Did you know that you can create rhinestone designs for fabric using your rotary Vision engraver? By creating a simple engraved template, you can add hot-fix rhinestones to t-shirts, jeans, bags, hats, and much more. Using Vision Pro software, a Vision VE810 (or larger) engraver, and a heat press, you can get in on this popular and profitable fashion trend
Hot-fix rhinestones are available in a wide range of colors and sizes from craft stores and many online retailers. Be sure to purchase the hot-fix, not the flat, rhinestones for your project; the hot-fix stones come with a heat-seal material on the back that fuses them onto fabric. We used Swarovski clear crystal hot-fix rhinestones in size 10 ss (approximately 2.9 mm in diameter) for our project. You can also purchase transfer tape (to move the stones from the template to the fabric) from craft stores or online retailers. Finally, we purchased a plain black canvas tote bag, as well as a flat pad-style brush to brush the stones into place on our template. For the template, we used standard engraving plastic
The first step is to set up your job in Vision Pro software to create a template for the design. For this example, we used a beach scene graphic; you can design a graphic
directly in Vision Pro software or import graphics from many other programs, such as CorelDraw. Once the job is set up, select the design’s outlines and create a tool path using the Drill Contour option. This tool allows you to place engraving points directly along the lines of your vector-based graphic. You can choose from three options for your drill points – you can specify the number of points, the distance between points, or choose to place a point on each node of the graphic. You can also combine options, such as specifying both distance and node points.
Place your plastic template material onto the t-slot table of the Vision engraver, and choose
a cutter that is the right size for your stones. For this example, we used a .110” parallel cutter to drill the holes, which matched the size of our rhinestones most closely. We used the proximity sensor on the Vision engraver machine to guarantee a consistent depth when engraving, and set the micrometer on the spindle to .020”. When you send the job to engrave, the engraving tool cuts the holes into the plastic material, creating the holes for the rhinestones (Fig. 2).