Another Vinyl Cutting question

Hi all,

I’m happily generating gcode after getting help with my path question (thanks!), so on to actual cutting.

My primary question is how much do you preload the printed mount to apply downward pressure on the dragknife? I’ve tried getting it to where the mount has just barely flexed to moving z down 2 mm after touching. I’ve tried with blade almost all the way retracted as suggested where it will cut nice circles by hand with a bare dent in the backing paper. That usually doesn’t even cut through when run on the machine. I’ve tried extending the blade and that cuts through but I haven’t found the right balance.

I’ve been playing with lead in feature of estlcam and it seems to always leave me with little tags coming off each object and the items aren’t completely cut out. This makes getting them onto transfer tape a long and mistake prone job. I’ve read several posts and it seems that lead in alone works for most people.

Finally, more general question, how fine a detail have people successfully cut? I’ve attached my current project.

Thanks in advance,


The blade stickout is a constant (vinyl thickness), it only sticks out as much as you need to cut. You will never balance the pressure perfectly to get constant cuts otherwise.

You should only be denting the paper carrier, and never cutting through it.

If you need more pressure for some reason pushing harder does not accomplish this (constant spring force for teh most part), you would need to add a rubber band, maybe a little weight or something.

As for eh tiny tags, have a look at my knife instructions, you need a tiny lead in and out. We almost got it as an auto feature but don’t think it made it in. The blade is offset like 0.25mm so you need to lead in and out to compensate.