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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/21/2018 in all areas

  1. 5 points
    As the New Year starts, this might be a good time to backup your files and computers. You would be surprised how time flies and we tend to let things slide. I am guilty as charged!! I checked my computers for backups and found that it has been almost a year since I backed them up. As soon as my computers finish backing up I will be setting up automatic backups. A Happy New Year To Everyone.
  2. 5 points
    OK, so I walked into a local restaurant (randomly just stopped-in to use their restroom). On the front door was residue from a decal that had been scraped-off with the name of the General Manager removed. I inquired inside about who the new GM was, and could I talk to him/her. He pops out from the back and I explained that I'm a decal maker, would he like his name placed there on the door? Sure, he said, they were actually looking to have that done anyway, but hadn't gotten around to it. How much did I charge? I suggested that the restaurant just 'comp' me a dinner in barter. Very delicious! mini-Meatballs appetizers, stuffed Baked Potato, Salad Bar, Seared Fish.
  3. 4 points
    How do you think I got my Forum name?!!!! But seriously, I inverted it just for the picture; the blade part normally is buried down into the tool carrier. This thread made me think of another valuable 'tool' that I utilize on my jobs ----- a Job Sheet! When I have obtained a client's info and details of the project (and 50% deposit), it goes onto my worksheet, which then slides into a plastic sleeve. Job Worksheet.doc
  4. 4 points
    As a side hustle, I do rideshare driving, and I often wear a baseball hat (or trucker's hat). Hmmmmmmm, this gave me an idea. Ordered a small sheet of pink HTV, and there ya go!
  5. 4 points
    I will paraphrase the others, and hopefully clarify. Vector file formats can have bitmaps embedded. Thus a vector file can contain non vector components, which obviously your cutter can't deal with. If you have all vectors in your vector file, exporting as a bitmap and then going through the autotrace process again to make vector again is a bad practice. If you have all vectors in the long run you will be much better off using those and not doing the vector to bitmap to vector autotrace dance. Autotrace can fail on an epic scale at times. Best not to count on it and find a better workflow. It might have worked this time, might work the next, but it is foolish to think it will work every time. Maybe in Illustrator you were using some bitmaps and autotrace is the only option. But Illustrator has an autotrace. Why not trace it there and have all true vector before going to VM?
  6. 4 points
    Life is a game. Money is how we keep score. Ted Turner
  7. 4 points
    I used to be super duper critical of what I was cutting, especially on text. Then I realized, that unless it's really, really bad - most people never get that close to see the smallest imperfections in the cut. Kind of like how the pinch roller tracks used to make me crazy - but those come out when there isn't anymore pressure being applied. I would say that the results you got are pretty darn good. You also need to consider that you don't have a top of the line machine, or a machine that has a servo motor, so the lines might not be as clean and crisp as you'd like. I learned that too, after having an original LP for over 10-years, then picking up my second machine (Graphtec) which was a huge step in upgrade. *FYI - when you get text that comes in as part of a graphic, or is the graphic - there are often times that you are not going to get clean lines out of it. It's always better if you can type the text directly into the design in your vector/cutting software. If yo want to see how 'bad' some imported text are, get your software to show you the nodes of it, then you'd see all the unnecessary nodes, curves, and junk that are in there.
  8. 4 points
    My first cutter was a LaserPoint 2 from US Cutter...that was in 2010...it did the job well and I learned vinyl cutting on it. Forward a few years and I found a used GraphTec CE6000-60. Last weekend I was really impressed again with what this machine can do. My sister found a design online that she wanted on a t-shirt...it had a lot of tiny dots, florals & curls. I had to trace the graphic, cut & apply. I was worried about the tiny detail in the floral graphic....BUT the GraphTec did an amazing job without a problem. Check out the attached photo...that's the tip of an Exacto knife. Sue2 Sue2
  9. 3 points
    We all use a variety of tools and accessories when working with vinyl. My preference is to keep the most vital items in a hand-carry basket/organizer, ready to go out onto a job site. What would YOU want in the toolbox that just can't be left behind, once you are out of the studio doing an install? (Not pictured -- RapidTac2 and rubbing alcohol)
  10. 3 points
    Haumana, I did consider it a very enjoyable deal, but it was EQUALLY beneficial for both sides ---- the establishment has a decal that will last for years (or until the manager is replaced again) while I obtained a meal that was consumed in 40 mins. But you are right, that small scrap of white vinyl had basically zero value, and got traded for around $25 worth of menu items. Normally I'm not a barterer, but this one was just too easy.
  11. 3 points
    I've also got string, a spray bottle with a little soapy water, a sprayer of rinse water, window cleaning squeege and some rubber covered magnets.
  12. 3 points
    That's the great thing about the cutter - people have no idea just what a great deal that I end up scoring when I barter
  13. 3 points
    Transfer Tape is essential to the entire process. However, getting that tape onto your decal can be accomplished in several ways. I personally like using a holder for the roll(s), and this is attached to the edge of my work table. While I do like the steel roller unit that is sold by USCUTTER, it's too narrow for my 30" jobs. So, I made my own, using 2x4 scraps. For reference, the height between the inner bottom and the center of the dowel is 4.5" or 5" to allow clearance for a full roll of tape. I attach it down to table with adjustable c-clamps.
