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How to make laser cut stickers cheaply?


Mar 13, 2022
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Want to make a sweet adhesive decal with a complex design and floating elements, but all you need is a laser cutter and some masking tape? Good news, because that’s all you need with this method of making adhesive stickers on a laser cutter, demonstrated by the folks at [Lasers Over Los Angeles]† The general technique is very similar to making vinyl decals and using tape transfer to apply them, but focuses on laser cutters and nice, inexpensive tape.

This method also makes applying to non-flat surfaces a breeze.

The way it works is as follows: paper-based tape (such as blue painter’s tape) is laid in strips on the honeycomb bed of the laser cutter, creating a nice large rectangle large enough for the intended design. Then the laser cutter cuts vector art into the tape, resulting in a self-adhesive decal that is ready to be stuck to another surface. Transferring is done using good quality clear packing tape to pick up the decal and then move it to where it needs to be.

To do this, one lays strips of packing tape on the top of the design on the laser bed, then lifts the design up and away. Move the design to its destination (the clear packing tape helps to view its final position), press the decal onto the final surface and carefully remove the clear packing tape. This works because the packing tape only sticks weakly to the back of the painter’s tape; it is strong enough to hold the decal, but weak enough to allow the decal to stick to a surface even better.

It’s true that painter’s tape isn’t as durable as vinyl and the color choice is a bit limited, but design wise one can go as big as the laser bed allows, and the price is definitely right. Plus, it’s easy to cut by even the most anemic diode lasers.

Speaking of desktop vinyl cutters, they may have small work areas compared to most laser cutters, but they have some great workshop uses. They can even do PCB fabrication at home by taking out three essential parts: the etch mask, the solder mask, and the solder stencil.

This post How to make laser cut stickers cheaply?

was original published at “https://hackaday.com/2022/03/12/how-to-make-laser-cut-decals-on-the-cheap/”

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