How to Trim Smart Film

You will receive your smart film precision cut to your exact specifications and prewired. However, there may be instances where the film needs to be trimmed on-site. Here are the ins and outs of cutting smart film outside of a factory setting.

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Smart Film consists of 2 layers of electrically conductive polymer films and a delicate PDLC layer. We generally do not advise cutting Smart Film yourself unless necessary. However, you may need to trim it in order to make room for door handles, hinges and other hardware. 

Cutting switchable film is very straightforward. You simply lay the film flat, draw lines where the cutouts will be and proceed to trim the film. Here are some tips and precautions for trimming smart film:

Prior to Trimming

1. Provide Accurate Measurements: The easiest way to avoid unnecessary trimming onsite is to provide us with the correct measurements.  Measure your glass area three or more times to ensure measurements are accurate. Watch this video to see how the cutouts are made.

2. Include an Installation Tolerance: We recommend subtracting 1/16 of an inch from each side of your visible glass area.  This makes it easier to install our product and reduces the likelihood that you will need to trim the film onsite. It can be challenging to apply the smart film along the edge of the glass area down to the last millimetre. An installation tolerance gives you a tiny bit of wiggle room, making installation much smoother. It will not detract from the overall appearance of your finished product and is not even noticeable. 

3. Inspect the Smart Film: Prior to cutting, please check that your Smart Film works in the on/ off state and is free of pinholes, delamination or other manufacturing defects. While these abnormalities are extremely rare, a shipment may be damaged in transit. If  you find any defects, please inform us immediately so we may contact our courier and cover the damages under shipping insurance or our warranty. 

Please note that our warranties are void if smart film is cut or trimmed outside of our factory. We do not cover damages incurred by cutting, only damages in the unlikely event of a manufacturing defect or shipment damage. This is why we advise you to inspect the film prior to cutting so we may send you a replacement order if necessary at no cost, which almost never happens thanks to our quality control. 

The Cutting Environment

4. Do Not Use a Dull Razor Knife: Trimming the smart film with a dull blade can cause delamination or leave a mark on one side of the film, causing it not to sit flush on the glass. You can use a razor knife if the blade is sharp and it is being cut on a hard surface such as plywood. 

5. Use Scissors: Please use a pair of tailor scissors to cut the switchable film. Ensure they are clean before cutting the film.

6. Trim the Film on a Flat Surface: A countertop, table, piece of plywood or even a very clean floor are the best for trimming the smart film. Ensure there is no debris or dirt on the surface before laying the film on it. 

7. Do Not Bend or Fold the Film: While our PDLC film is durable and firm, it is best to avoid bending or folding the film during the process. This also makes it easier to cut the film with precision. Watch this video to learn more about handling smart film. 

8. Good Lighting: Please make sure you have natural or ambient lighting before beginning the trimming.  Poor lighting can create shadows and make it hard to see what you are doing. 

9. Leave the Protective Liner On: Do not remove the protective liner from the film before cutting. 

10. Apply the Film or Find the Adhesive Side: If you are trimming the film before applying it to the glass, ensure that the smart film is facing the right way. There is an adhesive side and a non-adhesive side. Do not make the mistake of trimming the film and realizing it must be turned around to be applied! In most cases the film can be trimmed after being applied to the glass to ensure the cutouts are aligned with any notches, hinges or holes for door handles. 

11. Draw Lines: Draw exact lines where the smart film will be cut. This can be done using a fine tip permanent marker or pencil (not a fat sharpie).

12. Trim the Film: Cutting smart film is easy! Now that you have taken all the precautions necessary, you simply trim the film and install it on the glass.

Thank you for choosing Smart Glass Country as your PDLC provider. We work alongside our customers to make sure your installation is a success. Smart film is easy to install so long as you follow the instructions and do not rush through the process. Most disappointments with switchable film products are caused by installation errors, so it is important to follow the directions. If you do so, the process will be simple and the result will be beautiful. If you have any questions please contact us via email or phone and we will provide you with all the information you need!

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