “Less” pressure setting with it for a kiss cut.

Good luck!
This is the way.
 
IMG_3041.jpeg

IMG_3042.jpeg


Early results, including an outdoor daylight shot to show the texture. Label is not perfectly centered, but is close.
 
With the Cricut, all the work I have done on it is using vector files to cut shapes. I did try the print-and-cut feature early on with mixed results...not nearly accurate enough.
What I have done is print my color art on an Epson inkjet and make a separate file in vector only to use for cutting. I then upload the vector cut file into Design Space, place my epson print on the cut mat in exactly the corner, and ran the cut. Inevitably, it will be slightly off with the cuts, so I adjust the original color print file accordingly, re-print on the Epson, then run it through the cut again. It does take some trial-and-error initially, but if you're always using the same cut file, and being very careful to place the print on the cut mat in EXACTLY the same spot each time, a few prints should have pretty damn close alignment.
Once aligned, you can print and then cut with the same accuracy going forward.
 
Meanwhile I found that to produce a 26mm label, I needed to make the image a hair larger, around 26.3 mm. It’s possible that the cutting blade tries to center on the outline, or even cuts inside it, losing some material.

Could be kerf settings. Search for info on that.

For those that do not know, kerf is the thickness of your cutting implement. If you have done carpentry, you have learned to not cut in the line but to the correct side as you will lose a mm or so to the saw blade thickness...the saw kerf.

The .3mm loss you see would mean the blade is .3 mm thick if you are cutting inside the line. Or that your blade is .6mm thick if you are cutting on the line.

For CNC machines you need to either adjust your settings so it cuts on the outside/left, inside/right, or on the line as your project calls for. I do not.know if CriCut lets you change that setting - I can check this weekend.

Or, you can do as @Taghkanic has done and adjust your vector itself to be larger than what is needed to compensate for the kerf. For a circle, this is pretty straight forward. But your vector can come out disproportionately with other shapes (e.g. gear shaped label) if you just enlarge a shape. In AI you should use outline instead of expand or enlarge.
 
What I have done is print my color art on an Epson inkjet and make a separate file in vector only to use for cutting. I then upload the vector cut file into Design Space, place my epson print on the cut mat in exactly the corner, and ran the cut. Inevitably, it will be slightly off with the cuts, so I adjust the original color print file accordingly, re-print on the Epson, then run it through the cut again.

This was the route I was going, until I started uploading the HEIC files which seems to have resolved most of the issues. However (per below) I may still wind up using your method if I can’t resolve the issue below.

So: The print quality is good. The cutting depth is good. The size is right...

The remaining problem I’m having is that the cuts are falling approximately a half-millimeter (.05mm) too high on the sheet of labels.

Possible fixes:
  1. Run the calibration again and see if that solves it.
  2. Use some feature in the software I’m not yet aware of to reposition the cuts a .05mm higher on the page.
  3. Try a manual, kludgey adjustment like bumping the art up a half-millimeter within the circle.
Thoughts anyone? Really appreciate all the feedback both here and in PMs.
 
This was the route I was going, until I started uploading the HEIC files which seems to have resolved most of the issues. However (per below) I may still wind up using your method if I can’t resolve the issue below.

So: The print quality is good. The cutting depth is good. The size is right...

The remaining problem I’m having is that the cuts are falling approximately a half-millimeter (.05mm) too high on the sheet of labels.

Possible fixes:
  1. Run the calibration again and see if that solves it.
  2. Use some feature in the software I’m not yet aware of to reposition the cuts a .05mm higher on the page.
  3. Try a manual, kludgey adjustment like bumping the art up a half-millimeter within the circle.
Thoughts anyone? Really appreciate all the feedback both here and in PMs.
Can you place the sheet of vinyl slightly higher on the cutting mat to account for the difference?
 
Can you place the sheet of vinyl slightly higher on the cutting mat to account for the difference?

I’ll try that, but the Maker 3 appears to scan the registration marks before cutting… I assumed it was using those to locate the cuts?
 
