Vinyl Vocabulary for Cutting Machine Beginner Users
As a cutting machine user, it is essential to understand the terminology used in the design space. Here are some key vocabulary terms to help you make the most of your machine.
What is Grouping and Ungrouping?
Think of grouping and ungrouping as best friends that always stick together. When you group objects together, they will be treated as one unit and can be moved around together. However, the colour and design of each object will not change. Objects that are grouped may not stay together when they go to the mat to be cut. It is possible to ungroup an item even after cutting and/or saving.
What is Attaching and Detaching?
When you attach an item, it becomes one family of several pieces, but they will all be one colour. The design will stay the same as seen in the design space when you go to the mat. You can detach an item after cutting and saving it.
What is Welding?
Welding is the process of merging objects into one piece that will be cut as a single unit, resulting in everything being the same color. Welding is typically needed when using cursive letters since each letter will be cut separately. However, once you cut or save a project, welding cannot be undone.
What is Slicing?
This function splits one piece into two. For Cricut users, you can only slice two pieces at one time. If it's not slicing or the slice tool isn't an option, check to see if you have detached or ungrouped your item. For Silhouette users, use the knife tool to drag along the area you wish to cut apart.
What is SVG, PNG, and JPEG?
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is the file format used to cut detailed images with the Cricut. Portable Graphics Format (PNG) is a picture/image that can be used with print and cut or as an image outline within the design space, with a clear background. Joint Photographic Expert Group (JPEG) is another picture/image format that can be used as print and cut or as an image outline within the design space with a non-clear background.
What is Burnishing?
Burnishing is the act of rubbing transfer tape onto a piece of vinyl that has been cut. It's essential to burnish the transfer tape onto the vinyl well to pick up all the pieces of cut vinyl.
What is Weeding and Reverse Weeding?
Weeding is the process of removing the areas of vinyl that you will not use to create your design. Reverse weeding allows you to remove the vinyl without losing all the small pieces that may come up while weeding the regular way. To reverse weed, you place a piece of transfer tape over the whole piece of unweeded and freshly cut vinyl, burnish well from the front and back, remove the larger area of vinyl, and leave the area you want for your design.
What is Duplicate, Flatten, and Offset?
Duplicate creates a copy of an object or a specific piece. Flatten takes a 3D object and turns it into a 2D object. Offset creates a border or shadow effect around your design for stickers or to make a font look a bit thicker. However, ensure that images or words have a shape or shadow behind them, or details will be cut out even when flattened. Use the offset feature to avoid this issue.
By understanding these vocabulary terms, you can better navigate your cutting machine's design space and create stunning projects. Happy crafting!