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Vinyl for etching resist

I picked up a Silhouette Cameo vinyl cutter used and hoping to use it for etching - can someone point me to the correct vinyl to use for this ??

I teach electro salt water etching and use Oracle 651vinyl. I get very fine detail. I also use it for ferric nitrate etching on silver.


Thank you - Just the exact info I needed !
Ordering now :slight_smile:

Martha, I’m very
curious how much detail can be achieved with a cutter. Any
place to see an example or 2 of what is possible?

Hi Frank,

You can see some images on my website under the workshop tab and And I have attached some more images that I hope you can zoom in on. Let me know if you have any more questions or if I should send better photos. This is the first time I have replied to Ganoksin!


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Thank you! Very
impressive application of art and utility and what looks like
a very versatile technique. I’m reading on the net a little
bit on the necessity fine tuning of the cutter (getting good
connecting cuts) and time to do weeding.

Have you noticed any difference in results when using the matte Oracal or the glossy Oracal?

I have only used the glossy because others who have used the matt say the glossy is better.

Yes there is a learning curve but the results are worth it. I use the software for layout and design for projects other than etching.

wow Martha!
that is very nice deep etching!


Apparently the glossy black Oracal vinyl has a “permanent” adhesive backing that sticks to metal better than the other vinyls. This prevents seepage of the etching solution behind the resist.


I recently got a Silouette Curio for exactly this purpose! My hope was to make resists for anodizing and etching. Just tried it with etching a few weeks ago and was very impressed. So much easier and faster than PnP paper. I did have a little trouble with some thin lines but maybe I need different vinyl. I’m using Cricut matte vinyl but now I’ll try the suggestions above. The cutting machine is a lot of fun! The Curio also “etches” on metal. Lots of things to explore!


Keep us informed of your progress. We all benefit!

Wonderful idea. Post this on a watch forum where everyone is trying to figure out how to etch dials and you’ll have friends for life :slight_smile:

Bill, I would doubt you can get the small and intricate numerals and tick marks of a watch face with a vinyl cutter. My suggestion would be to design the dial in a vector drawing program like Corel Draw, Illustrator, or Inkscape , print (laser or ink jet) a positive on a transparency sheet, and use dry film resist (videos on YouTube) to etch. The dry film (actually somewhat of a misnomer) has the ability to hold some incredibly small crisp detail.

Ive actually watched this technique on youtube

The Silouette Studio Designer Edition is a vector drawing program.

Just stumbled on this thread. I had done some designs in Corel Draw to
make vinyl decals a while ago. The makerspace where I had access to a
vinyl cutter went bankrupt and closed before I could get my decals cut.
My files are saved in .EPS format which is what that vinyl cutter
required. Can the Silhouette use .EPS files, or can its editor convert
.EPS files to something it can use?

–Kathy Johnson

I believe you can open .eps files in Silhouette Studio although you might need to have Designer Edition or Business Edition. If you have the files as jpg you can easily bring those into the free version.

Hi Kathy-

I just looked it up and Silouette Studio will open EPS files but you will have to save as something else. If you buy the Silhouette machine, make sure you upgrade the software to the Designer Edition. I hope this works out for you!