Milling a Circuit

Project by Jeremy Fryer-Biggs

making a 6ft vinyl banner with your microfactory!

We have had an interest in making something big using the microfactory and when the need arose for a company sign, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to attempt this. We bought a pre-sewn 6'x3' vinyl banner, and then cut out and attached the individual letters. While by no means the most efficient tool on the market for producing signage, it's pretty cool to know that you have this capability with a microfactory!

project parts list

  • Pre-made vinyl banner
  • Adhesive backed vinyl
  • Painter's tape
required bits

to cut the vinyl, you will need a spring-loaded drag knife bit

Eagle Speaker Circuit Layout Image By Jeremy Fryer-Biggs

making the 6ft banner

we began by creating a CAD file with all of the individual letters. The most difficult part of this process was figuring out spacing that looked visually appealing. Also bear in mind that no individual letter can be larger than the surface of the machine's table

CAD Banner Letter Image By Jeremy Fryer-Biggs

the letters were converted into g-code using CAM software.

CamBam Banner Letter Image By Jeremy Fryer-Biggs

before we cut, we mounted a 0.25in thick piece of polypropylene to the microfactory's table. Polypropylene is the material found in many commercial cutting boards and is favored because it is soft (thereby not dulling the blade), slippery enough for the blade to slide (so that it doesn't get stuck) and relatively inexpensive.

the vinyl was attached to the polypropylene using strips of painter's tape along the edges

Screenshot Photo By Rachel Tine

we then went through cutting the letters out individually (or in groups) on the machine

Cutting Letters Photo By Rachel Tine

(see a video of the vinyl being cut)

the blank banner was laid out on the table and the letters were placed in their approximate positions

Banner in Progress Photo By Rachel Tine

a straight-edge was placed on top so that it would be easy to keep everything in place

Banner in Progress Photo By Rachel Tine

we then proceeded to peel and add letters

Banner in Progress Photo By Rachel Tine

Banner in Progress Photo By Rachel Tine

with the sign taking shape letter by letter

Banner in Progress Photo By Rachel Tine

and voila, a large, finished banner!

Finished Banner Photo By Rachel Tine

special thanks to