Roland Cut Outlines

Once you have a design and wish to have it printed on our Roland printer and cut out as a sticker or heat transfer, you need to follow a very specific procedure in order for those cuts to happen.

First, you will need to download a file called Roland which is in The Hand Out Folder. DOWNLOAD that file. You DO NOT NEED TO OPEN IT. It will most likely go into your Downloads folder.

First, in Illustrator, open your Swatches panel. You might see it on the right side of the screen next to your Properties panel:

If not, go to Window/Swatches

At the top of the Swatches panel, look for the little three stripe – hamburger menu. Click that. Then go down to Open Swatch Library

At the bottom of the new window that pops up, you’ll see Other Library…

You need to find the Ronald VersaWorks file that you downloaded. It’s probably in your Downloads folder:

Open that and a new panel will open up. Look for the pink square with the little black dot on the bottom

Drag that pink square into the main Swatches panel. It will appear at the bottom of the main folder:

You’ll need that specific colour swatch in order to create your outlines!

You need to find your Layers panel. There should be an icon on the right side of your screen by the icon for the Swatches panel

Or again go into the Windows menu

Any images & designs that you’ve got on your Artboard will probably be on Layer 1

At the bottom of the list of layers, there’s a plus sign that will Create a New Layer:

You can rename layers by double clicking on  the Layer name. I’ll rename mine:

If you don’t, yours will look like this:

On that layer, you need to draw shapes or lines that will cut around your images/designs.

I’ll start with a simple one. I’ll make a rectangular sticker with a Warriors logo on it. (by the way, you can always download Westwood logos from your class page on this site, or just go HERE

Here’s the logo that I’ve placed on my Artboard.

On TOP of that (on my “outlines” layer – or Layer 2), I’ll draw a rectangle that will serve as my cut line.

I’ll activate the Rectangle tool (press M on your keyboard)

On the Properties panel, make sure the shape has NO FILL (white square with a diagonal red line) and use that special pink colour (Cut Contour) as the stroke

The thickness of the stroke should be .25 pt

On that top layer, I’ll click and drag a box on top of my image:

You’ll now see a really thin/faint pink outline on top. It will not print, instead, it’ll be where the printer cuts

You don’t have to have a rectangular cut line though. You could make it any shape you want.

I also have a circular Jets logo that I want to cut

For that, I’ll use the Ellipse tool (press L on your keyboard)

Again, the shape should have NO FILL and that Cut Contour for the stroke colour. The size should be .25 pt

You should know that to draw a perfect circle instead of an oval, you hold shift. But it’s hard to know exactly where to start.

Here’s a neat trick. If you go near the centre of an object, Illustrator will help you find the centre. You’ll see a little pink “intersect” point:

If you hold the Alt key, you can draw a shape from the centre. If I hold Shift and Alt, I can draw a circle out from the centre. Because the printer doesn’t always cut totally precisely, I like to leave a little bit of white space around my object.

If you don’t perfectly line up your outline and the image, you could activate your Selection tool (V) and select both the image and the outline (draw a box over both), and then choose Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center in order to perfectly line them up


If you want to outline an irregular shape (something that isn’t rectangular or elliptical, for example), you can either use the pen tool to create an outline yourself OR follow THIS TUTORIAL, which explains another method quite well.


In the end, make sure that all of your Cut Contour outlines are on the very top layer

There’s one more important step that you need to follow. Select all of your outlines.

Go into the Object menu and choose Flatten Transparency…

In the box that pops up, change the Preset to High Resolution:

The rest is fine so just hit OK

Now it’s time to check your file and prepare for printing. Go to the File menu and choose Save As…

Change the file type to PDF

Hit Save

Now, check on the left hand side of the Save box for the word Summary. If it has an exclamation mark after it, there’s a PROBLEM

Click on it and you will see a warning at the bottom

This often means that the layer with the images also has transparency that needs to be flattened.

I like to lock my top, outlines layer before doing this

Then select the images layer

And again, Object/Flatten Transparency

MAKE SURE your outlines are still at the very top! If so, go through the Save As… step again. If the Summary now looks like this:

You’re good to save your .pdf file and hand it in for printing & cutting!

I don’t necessarily print every file I see, so if you would like yours printed, please put your hand up and ask nicely. I will check and make sure that you are eligible and that your file is set up correctly.





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