After years of putting it off, I finally invested in a small cutter to help in the helmets I paint. After some research the Roland STIKA seemed to fit my needs nicely so that’s what I bought.
My use of the Roland STIKA over the last couple years has saved me both time and money in my custom painting business. Turned out to be one of the best investments I have made in years.
The STIKA is available in three different sizes 8-,12- and 15-inch widths.
Right out of the box this Roland cutter plotter is ready to get to work; very easy to use was my first impression. The Stika comes all ready to go, load the CD into your drive, load the driver, plug the cutter into your USB post and you are ready to go.
If you are at ease using most photo editing programs like Photoshop, you should have no problem with CutStudio software that comes with the Stika. CutStudio is a print/cut program you’ll use to lay your design out and send it to the cutter to perform the printing or cutting.
After using the Stika for several months I have to say I’m very pleased with my purchase and highly recommend the Stika to anyone looking to invest in a small cutter.
How to use Roland Vinyl Cutter
Below is a short out line of using the Roland Stika to cut a jpg (peace sign) and how easy it is to accomplish.
When looking to buy a plotter/vinyl cutter, pay attention to the cutting software it comes with.
Many plotters require the use of programs like Coral Draw or Adobe Illustrator both of which have a fairly steep learning curve. With CutStudio that comes with the Roland Stika, learning the program is a breeze, much easier than either Coral Draw or Illustrator. Personally I prefer to spend my time painting and not working on a image program on the computer.
In this simple project I was painting a motorcycle helmet for a teenage girl; her design called for peace signs covering the entire helmet.
So, here is step by step guide how I used Roland STIKA vinyl cutter and software….
Step #1 is to open Cut Studio and import the jpg peace sign image. From the File menu click on IMPORT.
Step #2 Locate the image you want to import, it must be in jpg format to import into Cut Studio.
Here you can see that my piece sign has been imported into Cut Studio.
Step #3 Now we need to convert the jpg into cut lines for the Stika. Click on Object and scroll down to IMAGE OUTLINE, select that.
Step #4 The Image Outline box appears on your screen. From that box you can adjust the image density which is the lines out lining the image. Click on EXTRACT CONTOUR LINES then OK.
Step #5 You will now see the outline appear over your jpg image. You can delete the imported jpg image at this point leaving the contour outline.
Above you can see the peace sign contour outline, this is what STIKA will cut.
To adjust the size of your contour outline click on OBJECT then PROPERTIES, from that box you can adjust size and shape. Adjust the size to fit your requirements and when happy with your contour lines, click on Cutting to send the image to STIKA for cutting.
Below is the helmet with the peace signs cut in paint mask using the STIKA. As you can see the peace signs came out great, nice clean edges. It took just several minutes to generate the peace signs for the helmet design saving me hours if I had to cut each peace sign by hand.
This was a very simple design, the Roland STIKA is capable of cutting much more complex designs but this shows you just how easy the STIKA is to use and the time saving that be achieved by using it.