Making relief cuts is essential for every car wrapping project. Whenever you come across recessed areas, raised objects, or tricky angles that can build tension on the vinyl film, you need relief cuts to relax the material.
(Although heat is an excellent method to achieve the same goal, there is a risk of overstretching the material in this way.)
Standard relief cut
Usually, you make a relief cut around half an inch away from the edge of a raised object, where the cut should be in the middle of the object area. Doing this will even out the tension on the vinyl film. And you can then work around the corner. But this standard relief cut can only work well on a standard vehicle wrap like gloss film.
Textured and multi-layered film requires different approaches
If you make a standard relief cut on a textured or multi-layered film, the car wrap will not relax. Even worse, it will split. A textured vinyl film is fragile, even the wrong temperature can cause it to tear. A chrome wrap is sensitive, too. Thus, they both need a different type of relief cut.
Curve your knife instead of cutting straight
One of the ways to make relief cuts safely for a textured or chrome car wrap is to create an enclosed cut. Instead of cutting straight, curve your knife to make a cut in the shape of the letter “J”.
You can do it by curving your knife around the edge of the raised object. Make it a closed curve, and the line should face the way into the object. With this type of cut, in most cases, whether a textured or chrome film will not tear. If it splits anyway, it splits into the raised object. So you can still work the material around safely.
Create a hole
The second way is to create a hole with an air-release tool. This type of tool comes in different sizes. It is usually for popping bubbles. To relax the material for raised object wrapping, you can take a thick one, pick the vinyl film up, and use it to make a hole first.
Then, you start your cut from the side of the hole facing the raised object. This is quite similar to the first method above. After cutting in this way, even if you pull hard, the car wrap will not split.
Bear these in mind for a stress-free cutting experience. Feel free to learn more about wrapping and ease your wrapping process at teckwrap.com