Tint Tek 20/20 Primer: Part One – The Basics

The Software

Tint Tek 20/20 Online software is a web-based automotive window tint template database that lowers the initial software cost from $1,995 to only $199.* It makes it easier than ever to add window tint installations to your sign business, modernize your window tint shop, or start a new business offering automotive window tint and custom vehicle graphics.

To help you get started in one of these ventures, look at the basic process and the importance of selecting the right cutter. In future posts, the profit potential in window tint installation and basic tips for handling and installing the film.

The Process

How does the process work and what kind of equipment do you need?

Follow these simple steps:

  1. Using Tint Tek 20/20 and a vinyl cutter, open the database and select the desired make and model to load the pre-measured templates into the workspace.
  2. Load the window tint film on the vinyl cutter.
  3. Send the templates to the plotter.

Cutting templates via a PC and vinyl cutter reduces material waste and production time to the extent that experienced window tint installation businesses have seen productivity doubled by adopting the Tint Tek 20/20 method.

The Necessary Hardware

So how do you get started? You’ll need a Windows-based PC, an internet connection, and a good large format vinyl cutter – preferably one with a cutting width of 42” or more. (A 42” cutter is preferred because the rear windows of most vehicles are at least 40” across. A smaller cutter can be used to cut film for the rear window in sections, but most customers want the rear window to be tinted from a single piece so that no seams are visible.)

In addition to size, you’ll need a cutter with advanced media handling properties. Vinyl cutters are designed to handle adhesive backed vinyl, almost all of which is 2 to 5 mil thick. At 1.5 mil, metalized window tint film is about half that thickness, but the gauge of the face stock isn’t the whole story. When you add the adhesive and release liner, the total thickness of a typical 3 mil vinyl is 9 mil or more. The total thickness of a roll of automotive window tint film, including liner and adhesive, is only 3 mil, so window tint film is 66% thinner than the media for which most vinyl cutters are made.

Smart Cutter Required

Because of this significant difference, most vinyl cutters do not handle automotive window tint well. They tend to have trouble controlling the media feed and cutting the material to the proper depth. Q Series cutters excel at managing this media because of their advanced Smart Blade Landing system, which measures the actual thickness of the installed media and senses the surface of the film. This allows the Q to precisely control the amount of force with which the blade makes contact with the media. The resulting soft contact enables The Q to produce as precise a cut in window tint film as it does in 3mil vinyl. This superior engineering is found on very few vinyl cutters.

Starting with one of these finely engineered cutting plotters is your first step toward a launching a successful window tint business or making an existing tint shop more efficient and profitable.

*The $199 pays for 30 days of unlimited access to the online database. After the initial 30 days, the user must renew the license for $150/month. Follow this link for more information.