Rather, you could move the entire artwork in your software down by .05mm but keep your cut circle in the same position, if that makes sense. This is likely to be more reliable since you're using the Print then Cut feature.
 
Rather, you could move the entire artwork in your software down by .05mm but keep your cut circle in the same position, if that makes sense. This is likely to be more reliable since you're using the Print then Cut feature.
Whenever I bring in vector art into Design Space, it auto arranges the shapes, so even if I move it slightly in the vector file, Design Space is going to mess with it. That's why I recommend moving the paper/vinyl on the mat slightly. But if youre using a scan registration marks feature, I'm sure that would mess with it as well.
 
Whenever I bring in vector art into Design Space, it auto arranges the shapes, so even if I move it slightly in the vector file, Design Space is going to mess with it. That's why I recommend moving the paper/vinyl on the mat slightly. But if youre using a scan registration marks feature, I'm sure that would mess with it as well.
Yea definitely true. I’ve had good success saving files in .png to preserve transparency and at a larger size to upload to design space then rescale to size in design space. This way it doesn’t rearrange the shapes like vector art does.
 
I always export to 300 DPI (good enough resolution for my home Canon printer) .png files because my Cricut Design Space absolutely chokes on complex (or not even that complex) vectors. I've been using Print Then Cut for precision work without too much trouble; no loss of resolution, no jaggedy cuts, etc. Maybe I should consider myself lucky.

The only thing that my Cricut (Explore Air 2) does is if I'm printing a sheet of labels, as it gets lower down on the sheet I do notice the cuts drift off center vertically lower. I've recalibrated my machine, and I've modified my art (I have bleed turned on, so I will purposefully skew the center elements a little within the background circles on the lower rows of labels in my design files. This helps a little but does not get rid of the issue completely.

When I'm labeling chips, I'll take a label from an upper row for one side and lower row for the other side, so each chip has a better and worse side, so to speak. And since I'm often doing color matching, and I have my labels slightly smaller than the recess, I can purposely apply the label slightly off center to further compensate for the drift on the subset of labels.
 
Whenever I bring in vector art into Design Space, it auto arranges the shapes, so even if I move it slightly in the vector file, Design Space is going to mess with it. That's why I recommend moving the paper/vinyl on the mat slightly. But if youre using a scan registration marks feature, I'm sure that would mess with it as well.

The art on this chip has a circular black background, with no text or other objects bleeding… So if I move the non-background items up within the circle, in theory I should be able to fiddle with the registration. (The misalignment appears consistent across the whole grid.)

Note: It sounds like you are importing a full grid of labels, which Design Space rearranges. I am now instead uploading a single label at a larger size in hopes of getting better resolution, resizing it to 26.3mm, then copy/pasting it and using the horizontal/vertical space alignment tools to make a grid.
 
The kludgey method (bumping the art up within the background in my design program) worked. All the labels are pretty well centered now.

The sheet got messed up because it cut too deep, so I’ll try the lighter setting for my final run.

Also getting better at applying the laminate… Folding about a half inch of the backing and using a large dowel seems to do the trick; thanks for the solid suggestions on that… Then smoothing with a Cricut tool or similar smooth object.

I tested the label’s durability by submerging it in water for 30 seconds… No worse for wear. This pic is after light oiling, still drying.

IMG_3052.jpeg


All in all, despite the steep learning curve, I’m very excited now. This requires a lot of labor, so for large jobs, I will of course still be ordering from @Gear … But for smaller batches of 1-3 barrels, seating/bounty chips, and other ultra-customized runs this is great.

Next I want to produce some labels with different designs on each side, which would be pretty cumbersome if ordering them from an outside business.
 
The kludgey method (bumping the art up within the background in my design program) worked. All the labels are pretty well centered now.

The sheet got messed up because it cut too deep, so I’ll try the lighter setting for my final run.

Also getting better at applying the laminate… Folding about a half inch of the backing and using a large dowel seems to do the trick; thanks for the solid suggestions on that… Then smoothing with a Cricut tool or similar smooth object.

