LanghamP

Flat vinyl sticker on dome-shaped shell?

12 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

At age 45 I realized that having a Captain America sticker on the side of my Inmotion V5F was the perfect solution to my mid-life crisis. The helmet works better to cover up my bald spot than my combed over hair + pony tail.

However, and with emotion akin to a 2 year old dropping his ice-cream cone on the floor, I failed in putting the Captain America sticker as I could not make it fit smoothly, and further attempts eventually degraded the sticker(s). I did try several things including a hair dryer (I figured I'd buy another sticker and use the present one as practice) but I felt I was trying to square a round peg as I was confronted with the bane of cartographers everywhere; how do you put a flat plane on a sphere?

Edited by LanghamP
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You have to make cuts in equal segments from near the centre (but not all the way to the centre) out to the edge and remove thin strips or just overlap. It's quite difficult to get it perfect on such a large sticker. 

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I've seen gorgeous full-body stickers on some wheels ... some guy in China was making them.  Wish I could steer you to him ... but somebody out there is indeed doing these, and with complex graphics.

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Posted (edited)

6 hours ago, LanghamP said:

I did try several things including a hair dryer...

Did applying heat allow the material to stretch at all? If so, keep applying the heat as you work around the sticker from the middle outward, peeling it back off and sticking it back on as many times as needed. If it is the same vinyl material used for car wraps, it will stretch enough to go on smoothly all the way around. It just takes a lot of work and  patience. 

Was there any indication on the peel-away backing of what the material is? Does it say 3M or other manufacturer name and perhaps a stock number for the product?

If it is auto-wrap style vinyl, heat alone should do the trick. I wouldn't cut the vinyl at all.

Edited by dbfrese
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2 hours ago, dbfrese said:

Did applying heat allow the material to stretch at all? If so, keep applying the heat as you work around the sticker from the middle outward, peeling it back off and sticking it back on as many times as needed. If it is the same vinyl material used for car wraps, it will stretch enough to go on smoothly all the way around. It just takes a lot of work and  patience. 

Was there any indication on the peel-away backing of what the material is? Does it say 3M or other manufacturer name and perhaps a stock number for the product?

If it is auto-wrap style vinyl, heat alone should do the trick. I wouldn't cut the vinyl at all.

I agree if it's auto wrap material heat should let you conform it to pretty much any curve.  I thought it was just a simple sticker without any stretch, in which case it would have to be cut and that's a really tricky job.

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The outer edge of the sticker did not shrink when heat was applied. I was hoping it would act like shrink wrap. Basically there is too much outer edge. I did cut out little pizza slices but the end result looked so sloppy I removed it.

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22 minutes ago, LanghamP said:

The outer edge of the sticker did not shrink when heat was applied.

Auto wrap type vinyl doesn't shrink, it's made to stretch. Did you try to stretch it?

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3 hours ago, Dingfelder said:

I've seen gorgeous full-body stickers on some wheels

 

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10 minutes ago, dbfrese said:

Auto wrap type vinyl doesn't shrink, it's made to stretch. Did you try to stretch it?

This left me scratching my head as it feels like the diameter of the sticker is less than the diameter of the wheel.

That's impossible, of course, and in retrospect. Then it must be the center of the sticker that needed to be stretched; punched out if you will. That I did not attempt or think about at the time.

I can conceptualize the process but I wouldn't want to sacrifice another $22 (evidently $30 now) to the great alter of experimentation.

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22 minutes ago, MaxLinux said:

 

Great example, those look fantastic.

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Posted (edited)

I purchased a roll of camouflage vinyl wrap for my ACM that I am going to attempt to apply next week. This is a great video showing how to wrap a motorcycle helmet. Granted the helmet is more extreme in contour but the video provides some great advice!

 

Edited by Rehab1
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