Print and Cut: Thirty-two Cats
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Joined Nov 8, '15 

If you’ve followed my history here you will know I’m a nut about cats. One of the things I do in my “spare” time is make thank you cards for a no-kill cat shelter to send to their donors. My cards are pretty simple, they feature a single cat, which I drew based on a photo of a rescue kitten, then each cat is colored in with Copic markers with different fur patterns for variety. I add a stamped Thank You sentiment to the card, and that’s it.

The cut out cats are raised on 1mm thick EVA foam for dimension. I wanted to get more efficient with doing these since I do so many at a time, so I really wanted the laser to help me out here. What I did was print the cats first on 11x8.5" card stock, then used 3M mounting tape to add the EVA foam on the back side. Additional mounting tape on release paper is added to the back of the EVA foam. The idea is to cut each cat out of this “sandwich” to give 3D cat stickers. This is what is known in the vinyl cutter world as a print and cut operation.

It’s actually pretty challenging to do (at least it was for me). In this case I used a jig created out of chipboard. The cat file contains a bounding rectangle (11x8.5" in size). The first cut I told the GFUI to ignore the cats and only cut the bounding rectangle out of the chipboard. Then I printed the cats on cardstock from the same file, attached the EVA foam, replaced the cut piece of chipboard with the printed card stock, and told the GFUI to ignore the bounding rectangle and the interior parts of the cats, and cut on the cat outlines (which were a different color in my file). Results, while not perfect, were very close and quite acceptable:

In the future I think I will be able to color the cats before cutting, which will increase the efficiency of the operation. Here’s what a few of the colored cats look like:

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