ShaneGreen

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ShaneGreen last won the day on November 8 2018

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About ShaneGreen

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  1. ShaneGreen

    Rotary die cutter or flatbed plotter??

    My experience with die cutting is in the cardboard packaging industry. Their idea of "high volume" is probably a bit different than the vinyl business. One job I had them running was 5'x3' sheets loaded every 5 seconds: load a sheet of cardboard, stamp, slide the parts off the press and load another sheet. At over 100 parts per sheet, one guy was putting out 2,000/hour. Rolls were handled in one of two methods: 1) Flat Die: an arm unrolled and slid the material under the die, retracted, die cycled, repeat. This was great because you could start with a small die with one pattern or a larger die with multiple patterns. They could also gang jobs to get the most out of each cycle. 2) Roller Die: a continual operation where the material roll is fed in the side of the press, the die is on a roll that spins at the same rate as material feed. This is super high volume and I only saw it used on smaller parts where die only had a few patterns on it. Not sure how this would work without stretching the vinyl. I tell you all this so you get a feel for their "volume". But it was their sample lab that held my interest and might give you some ideas. They used air-over hydraulic presses like in an auto shop, only with high-speed cylinders. Almost all of their steel rule dies were handcut plywood with the rules inserted no matter what the projected volume was. Handcutting is fine for cardboard, but vinyl would need more precision, like you'd get if you laser cut the wood. The leather industry makes a lot of their dies with laser cut wood and steel rules. They use toggle presses, air-over hydraulic, ball-screw presses and some other interesting machines. They are looking at tolerances a lot tighter and require quite a bit of force. They might be a good place to look. Depending on your tolerances and volume, you might be able to get going relatively inexpensively. There are folks on etsy making custom dies for leather and paper.
  2. ShaneGreen

    Propane truck application

    Sorry about that. . . the one they used to sell looked identical and it projected two lines at right angles.
  3. ShaneGreen

    Propane truck application

    https://www.harborfreight.com/16-in-laser-level-with-swivel-head-69259.html Place one leg towards the vehicle and the other two parallel to the truck. Adjust the level to get the laser aligned to a horizontal line on the truck. Then start adding blocks under the front leg until you get to the height you want. Used to align industrial equipment this way and you'll be within a few thousands if you take your time. NOT THIS ONE....IT NOW ONLY PROJECTS A DOT INSTEAD OF CROSSHAIRS
  4. ShaneGreen

    Vinyl colors

    Wilson has a good suggestion. I bought my cutter with a bundle of Greenstar, knowing that a lot of people think it's inferior. Knowing I was never going to sell any of it to a customer gave me the freedom to make lots of mistakes and try lots of things. . .it was all going in the trash anyway. Even used it to learn to apply larger graphics and just scraped it off when I was done. I got a lot of practice and learned the hard way that quality vinyl is worth the money. When I got my first rolls of 651 I couldn't believe how much better it held detail and how great it weeded. The Greenstar taught me a lot about fine tuning my cutter so it was worth every penny. I wasted a lot of time trying to fill up the full 24" width in those first months so I didn't waste vinyl. I should have bought narrower stuff to practice on. Now I know the cost of my time versus my vinyl and I don't worry about throwing out 6" of excess. Oh, I found that gold is a really popular option. It seems to go with just about anything.
  5. ShaneGreen

    Who "owns" designs?

    For anyone outsourcing any of their artwork, it's also important to distinguish between owning the copyright and being licensed to use a design you've had created. On many of the hire-a-designer type sites it's become popular to deal in licenses rather than copyright transfer. The general gist is that you go to one of the sites looking to have a logo done for business cards and shirts. You pick an artist and they design a logo. You pay $50 for a license to use the logo on the business cards, shirts, stationary, etc. and go on about your merry way. It's a logo for YOUR business right? Why would the artist care what you do with it? A couple of years pass, your business grows and before long you have your logo on a billboard and a tv commercial. The artist you haven't spoke to in years still owns the copyright and you don't have a license to cover the new media. Here comes the cease and desist letter with an option for a huge invoice. Turns out there are graphic artists out there that are using this model as their business plan. Pump out as many low-priced logos as you can create. The more you license, the higher the odds you'll have a customer succeed one day. It's not extortion if you legally own the copyright.
  6. ShaneGreen

