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Everything posted by EAvila

  1. As a totally new member to this site and vinyl cutting in general, I'd recommend a forum entitled 'GETTING STARTED' that would cater to new users like myself, perhaps witch a bunch of sticky topics. Some of the potential topics to include: 1) Vinyl Types of vinyl, recommended sources, etc. People like me have no idea what the types of vinyl are, what thicknesses are good for what, brands, sources, etc. Maybe USCutter can offer a starter pack for sale; something for new users to play with, get an idea of what's available, etc. 2) Transfer tape What are the types of transfer tape? What works best for what type of vinyl, application, etc. Where to buy? How to apply? 3) Weeding How to cut for easier weeding (seems like software has many options that are Greek to me). Do you need a weeding tool? Are there techniques that make it easier? Faster? Better? 4) Application I mean the basics- like what is a wet transfer? How to get a smooth application? Surface prep? 5) Software What are the options, differences between packages or versions, etc. I have no idea what the benefits of upgrading my software, vs. buying another package. Signcut vs. SignBlazer vs. 6) FAQs Basic questions about vinyl cutting... Like how does the blade get aligned as its cutting? How do you select a speed? All the stuff that's obvious to experienced people, but completely a mystery to new users. Just some suggestions.
  2. I'm looking to order ASAP, but apparently no one likes to answer phones... have called Sales, Tech Support a dozen times with no success, even sent email, and that's not a good sign in my opinion... Regardless, I need to decide on one of the above machines: Refine- seems like cheapest option, but have read compalints here. Copam- seems like best machine, but no native USB? Creation- seems like newest option, native USB, but is it inferior to Copam? The cost is not the biggest factor, but I want to make sure I get the best machine I can; don't want to regret my purchase as soon as I order it. Is the USB issue important? Is the PCUT inferior to the Copam? Any info would be appreciated! THX!
  3. EAvila

    Need to decide on a 24" machine...

    Got the Copam today, and here's my observations as a total newB: 1) Stand - definitely sturdy and well made 2) Cutter - I have no experience with other ones, but it looks well made; certainly not "cheap" 3) Assembly - Everything was smooth, except this cutter had some new roller design for your vinyl roll holder (whatever it's called), so at first I was confused as to how this thing was supposed to work, but I figured it out. 4) Setup - As a competely newcomer to the vinyl cutting world, this was by far the most dificult thing to do; figuring out how to balance blade height, speed, and downforce... and I couldn't find much info out there, so I went with this: a) Adjust blade to stick out only as much as necessary to cut through vinyl, and half of backing material... this can be tested with the blade in hand, but it's really not much. Put it in the cutter, and ran test. Seemed ok. Settings were default of IIRC speed=60, downforce=90, and .25 for whatever the other paramater is. c) Changed speed to be a little slower, like 30, and ran test- seemed ok, but when I went and ran the built-in COPAM test image, it was cutting through the backing, so I put speed back to 60, and ran it again, and things look fine. Since I'm cutting out smaller logos, smaller ones are about 1"x1", should I be using a slower speed? 5) Conection to PC - used parallel port to avoid USB to Serial driver, and installed software. 6) Software - IMHO, and contrary to what everyone else has said, SignBlazer Elements is the most backward, non-standard UI interface I have ever seen, especially in the last 15 years or so. Asside from features, which I have not yet begun to explore, and I'm sure the software does what it needs to, it does not adhere to ANY OS development UI standards. So while it may do everything you need, it is certainly not intuitive to use, and you cannot rely on the experience of it running like all your other software. Just my initial impression, as a software developer for almost 20 years. Other than that, I've got it up and running, made my first batch of logo decals, and I'm very excited about the potential. Overall, I'm very happy with the purchase (the software is my biggest gripe), and I'm looking forward to playing with it a lot more.
  4. EAvila

    Need to decide on a 24" machine...

    I went ahead and ordered the COPAM 2500; not that the others wouldn't have done the job, but most people said go for the copam if you can afford to.
  5. EAvila

    Need to decide on a 24" machine...

    BannerJohn- thanks for the info... appreciate you taking the time.