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12-12-2012, 12:02 PM #1
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
12-12-2012, 12:27 PM #2
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.
Last edited by L Vanice; 12-12-2012 at 02:36 PM.
12-12-2012, 12:28 PM #3What is the exact name of the plastic?
Do you recommend a precise thickness for the stencil in order to make it durable and washable?
What kind of machine could I use?
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?
Sounds like additional study/research of the multiple factors would be in order.
12-12-2012, 01:02 PM #4
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.
12-12-2012, 01:26 PM #5
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
12-12-2012, 02:13 PM #6
12-12-2012, 03:19 PM #7
Reminds me of an old process called "frifing".
12-12-2012, 03:59 PM #8
12-12-2012, 08:21 PM #9
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.
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.
12-12-2012, 08:52 PM #10
12-13-2012, 06:38 AM #11
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!
John Welden liked this post
12-13-2012, 10:15 AM #12
Exacto knife and vinyl, light cardboard to start
CNC program on computer and 2D Knife cutter.
As stated most sign shops can make them.
12-13-2012, 01:10 PM #13
Most cheap craft store stencils are probably made from HDPE because it's flexible and durable.
12-18-2012, 12:20 PM #14
First of all thank you to everybody for your answers, I see that itīs a very active forum.
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
I didnīt know that company, interesting.
Thank you very much to everybody