    upgrading to ltr ?s

    It happened a lot when I first upgraded to pro, but then an update came out and it seemed to help quite a bit. This pc only has 8G of ram and I'll have a number of apps open at once, so I suspect it's a memory issue. That being said, seems that the software should handle multiple files being open better than that.
  7. ShaneGreen

    upgrading to ltr ?s

    I have VM Pro and yes, I do run into a shutting down issue. Seems to happen when I have a lot of very large files open for a few hours. Pro lets you have multiple pages in the same file, so if I'm doing a logo I might have a dozen or more versions of it in the same file. And I might have 4 or 5 files open, stealing bits an pieces from work I've done before. It may just be using up to much memory, but I never remember to pay attention to the memory usage area at the bottom of the page. The good news is that it doesn't just lock up or shut down anymore. An upgrade a year or so ago seems to have helped and now it pops up a warning dialog asking if you want to shut down, restart or try to continue. So far I've never lost any data and its never done it while cutting. When it restarts it tells you that it shut down with unsaved changes and asks if you want to open those file and save things. I've noticed that the "restart" doesn't seem to work as well as "shut down" and then restarting it yourself....probably a memory clearing issue.
  8. ShaneGreen

    Who is your GOTO for Shirts

    Dakota, you hit it on the head. I signed up with Sanmar back in the spring and they kept asking for more and more info. Then one day I got a phone call from someone in customer service with "just a few more questions." I stopped her and explained that we were primarily a vinyl decal shop but customers occasionally want shirts to go with the decals. A local silk screen shop had been doing our shirts when we needed them, but the shop sold and the new owners upped our price. So we were going to start doing our own in HTV. Any orders we placed would probably only be 10 -50 shirts. She asked what vinyl cutters we had and what sized vinyl we used and then offered me case pricing on any sized order. She apologized for it taking so long but that basically they were trying to weed out the Cricuters. It seemed to be more about the amount of support they required than the number of shirts they ordered.
  9. ShaneGreen

    Oralite 5500

    What is anyone using for transfer tape on their reflective? I've been using RTape Conform 4075 RLA - High Tack and it's great on small decals. But when you're masking 24" x 60" it's really tough. Switched to a "Big Squeegee" last winter, but it still takes a lot of force to use. I pushed my workbench all over the shop until I figured out how to secure it.
  10. ShaneGreen

    if you like pinstriping and gold leaf . . . ..

    I would never even attempt this kind of stuff, but I love watching it! My great uncle was a sign painter in Iowa....barns, berma-shave, store windows, fire trucks, you name it. A canvas bag of paints and a leather roll of brushes. As a kid I was mesmerized by the stuff he could do by hand. Heck, I still am!
  11. ShaneGreen

    Decal Storage

    I like your vinyl storage solution Mz Skeeter. I need to give that a try with some of these rolls I don't need to get at very often, the rest is hanging on the wall. What I'm really looking for is ways of storing completed decals. If I'm cutting a file that doesn't use up the full 24" I'll sometimes cut misc. decals out of the excess at the same time. Just stuff I give away as samples. But they start to pile up after a while and need a decent way to store them. Going to try Dakota's accordion file one of these days.
  12. ShaneGreen

    Toolbar occasionally disappears

    Can you get a screen shot of the left-hand menu and then the bottom of your work area? That will tell what mode you are in, etc. It will make trouble shooting a whole lot easier.
  13. ShaneGreen

    Toolbar occasionally disappears

    That's a "context sensitive toolbar" so it's content changes depending on what you are doing. Does it disappear and the work area moves up into it's place or does it just turn gray or does it go black? It will turn gray/tan when you are using a tool like the node-editor that doesn't have any extra settings until a node is clicked. Once you click on some part of a design the node-editor has something to work with and the toolbar populates with usable tools. I occasionally have the entire upper set of toolbars turn black when I have too many large tabs open. The only way to get it back is to close down a few files.
  14. Took a week to get an answer, but VinylMaster tech support says that "Favorite Fonts" isn't part of the US Cutter version of VM Pro. I love the software, but trying to figure out which options go with what versions is a friggin nightmare.
  15. ShaneGreen

    Decal Storage

    I like that idea. There should be an accordion folder laying around here somewhere, I'll have to give it a try. Thanks! Now to find something for these longer ones.