How Small is Too Small?

Wasatch Photonics pushed us to the limits!

Feb. 11 2016

We have produced probably a half-dozen jobs for Jason at Wasatch Photonics over the last several months and we never back down from a good challenge, but nothing has tested our capabilities more than their latest order.

They needed ten sets of lettering for a trade show, fast, and they needed it in specific sizes in order for the decals to look right. The Cobra 800, Cobra 1050, and Cobra 1300 graphics, at 2.5" length, where a piece of cake. The WP)OCT at .8"H x 1.7"L were also no problem.

But issues started arising when we got to the "Improve Your Image" portion of the WP)OCT decals - those three words were only .13"H x 1.3"L and were almost impossible to produce by cutting vinyl. The lowercase letters were only .077" tall, and the letters were only .018" thick.

Take note that the smallest letters are almost one-tenth the width of the Cobra decals. That's too small!

We tried cutting these tiny stickers multiple times with disatrous results. We'd change blade pressure, change cutting speed...

No matter what we did, the blade would pick up the miniscule vinyl letters and drag them around the job.

So we equipped our cutting machine with a brand-new ultra-sharp blade, lightened the cutting pressure, and tried again. It cut, but in weeding the vinyl (plucking away unwanted material), the centers of the tiny letters would pull at the rest of the letter, bringing the whole thing with it, making it so we had to grab the pieces with tweezers, separate the waste from commodity, and stick the offending letter back where it's supposed to be.

Chances are, your fingernails are longer than these letters are thick.

We ultimately got it done on time so Wasatch could install the decals on their products, pack them up, and bring them to their trade show.