Using heat transfer vinyl with a laser cutter

5 Reasons To Use Heat Transfer Vinyl With Your Laser Cutter

If you’ve got a laser cutter you’re looking for ways to maximize your investment. Here are 5 reasons to use a laser cutter with heat transfer vinyl:

  1. Easier Weeding
  2. No Fraying
  3. Expand into Engraving and Etching
  4. Heat Transfer Vinyl Only Requires an Affordable Cutter
  5. Low Maintenance

Easier Weeding

Laser systems allow you to fine tune different settings to achieve different results on the same design.

  • Flatbed Kiss Cutting – A form of cutting through the material only, not through the materials backing or carrier; which is the typical cutting process for CAD-CUT® materials.  The advantage is lasers are flatbed systems that can be dialed in to cut through one layer of Pressure Sensitive Poly-Twill at a time.  This makes the cutting process faster and layout on the garment efficient.
  • Vector Cutting – To blow out cavities or to cut completely through all layers of the material or item. The advantage is that if you laser cut these areas completely out, you speed up the weeding process significantly.
  • Raster Ablation – The loss of surface material through evaporation or melting.  The advantage is you can literally melt away fine detail that the typical blade cutter would make impossible to weed.


No Fraying

Perma-TWILL® has heat activated adhesive for permanent application on the garment without sewing. When cut with a laser the edges of the material are heat sealed so they don’t fray.

Expand into Engraving & Etching

Find new sales opportunities by using your laser cutter to engrave or etch items. Raster Ablation allows you to achieve this on multiple items through different size lenses.  Depending on the laser, you can fit different shape and size items.

A 40 watt lens can etch onto a variety of surfaces, such as Poly-TWILL, glass, wood, and anodized or painted metals. 40 watts can also cut through thin acrylic and wood. Check your manual for specific settings and guidelines.

Heat Transfer Vinyl Only Requires an Affordable Cutter

Entry level laser systems are usually around 40 wants and heat transfer vinyl only requires a low wattage laser tube, 20-30 watts, to cut. Less power required = lower cost laser system.

Low Maintenance

Because cutting heat transfer vinyl on a laser cutter uses so little power, the laser tube doesn’t need to be replaced as often. Occasionally wipe down the lens, mirrors, and laser tube with a micro fiber cloth or shake out little pieces from the flatbed.


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9 thoughts on “5 Reasons To Use Heat Transfer Vinyl With Your Laser Cutter”

  1. Most heat transfer vinyls can be cut with a laser cutter. Refer to the instruction guide for whichever HTV you’re considering. And PVC materials, such as sign vinyl or decals, is not suitable for laser cutting.

  2. vinyl, by definition, contains chlorine, which makes it emit that gas when laser cut. What makes HTB any different?

  3. Would be nice if some minimal laser settings were provided, at least a starting point.

  4. Hello. Many of our HTV products are PVC free and safe for laser cutting. Check out the material product pages for more safety information and CPSIA certification documentation. Thanks!

  5. Would have been great in the STV Videos if you all showed the settings each time that you use in ULS print driver.

  6. Hi Mark! Thanks for your suggestion, I’ll be sure to pass your feedback along to the video team. In the meantime, check out our updated post which contains a bunch of video resources for using a laser cutter with HTV. Thanks for reading along!

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