  14. 3 points
    definitely do research. buy the best cutter you can for your budget, pay no attention to bundles. Like WG said, there's a good chance you're going to end up using other things, so you might as well start using the preferred stuff from the get go. I personally use a retractable xacto pen knife, which I don't think they make the exact one I use any more - but this one come closest to it. I believe this is the version that replaced what I use - also very good. Everything from squeegees, to tapes, methods of taping, etc. - you'll develop your own style and tools to use for it. For now, you're better off spending money on getting a better machine, over trying to get a bundle. You definitely get what you pay for, and the better the budget, the better machine, the better results. ditto!
  15. 3 points
    there is no need to use 3 pinch rollers on 12 wide vinyl. I have a 30" cutter and it only has 2 pinch rollers and works perfect with 2 pinch rollers on 30" wide vinyl.
  16. 3 points
    You cut this out using an exacto knife? Really?!!!!
  17. 2 points
    I hear you're concern about getting a good looking project to give to someone. When I started out I began by doing free work for friends and family with the understanding that I was in practice mode and learning. I didn't give any vinyl away that I wasn't happy with the cut, but the install is another part of the total package that also has it's many facets. No one ver complained about getting free work and I even told them if they got tired of looking at it they needn't worry about offending me by removing it. I don't think it will take you that long to be able to cut decent. The initial hook-up always seems to have a few headaches for some reason but once up and running, if you follow the steps and set it up properly the machine will do it's part just fine. Even the budget models are amazingly accurate machines.
  18. 2 points
    Well I picked the press up to mow it and found the miss bolt. I am putting it back on now to see if that fixes the issue
  19. 2 points
    Welcome from Idaho. You will definitely have plenty to keep your mind busy. I would suggest plenty of research before pulling the trigger on a machine or bundle. Most of the stuff in my bundle (yeah I bought a bundle) were not all that helpful in the end. Some of the specialized tools sounded like something I needed but I ended up using other things. The weeding tool for instance is a little pen like tool with a ball point that is designed to help weed cut vinyl. It does work fine but I found I much prefer using a pointed pair of tweezers. The squeegee's were ok but were the budget no-name kind and were warped. I ended up just giving them away to self-installers who buy products from me and spent more on some nicer quality ones for myself. The app tape is good but usually not the right width. If you are using 15" vinyl get a 15" roll and so forth. I keep a 12" wide roll around for piece work and a 10" roll of clear for the craft moms who order stuff and want clear. Tape is expensive because it only comes in long rolls so be smart early on since you won't likely have any sales at first. (I am assuming that you even WANT sales at all) All in all this is one of the funnest "hobbies" I have ever had and the only one that ever paid for itself and I turned it into a part time job.
  20. 2 points
    Which bundle are you referring to? Many times you will not even use a lot of the items in a bundle. You may just be better off buying the cutter , some vinyl and some transfer tape. Then pick up a few items at a local store. Exacto knife and other supplies. You state your not a computer whiz, but there is a learning curve to all of this. That is why it is considered a skilled job. Where are you getting your designs? You stated you don't have any artist ability. You will still need to look the design over very well and make sure they are clean for cutting. They must be vector format. You cannot cut jpegs or any file with pixals. Welcome.
  21. 2 points
    I wasn't aware of what a Cricut Easy Press was. I found a video. It's a big hand iron. I change my opinion, to 1) It's probably the big hand iron not being a conventional press. 2) It still might be something to do with shrinking, but maybe a little of the shrinking and the lack of consistent pressure/heat on your iron.
  22. 2 points
    VM should import AI files directly. Maybe there is a legacy format that works better than whatever version you are working in. Try down-saving to version 8. When you are at the save (if first save) or "save-as" part it will pop up a new window and let you choose which version you are saving in. I build and save my files in regular format which is CS5 for me and then once I have a cut ready file I save it as version 8 and put a number 8 behind the filename so I can easily see it's cut-ready. If I'm working on HTV which is 90% of the time I mirror the work at that time too. If you are still struggling please post a file that you are fighting as long as it's not copyright protected. Or make an example file that will let us help you figure out what's going on.
  23. 2 points
    Beware of customers bearing eps files! Just last week one of my customers sent me eps vector files for HTV on Hoodies... I was tickled...getting cut ready files seldom occurs. AND, of course, 3 out of 6 turned out to be raster images she brought into Photoshop and then saved as eps files. She had no idea she wasn't providing files I could cut. The best though was a few years ago...a t-shirt file that came in as an AI vector file...again, I was tickled...until I looked at the wireframe outlines. OMG.....it was a mess of pieces on top of pieces...see attached. Scarecrow came to my rescue on that one...welding & simplifying it for HTV.
  24. 2 points
    not everything created or edited in AI are vector. same goes for .eps, .pdf, etc ...
  25. 2 points
    And here are a few 3d lettering signs I made for family members. All hand finished by myself. I'm going to work on creating a line of these signs for anniversaries and weddings.