Hello everyone, I've been buried in things that have kept me away
from being creative.
Hopefully I can again focus on making things. Anyways, I have a
questions for all of you great people.
Can anyone recommend a online vendor where you can send in your own
vector designs to be laser cut out of card stock or similar material
suitable for use in roller printing onto metal sheet? My Durston has
been neglected and the red headed wife gives me strange looks as to
why I bought it.
Plus using it will help me keep it clean and dry in my humid
Anyways, I know there is a nice person on Etsy who will do this and
I have purchased from her before and may continue, but I was
wondering if there is a more direct digital vendor that will improve
my work flow. (As in, just uploading my vector online and they start
cutting the materials and ship it out fairly quickly).
From what I can tell, many small printing shops want 40 dollars just
to look at the proof but I can make already final vectors with
correct dimensions and should be able to just pick out the material
and they press a few buttons and ship it out.
Just wondering if other people have laser cut roller printing
designs made and what they find efficient.
Quick side note: Since I'm talking about laser cutting, what other
materials could be used for roller printing? The card stock that
I've used before seems to only last one or two passes. Could I have
something better laser cut that will last 5 passes perhaps or so?
Rick in Florida.
You can actually purchase a cutting machine for a few hundred dollars
and do the cutting yourself. They are not laser cutters, they use a
blade, but do a pretty good job. Silhouette and cricut are two brands
that carry the machines. They are designed for scrapbooking, but I
use mine a lot in my jewelry business. If you mount the cut out piece
onto another backer paper with rubber cement, you will get better
results, but I have never been able to get mine to last more than
once. That's the beauty of being able to cut it out yourself. You can
also cut out of other materials such as vinyl and chip board.
I haven't used laser cutting for roller printing. have always cut by
hand. A resource is available to me If I want to go that route. This
source is a small sign/laminating shop in a seedy part of town.
Wisely they have stayed abreast of the available technology.
Knowing how printers and others in a similar field work, I'd keep in
mind that the 'set-up' is a very large part of the cost in a small
job. Just loading/handling of your file takes some time and setting
the parameters on the cutter is much the same in time consumption.
Multiple designs on a maximum sized sheet would reduce unit cost I'm
sure. Several sheets of the same material eliminates having to set up
fresh.... same for multiple copies of the same set of designs....
Materials..... not much will last beyond a single pass, especially
if you are getting decent relief in rendering the design on the
metal. Each pass will stretch the laser cut material and compress it
until it kaput. (Think of your roller designs as mono prints.
unique.) Materials you might try using if you can locate them are
green and red fiber board. These are traditionally used in letter
press print shops. Of course file folders work, but you might try a
thicker version which are the file dividers with the A-Z tabs. They
are very close to the thickness of green fiber board.
The laser cut designs could be considered a type of 'proofing' for
moving forward on your more successful choices. Tweak them to
satisfaction and then investigate getting something cut in metal for
your die. I'm sure members will have suggestions for sources to have
All the best,
Thank you all for the great input on different ways to make your own
roller prints. You have all given me plenty of info. enough to start
It would be a lot faster to try to make them myself as suggested
with the home cutting machines.
In the larger cities I hear that there are "techshops" where people
can come in and use their different machines like laser cutters, etc.
San Francisco and similar have them. That would be a situation where
making some fast and precise roller prints would make sense.
Otherwise, it sounds like going a more traditional route is faster
and more convenient.
Art Clay World USA laser prints our own low relief texture sheets
out of card stock and we are set up to do individuals' designs. If
you want to look over the designs we already have, go to