I tested the label’s durability by submerging it in water for 30 seconds… No worse for wear. This pic is after light oiling, still drying.

View attachment 1297751

All in all, despite the steep learning curve, I’m very excited now. This requires a lot of labor, so for large jobs, I will of course still be ordering from @Gear … But for smaller batches of 1-3 barrels, seating/bounty chips, and other ultra-customized runs this is great.

Next I want to produce some labels with different designs on each side, which would be pretty cumbersome if ordering them from an outside business.
Looks fabulous!
 
I think there’s an Attach functionality that will lock the layout positions of various elements, at least relative to each other, so things don’t move around. But I’d definitely instead format a sheet of labels outside of Cricut Design space and import that to guarantee positioning.
 
@Taghkanic what textures laminate did you use?

This is the Fine Mesh stuff from Llama. The texture is less obvious than in the pic above, but I wanted it to catch some light so people could see it.

I also tried their Crisp Linen, and may use that for a different job... It’s a bit more transparent but also has more of a crinkly look, for lack of a better term.

A long time ago I made a barrel of 100K chips for my Jack Detroit set, which I did as over labels. I’m planning to inlay replace those now, but will need to find some low-luster or semigloss clear laminate to match the rest of the set.
 
I spent my label making time today trouble shooting a new printer. Got it working, but first prints are underwhelming on the vinyl paper I have. What vinyl sticker paper are people using for home inkjets?
 
I spent my label making time today trouble shooting a new printer. Got it working, but first prints are underwhelming on the vinyl paper I have. What vinyl sticker paper are people using for home inkjets?

I tested several and ended up using this, as I seemed to be getting more vibrant color from the glossy (waterproof) stock:

7B0D90AB-2D6A-4358-B3EF-3AA6B52F6C80.jpeg


The finish, whether glossy or matte, gets negated by the finish of the laminate.
 
I am having much better success now that I have an inkjet printer and I have figured out the print then cut feature in CriCut. Documented below some of what I learned in case it helps others.

Alignment
I found cuts were a bit off at first. I ran the calibration operation twice and issue was resolved. After making a few hundreds stickers, I have not seen misalignment, but I am cutting out mostly white labels right now with no graphics near edge, so being a hair off would not be noticeable.

Kerf
I could not find kerf settings in CriCut. I think the solution would be to adjust your vector file by offsetting the circle or label shape. Take away is to not assume that the vector size will be the actual cut label size. Do a couple tests and adjust your vector label size accordingly.

File format
I used SVG exported from AI and then imported to CriCut. Seems to work well.

Print Quality
The quality of these is acceptable, but labels are black and white and simple graphics. Later this week I intend to do more detailed color labels so I can update then.

"Flatten" in CriCut
At first, Cricut was cutting out every letter and symbol. After a bit of frustration, I learned that you must "flatten" the label. If it is not flattened, Cricut shows a dark stroke around the vectors. In the image below, the two labels on the left are flattened and the one on the right is not flattened. Note the stroke. Once flattened, the option to "print then cut" disappears. But don't worry, when you click "Make" it will default to print then cut. :rolleyes: Not intuitive, but easy once you know the trick.
1712526191493.png


Maximizing labels
After you click "Make" on the next screen you can up the number of project copies. Cricut will make multiple copies of the label to be printed and cut. I found I can fit 70 labels of 3/4". I am happy with how cricut pre-populated the page and mapped them for accurate cutting later.
1712526251840.png


Cricut Print Dialog or System Dialog?
At print I turned off bleed (for these labels). I tried printing both via System Dialog and via Cricut's dialog. I saw no difference in print quality for these simple, black and white labels. That may change when I do color, detailed labels.
1712526688304.png


On the System Dialog, I selected Photo Matte Paper (for matte vinyl) and the best quality. I also set my printer itself to matte premium vinyl.
1712526755526.png



Base Material Cut Settings
I found "Light Cardstock" with default pressure to be perfect to kiss cut my matte vinyl with textured laminate.
1712526800839.png



Examples of finished labels
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One last thing...I noticed that the labels are not a perfect circle. They are slightly uneven, jagged, if you look close. From a distance and during play, I doubt anyone would notice. But, it still bothers me. I do not think it is a graphics/vector render issue. I could be wrong. When I did a couple tests with plain glossy paper, I did not notice this issue. It seems to appear with the texture laminate. Maybe the blade catches on the texture?

