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Thread: What kind of machine-process is used to manufacture these stencils?

  1. #1
    jonjacson is offline Plastic
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    Default What kind of machine-process is used to manufacture these stencils?

    Hi to everybody

    Itīs my first topic here, hopefully itīs in the right subforum.


    I like to design things, Iīm interested in the manufacturing process of some stencils I have seen on youtube. It seems that they are made from a kind of plastic. I show here a video, it doesnīt have anything special but itīs enough to show one of the stencils Iīm talking about:



    Well, obviously making one is very easy, you can make it by hand if necessary, but I have some doubts:

    1.- What is the exact name of the plastic?

    2.- Do you recommend a precise thickness for the stencil in order to make it durable and washable?

    3.- I have my designs, the problem is that I would like to know how to manufacture several of them at the same time, What kind of machine could I use? Would it be possible to use a laser? Or maybe should I have some kind of metal template to apply a force to the plastic and cut it?

    4.- Any idea about how many of these stencils could I manufacture at the same time? I mean in only one process, once I decide the thickness of the stencils.


    Thank you very much for your time

  2. #2
    L Vanice is online now Diamond
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    I taught myself to stencil Hitchcock chairs back around 1958. The stencils were then made from drafting linen, a fine linen cloth impregnated with starch. The material was semi-transparent, so you could trace the design with pencil by placing the linen on top of a master drawing. You could make as many identical stencils as you liked. Cutting was done with an xacto knife.

    Drafting linen has been supplanted by drafting Mylar, a transparent plastic with one side frosted to take pencil markings. That is probably the material you see in the videos.

    There is a machine called a vinyl cutter that operates a tiny knife and is controlled by CNC. It can make a certain kind of sign, but might be able to cut stencils. http://www.ehow.com/about_5412798_vi...utm_source=ask

    I am sure a laser can cut Mylar, but maybe stacking several sheets for simultaneous cutting would weld the edges of the cuts.

    Larry
    Last edited by L Vanice; 12-12-2012 at 02:36 PM.
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    johnoder is online now Diamond
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    What is the exact name of the plastic?
    Would that not depend on what they are being used with? (Paint, glue, acid, whatever)

    Do you recommend a precise thickness for the stencil in order to make it durable and washable?
    Would that not depend on the SIZE of the stencil? Is its opening 50mm or 500mm?

    What kind of machine could I use?
    Something that cuts the stencil material that is affordable within the economics of what you are doing, right?
    Sounds like a subject to study up on to me.


    Any idea about how many of these stencils could I manufacture at the same time?
    Would that not be a consideration in choosing the equipment? An outrageously expensive machine could conceivably do fifty in a stack without serious degradation of stencil quality in the lower layers. Would it still pay for itself?

    Sounds like additional study/research of the multiple factors would be in order.
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    I'd guess that mass produced stencils are die cut. A 5000 dollarish laser cutter would cut them pretty quick no problem.

    There are tons of plastics that would work. Whatever is cheapest and will lay flat.
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    digger doug is offline Titanium
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    The vinyl graphics guys nearby also make stencils, and use a product called "buttercut",
    and it's good enough for light sandblasting. These are sticky backed for one time usage.

    I believe it's made by 3-m
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  6. #6
    John Welden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    The vinyl graphics guys nearby also make stencils, and use a product called "buttercut",
    and it's good enough for light sandblasting. These are sticky backed for one time usage.

    I believe it's made by 3-m
    He could get a vinyl cutting machine for less than $500

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    Bruce Nelson is offline Stainless
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    Reminds me of an old process called "frifing".

    Lord Byron

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    gmatov is offline Diamond
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    I believe the Crickut cannot cut things like that. It cuts easily designed shapes, only.

    Now, the machine I bought my daughter, and I forget the name, 1 G, will cut anything you program into it. It IS work making the .dbx or whatever program, but she can cut a 1/32 period, or hundreds of odd shaped holes in a 4" snowflake.

    It easily cuts 110 lb. card stock with carbide stylii. The card stock, with lots of clay in it, is harder on the stylus than plastic of most forms would be, except, possibly, FG filled.

    George

    It takes, I believe, up to 15, maybe 18 inch material. Also, pen in place of the cutting stylus, draw larger plans than a standard printer will print.

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    Bill D is offline Titanium
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    Ellison is the generic name in education, like scotch tape, for hand powered stencil cutters. They do make custom dies, no idewa on cost.
    Bill D.
    Ellisoneducation.com - Prestige Pro Machine

    Ellisoneducation.com - Catalog

    Ellisoneducation.com - Custom Die Services

  11. #11
    adama is online now Diamond
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    As above a std vinyl cutter is what you want. Just use stencil material in place of vinyl. I know they come a good 5+ feet across and im sure you can get larger still. Vinyl comes on 50 meter rolls. Stencil probably a bit shorter as it is thicker normally. You can get a lot better detail with a swivelling knife than a laser can though! hence why vinyl cutters for sign age don't use lasers but little carbide blades still!
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    tomwalz is offline Stainless
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    Exacto knife and vinyl, light cardboard to start

    CNC program on computer and 2D Knife cutter.

    As stated most sign shops can make them.

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    Perry Harrington is offline Titanium
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    Most cheap craft store stencils are probably made from HDPE because it's flexible and durable.

