Helmet Decal Material?


#1

I went skiing this weekend, and noticed that my helmet and my kid’s helmets look almost identical, except for the size. I’d like to decorate them with some sort of decals I would cut using a laser-cutter.

Any recommendations on materials to use for these decals? Something that would stick well and hold up to snowy conditions.

Thanks.


#2

Most decals are a type of vinyl. I don’t believe we can cut that on a laser but if you find a design, let me know and I could get my wife to cut it out on her cricut.


#3

I’ve used this for similar projects. I’m pretty sure its not laser safe, but I cut mine on a silhouette. Exacto knives are good for simple designs, though.

http://expressionsvinyl.com/adhesive/permanent-outdoor.html


#4

Your best bet would be vinyl which is not good to laser cut. There are some polyester films that are laser safe but wouldn’t do well on a curved surface.
Other alternative would be to cut out stencils and paint something…


#5

my vote is for laser stencils and plasti-dip


#6

Plasti-dip? I am familiar with it and have some on the shelf but have never used it. Curious. Would it work well on a stencil? Any thoughts on how the result would appear?


#7

I saved this posting for future reference - it links to exactly what (I think) you are looking for, a laserable-eqivalent to vinyl:

vinyl alternative for cutting stencils: Vinyl Alternative
which links to: http://shop.square1masterpiece.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=SQ1COLORS

… though, I’m not sure if anyone has tried cutting this with a laser, so I’m not sure if it is truly laser-safe. Maybe someone else can chime in wrt how laser safe it really is.


#8

@polarbrainfreeze I’ve emailed back and forth with the owner and his response about PVC is this:

Our products are PVC free. Our products are a woven polyester (completely PVC FREE), except for our IRON-ON product, which is 100% cotton (also PVC FREE).

Two unfortunate things though:

  1. He is concentrating on printable material now and only does runs of colors about quarterly, next one in March.
  2. He only ships to the US.

I have some of the colored permanent adhesive and would consider it a favor if you tested it for laserability and reported back to the forum. If they cut well, then I’d want to order some more at his next run in March.

I’ve got extra White, Red, Green, Blue and Yellow sheets. Please PM me with your address and what color you’d like and I’ll send you out a sheet or two to play with and report back.

Thanks,
Bill


#9

Woven poly and 100% cotton cuts just fine on the laser.
This product seems a bit pricey to use just as stencil material though imo


#10

well, i mean. if you have the spray kind it would be easy enough to tape down a stencil, spray, and pull up. i’m sure you could do the same with a can and a brush, just more carefully, perhaps. i haven’t worked with it tons but presumably as long as you immediately pull the stencil, it should be fine (but you would have a matte finish in those areas, naturally).


#11

Ok, thanks. Haven’t seen the spray version. Will check it out, eventually.


#12

Stencils on a curved surface can be tricky, but racing stripes and lightening are pretty easy to pull off using masking tape.


#13

Thanks. Just thinking in general use when it came to the stencil and Plasti-dip.

Only water ski, so no helmet needed and my motorcycle days are long over. An 82 year old neighbor used to race on the national motocycle speedway circuit in the 1960s. His souped up dirtbike is still his main transportation. I just rode for fun but badly dumped mine way too many times. Quit in my late 20s. Seems I was too stupid to look for a place to land until after the jump. The laws of physics allow little flexibility.


#14

Yes, too expensive for a stencil. Feasible for small runs of detailed laser cutting if a good kiss cut could be achieved. As @jbv said, simple designs are best for either stenciling or decals on compound curved surfaces. This material may even be a bit less forgiving, as I don’t believe it has as much elasticity as regular PVC vinyl.

I’m also wondering how it would etch. It may be a quick alternative to painting a substrate, giving a smooth finish with etching to expose the material below. It would probably stick to acrylic very well. Also, could print a graphic on their printable version, adhere to your substrate and then scan the outline to cut out full color shapes that are perfectly registered to the cut shapes.

I’m sending some to @polarbrainfreeze to test. He will be able to get to a laser in a month or two and will report back on how well it works for his project.


#15

Ive used the spray version. It works great. And if you dont likeit, just peal it off and start again. It now comes in a ton of different colors.


#16

Great ideas, every day…