Anyone with a cricut experienced this and has a solution?
 
I have noticed that sometimes. Not always. I think the bleed function may do some odd things to the outer shape, if you have that on.

Generally I’m finding that the Cricut program is both powerful and glitchy. I’ve already developed a lot of workarounds to account for some of its strange behavior.

For example, I was trying to print a sheet of different types of labels—seven each of 10 designs. I set these up in even rows and columns, grouped together by kind, arranged to fit well within the page borders.

The program seems to insist on rearranging these when I use the print-then-cut function. The grid layout is the same, but the order is different. I cannot fathom why this is happening or what possible advantage jumbling them would ever give. I can still use the sheet of labels, but I have to hunt around to find each type.

I haven’t figured out yet how to convince it to stick with my original order.
 
I have noticed that sometimes. Not always. I think the bleed function may do some odd things to the outer shape, if you have that on.

Generally I’m finding that the Cricut program is both powerful and glitchy. I’ve already developed a lot of workarounds to account for some of its strange behavior.

For example, I was trying to print a sheet of different types of labels—seven each of 10 designs. I set these up in even rows and columns, grouped together by kind, arranged to fit well within the page borders.

The program seems to insist on rearranging these when I use the print-then-cut function. The grid layout is the same, but the order is different. I cannot fathom why this is happening or what possible advantage jumbling them would ever give. I can still use the sheet of labels, but I have to hunt around to find each type.

I haven’t figured out yet how to convince it to stick with my original order.
I had bleed function turned off. I suspect it is the blade itself not cutting cleanly on the thick laminate. No one would notice unless I point it out - so not a major issue. This is a used machine and the blade may have come dulled. I might try replacing the blade.

I noticed the same thing on CriCut re-ordering labels. I had a sheet of mixed labels and it reordered them for me, but at least kept same type of labels in columns. But the time save on it laying out/maximizing labels and then accurately cutting them makes up for this behavior.
 
I recently used the Llama textured laminate (linked in this thread) on a 43mm inlay replace project, and was very pleased.

However, the textures on both their Crisp Linen and Fine Mesh variants are a little too coarse for smaller inlays on older 39mms.

Anyone have suggestions for a slightly finer textured laminate?
 
I recently used the Llama textured laminate (linked in this thread) on a 43mm inlay replace project, and was very pleased.

However, the textures on both their Crisp Linen and Fine Mesh variants are a little too coarse for smaller inlays on older 39mms.

Anyone have suggestions for a slightly finer textured laminate?
I have tried the Smooth Satin and the Cloudy Matte from Llama and I do NOT like them for labels. Basically, no texture.

Why do you say the Crisp Linen and Fine Mesah are too coarse? Too thick and making spinners? Not cutting right? You don't like the feel?
 
Why do you say the Crisp Linen and Fine Mesah are too coarse? Too thick and making spinners? Not cutting right? You don't like the feel?

The spacing of the texture is slightly wider and less flat than on (for example) Gear labels, or older textured chips.

This means when at an angle to a light source, it reflects a lot more, showing the bumps more, and partially obscuring the image behind it.

On a larger inlay it is less of an issue, since there is more surface area. The texture is more in scale.

But when I tried the same material on a smaller inlay (more like 21.5mm), it became harder to see the image unless tilted away from the light. Too many ridges.

So I’m looking for another brand to compare. Seems like Llama has pretty much cornered the market on self-adhesive textured sheets. (Lots of clear, glossy brand alternatives.)

Note: The chips I am trying to match are vintage late 60s Burt Co. HHR. The inlay has a slight, very fine texture. I may have to settle for the Llama Smooth Satin which is an OK but not ideal match.
 

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