I don’t know of any current HTV (Heat-Transfer Vinyl) that is actually made from vinyl; it’s all PU (polyurethane).
I just spoke with the customer success team over at Siser North America, the makers of Siser HTV. Their logo has the byline “Heat Transfer Vinyl”.
There is no vinyl in their “heat-transfer vinyl”. It can be cut with a laser.
the term seems to come from the fact that the material is roll-based (like sign vinyl), comes on a backing substrate (like sign vinyl) and is generally cut on a plotter (like sign vinyl).
They (and many others offering HTV) do sell sticker/sign vinyl that IS PVC based. Just make sure that what you are buying is PU-based HTV and not sign vinyl. If the seller can’t give you that information, find another seller.
I don’t know what kind of plotter you have, but I can’t imagine the laser being anywhere near as fast for most designs, especially if you were using the no-weeding/ablate all voids method.
Maybe for larger amounts of text, like scripture. (weeding multiple copies of long bible verses in gothic fonts is painful)
As far as I know the Siser HTV can’t be ablated away for a no-weed final product. (LaserFlex is supposed to allow that but someone on this forum tried it with the GF and could not get it to work, which was a huge disappointment!)
So, kiss-cutting Siser HTV on the GF would just be like cutting with the plotter, and not a time savings… but it would let me use odd-sized scraps more easily. It would also be nice to use the laser on stuff like glitter HTV, which wears out the blades quickly.
Can’t you kiss cut the outside of your letters, but straight up cut your voids? You;d jsut need to color-coordinate the shapes in question (voids one color, outer edges of letters another), which may or may not be prohibitively difficult. When you take the sheet out of the GF, all the little cutouts from letters would be left on the crumb tray. You’d then be able to “weed” by simply pulling up the uncut vinyl “stencil” as it were, the negative space. Some transfer paper, and you’re done?
There’s no reason this wouldn’t work on a vinyl cutter as well, in theory.
Yeah, for just text that probably works. Though, you still need to edit the file so that only the inner cutlines cut at drop-free power. So, if you are making a lot of a single design that is only text, this could help.
An open issue is still developing kiss-cut settings for the parts you don’t want to drop but i assume that is possible.
as for engraving, it sort of works. I only went as high as 340 LPI, and there is a fair bit of material left in the areas that should be blank. higher power was starting to blast though the backing (stopped that test, although it might have enough integrity left to still work)
Could work out well for a distressed effect, I won’t have a chance to try pressing it for a little while, rush job came in thats gonna take up the next two days entirely. But I see promise for the engraving technique that would allow much finer detail than I would ever want to spend time weeding by hand.