One of the most valuable Makerspace tools you can have is a vinyl printer. This machine allows you to produce countless customized graphics in your classroom for a variety of different projects. Students love seeing their digital designs come to life, enhancing their pride and confidence in themselves and their work. These machines can print on PVC, plastics, leather, fabric, canvas, metal, glass, and wood. They’re perfect for printing on pens, smart phone covers, personalized awards, giftware, and so much more! Students can create products to sell for a fundraiser, or make a visual representation of complex topics.
If you already have a printer among your Makerspace items, you can purchase a cutter by itself for a complete vinyl production setup. Then you’ll be able to create professional-quality graphics from a huge range of materials. When choosing your vinyl cutter, consider whether you’re running a large output of print-then-cut applications or if you’d like to add speed and cutting precision to cut-only projects. Also take a look at your available space. A desktop vinyl cutter will be more compact but larger cutters may come with a mobile stand for easy storage and transfer.
Printer/Cutter Combo Units
For an all-in-one STEM Makerspace solution, vinyl printer/cutter combination units include everything you need to get started. This allows you to easily print and cut your designs in a simple and efficient workflow while maintaining consistent results and ensuring super-crisp cutting. Students can quickly print high-quality graphics and automatically contour cut to produce car stickers, logo stickers, product labels, and other die-cut products. They can then be used to personalize T-shirts, jerseys, gym bags, aprons, hoodies, and many other fabrics, or create promotional signs, displays, window graphics, custom posters, and wall art.
In recent years, Cricut has taken over the personal vinyl cutter market. Everyone from students to adults to entrepreneurs are exploring the wide capabilities of these machines. The lower price point and compact size make them more accessible to many classrooms, and the available resources from the online community of Cricut users is endless! Teaching students the best techniques helps them feel more comfortable using vinyl cutters in other environments. This may become a bridge for them to create their own handmade products as a career, or give them experience before moving on to larger, commercial machines.