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    jonjacson is offline Plastic
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    First of all thank you to everybody for your answers, I see that itīs a very active forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by L Vanice View Post
    I taught myself to stencil Hitchcock chairs back around 1958. The stencils were then made from drafting linen, a fine linen cloth impregnated with starch. The material was semi-transparent, so you could trace the design with pencil by placing the linen on top of a master drawing. You could make as many identical stencils as you liked. Cutting was done with an xacto knife.
    Drafting linen has been supplanted by drafting Mylar, a transparent plastic with one side frosted to take pencil markings. That is probably the material you see in the videos.
    There is a machine called a vinyl cutter that operates a tiny knife and is controlled by CNC. It can make a certain kind of sign, but might be able to cut stencils. What Is a Vinyl Cutter? | eHow.com
    I am sure a laser can cut Mylar, but maybe stacking several sheets for simultaneous cutting would weld the edges of the cuts.
    Larry
    I have searched drafting Mylar and yes that is the material! I have seen that other sites call it acetate, which maybe is the chemichal composition, there are other materials too very similar itīs crazy. They say that normally they are 0,2 to 0,3 mm in most manufacturers, so the answers are responded.

    I didnīt know those machines, I have some experience with cnc lathes and mills but I didnīt know that you can use literally a knife on them. I have asked some suppliers if it would be possible to cut some sheets at the same time and now Iīm waiting for their response.

    Thank you very much Larry



    Quote Originally Posted by johnoder View Post
    Would that not depend on what they are being used with? (Paint, glue, acid, whatever)
    Would that not depend on the SIZE of the stencil? Is its opening 50mm or 500mm?
    Something that cuts the stencil material that is affordable within the economics of what you are doing, right?
    Sounds like a subject to study up on to me.
    Would that not be a consideration in choosing the equipment? An outrageously expensive machine could conceivably do fifty in a stack without serious degradation of stencil quality in the lower layers. Would it still pay for itself?
    Sounds like additional study/research of the multiple factors would be in order.
    You are right I need to learn a lot of things but I think Iīm in the right way.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Welden View Post
    I'd guess that mass produced stencils are die cut. A 5000 dollarish laser cutter would cut them pretty quick no problem.
    There are tons of plastics that would work. Whatever is cheapest and will lay flat.
    The problem is that I have tons of designs, if I need to create a lot of dies to cut them and that looks too difficult: I need a lot of space, a milling machine or paying a lot of money to order them to a company... Maybe itīs the fastest way to manufacture the stencil but I think I canīt afford that.

    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    The vinyl graphics guys nearby also make stencils, and use a product called "buttercut",
    and it's good enough for light sandblasting. These are sticky backed for one time usage.
    I believe it's made by 3-m
    I have searched and it seems like a scissors, right?

    I didnīt know that company, interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Welden View Post
    He could get a vinyl cutting machine for less than $500
    Yes, the point is if itīs possible to cut more than one layer, Iīm waiting for some answers from manufacturers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Nelson View Post
    Reminds me of an old process called "frifing".

    Lord Byron
    I havenīt been able to find anything with that name.

    THe prices are very low, which is great, but it seems that you can only cut some predefined letters.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmatov View Post
    I believe the Crickut cannot cut things like that. It cuts easily designed shapes, only.

    Now, the machine I bought my daughter, and I forget the name, 1 G, will cut anything you program into it. It IS work making the .dbx or whatever program, but she can cut a 1/32 period, or hundreds of odd shaped holes in a 4" snowflake.
    It easily cuts 110 lb. card stock with carbide stylii. The card stock, with lots of clay in it, is harder on the stylus than plastic of most forms would be, except, possibly, FG filled.
    George
    It takes, I believe, up to 15, maybe 18 inch material. Also, pen in place of the cutting stylus, draw larger plans than a standard printer will print.
    Iīd like to be your daughter. And now seriously, I assume that your daughter is with you at home, I know that maybe not but, if that is the case, Could you take a look at the name of that machine?



    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    Ellison is the generic name in education, like scotch tape, for hand powered stencil cutters. They do make custom dies, no idewa on cost.
    Bill D.
    Ellisoneducation.com - Prestige Pro Machine

    Ellisoneducation.com - Catalog

    Ellisoneducation.com - Custom Die Services
    They have an electronic machine for 500 $ but I think it would not be possible to cut too much sheets at the same time.

    Quote Originally Posted by adama View Post
    As above a std vinyl cutter is what you want. Just use stencil material in place of vinyl. I know they come a good 5+ feet across and im sure you can get larger still. Vinyl comes on 50 meter rolls. Stencil probably a bit shorter as it is thicker normally. You can get a lot better detail with a swivelling knife than a laser can though! hence why vinyl cutters for sign age don't use lasers but little carbide blades still!
    Very interesting comment about the detail you can obtain with laser, Iīll remember that.

    Quote Originally Posted by tomwalz View Post
    Exacto knife and vinyl, light cardboard to start
    CNC program on computer and 2D Knife cutter.
    As stated most sign shops can make them.
    Iīll follow that way maybe , but there are some details that could make this a succesful bussines or a ruin.

    Quote Originally Posted by Perry Harrington View Post
    Most cheap craft store stencils are probably made from HDPE because it's flexible and durable.
    Thank you, I didnīt know that material.

    ---------

    Thank you very much to everybody

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