For craft artists and designers, cutting mats are an essential part of the whole design process, whether as a profession or a hobby. A plotter mat is a flat surface measurement tool made of rubber, Polypropylene, or vinyl material. Not only does it aid in design measurement, but it also acts as a protective surface in a workstation. Using a plotter mat ensures accuracy during projects and is used by many, if not all, designers.

The Design and Material of a Plotter Mat

Generally, most of the mats are rectangular and designed in a grid-like system. The grids represent specific types of measurement and are usually represented in inches. Usually, the smaller ones measure approximately 88 inches in a square area. Companies, however, can make custom designs for cutting mats for you to the desired taste.

In addition to the inches, they have angle measurements on one side but a blank space on the other for non-angled designs. The material of a cutting mat for a plotter is referred to as self-healing. This element basically means it can absorb minor cuts and damages. Hence, you can use it for a much longer time. The cutting mats for plotters, thus, offer you convenience and safety during any creative and design process.

Types of Plotter Cutting Mats

Depending on the material used on these mats, they can turn out quite differently from each other. The surface feel differs and can work differently depending on what you want.

1. Hard-Surface Cutting Mats

This type of mat is rigid but smoother on the surface. Since glass composes most of it, it is much harder to cut into the deeper part.

2. Soft-Surface Cutting Mats

A soft-surface mat is generally more flexible but really thin compared to the latter. Thus, a standard one has a maximum of 5 layers and a minimum of 2 layers. It is easier to leave marks and scratches on it and damage faster.

Repair of Damaged Plotter Mats

Over time, as with any other equipment, this mat can be highly damaged. Additionally, an accident may occur, reshaping its original form. However, you can reshape or repair it in a simpler, non-expensive way. Leaving it to warm in the sunlight for a certain period is one way of bringing it back to its original form. If it is bent, you can also place heavy weighing material on it, restoring its original shape.

How Do Cutting Mats Repair Themselves?

No matter the type of mat used, they are naturally all elastic. Hence, pressing them against each other for a long time repairs the minor cuts by pressing them against each other. It is an uncomplicated and straightforward way, thus their longevity.

Are Plotter Cutting Mats Worth it?

A plotter cutting mat is absolutely worth every penny as it not only simplifies work but is produces quality projects. Most of these mats are priced lower and cheap for beginners too. If you are a regular craft designer, it is a definite must-have and a great value for the money you invest.

Conclusion

A cutting mat is a crucial tool you need to use in your art and craft project. With all the properties, including its self-healing aspect, it is a must-have for an upcoming designer or someone who needs to establish themselves in the industry. They have a long-lasting attribute which can reduce the effort required for maintenance or buying a new one each time. A plotter cutting mat is definitely recommended and is worth the investment.

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Barbara is a designer of technology products. He is passionate about creating intuitive and beautiful user experiences. When he's not designing, Barbara enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children. He also likes skiing, biking, and hiking in the beautiful Colorado Rockies.

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