Super Moderators
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Wildgoose

  1. Wildgoose


    What you are wanting to do is sometimes refered to as Flex cut that none of the budget cutters will be capable of. Flex cutting is basically cutting through the vinyl and at specific intervals increasing the force to also penetrate the carrier but leaving sufficient attached portions so as to not loose the integrity of the carrier. After the cut then you can push the flexcut peices on out. If you cut it all the way out you would lose the strength of the carrier sheet and all heck would break loose. If you ran a second carrier sheet under the actual vinyl carrier backing you could perhaps do an initial cut and then a second time through the machine as a contour cut but you would have to manually adjust the cutt force and possibly make a blade exposed adjustment. In general if you want to do what you are talking about you would end up into a much more expensive machine. Overall, this type of thing is mostly only used for printed peel and stick "stickers" because of the need for a tranfer paper on cut vinyl decals. Applying app tape to loose decals might prove problematic and at the very least will waste as much time trying to make hthem look god as any other way. Most of us just set the spacing parameter of multiple copies such that you can cut, weed and place the app tape then trim the individual peices in a reasonable consistent squares by hand.
  2. Wildgoose

    How do I cut this?

    Typically stickers are printed and are peel and apply, decals are cut. The world in general doesn't know the difference, the term decals work for both wheras "stickers" will get vinyl cutter guys to correct you.
  3. Wildgoose

    How do I cut this?

    Start with Inkscape. It's free. Once you get your feet under you you can make more educated choices. Vinyl Master has several levels of ability and the Cut Level version is mostly a cutter interface to communicate with the cutter, the next step up Letter Level is more advanced and has more sign builders tools. There is a comparison chart on their website. If you stay with them (great choice if you are a windows computer user) I would suggest the Pro Level if you don't expect to need the printing options in the Expert Level. I am a mac user and have experience with Adobe so I stick with that but it's expensive and a major learning curve to figure it out. I use a different cutter utility that is mac compatible to actually cut. Mac's are great for graphics but they are picky what they will run and I don't get into the parallels or loading a windows OS into mine. For me the point was to evade the windows instability.
  4. Wildgoose

    How do I cut this?

    Patience. The graphics side of things can be daunting at first but once you get it figured out it isn't that hard. It's more learning to grasp the basic process and then learning your specific programs tool set and how they function. There is something called a wire frame view which is just the lines and curves that constitute a "vector" design. That is all your cutter sees. You are basically manipulating lines and curves. The objects have colors assigned to them that you can see in normal view mode and the cutter interface within your VinylMaster program segregate those lines that are assigned various colors into groups so as you load your vinyl you choose the color and it cuts those lines. On a single color project like you are attempting you utilize the garment (or substrate) as one of the colors by removing parts of the solid objects to create a hole, often called "knocking out" and you typically use another object to perform this operation. The tree for instance to knock out it's shape from the flag. You can also just create an outline to show separation from the tree and the flag and leave both. Many options. Vinyl master has tutorials and there are other programs that also do this vector design work (some are free open source programs like Inkscape). Just know that it will take some time to master these tools but if you are patient and studious you will look back later and wonder why it seemed so overwhelming. I use a different program (Adobe Illustrator) and can tell you from my limited exposure to Vinyl Master that it is a very well through out program and you will figure it out pretty quickly. Some "tools" may not be available in the version you own. Inkscape for many is a free alternative to do the work and then just cut it out in VM Cut. I am not able to offer very specific help to you but other may. Good luck and don't give up!
  5. Wildgoose

    first attempt at multicolor project

    darcshadow is exactly correct. If you are doing multi colors it's usually a good idea to build the color layers with a little overlap but not a full stack. That may not make total sense until you do a few. Additionally, HTV will do all sorts of shrinking and moving when unde the heat and so gettting everything aligned perfect can be troubling. There are tricks of the trade. For instance I do a lot of 2 color team jersey numbers with a base color (inside) and an outer outline color. If you just stack them like you would sign vinyl with the outline color first and the inside color on top you get a think feeling and the back layer usually shrinks (or rather, the garment shrinks) and throws the registration off so that the outline is not uniform all the way around the edges. To fix this you build the inside layer a bit wider than it needs to be (typically exteded to about half way into the width of the outline) and lay it down first then your outline is cut as just an outline and placed over the top. The oversized inside (bottom) layer edges are covered up with a little bit of overlap and the resulting outline is perfectly proportioned and the total package is one single layer making it feel better on the shirt. This process is relatively easy on a set of numbers and more complicated on other graphics. Some small detial pieces it is no feasible to do and unneccessary. It takes some experience to know when to do what. The big factor is these options will take some graphic skills on the design side to get where you need to be.
  6. Wildgoose

    First Post - Etched Glass Flag

    Guitar flag is sweet! Both look good.
  7. Wildgoose

    sign cut pro 2, multiple images

    I use SignCut PRO 1 (the older version) but the basics are the same. You just need to adjust your thinking a bit. The program will only cut 1 design at a time so you create a single design from multiple objects. Sounds like you have it now. You CAN cut multiple COPIES of a file if you are making more than one. Also if you are careful you can cut off the excess and use the scrap piece to make other designs later. No need to waste it if you have a big enough left over to use for something else. Use the "weeding frame" and you can usually see where the edge of your cut was and just trim the extra off before weeding.
  8. Wildgoose

    pressure settings

    Glitter = Unhappiness. Hate that stuff LOL. Just a word of caution, the first time I cut glitter I tried to ease into the cut like you would with regular vinyl, adding a little pressure and then a little more. At some point in that process the glitter literally sanded off the tip (too small to see without a very powerful magnifier) and it was not cutting due to that. When I finally figured it out I put a fresh blade in and then I cut clear through into my cutting strip so that wasn't good. Fresh blade, educated guess on pressure and cross your fingers. Then WRITE IT DOWN on some tape and tape up your roll with that so you can avoid the escapade the next time. Be prepared for it to mess up a blade too, it probably will.
  9. To tell the truth I just use an older windows laptop to cut from (window 7). My cutter (Summa) hooks up just fine on the Mac but if I am running the cutter then I am not able to do other things while it's working so I set my cutter across the room and use the laptop and just cut from thumb drive files (save in AI 8 it will open them perfectly). It's been an efficient system and the old laptops are extremely affordable.
  10. I would put in a support request. I have it on my mac and it Definitely has all the Graphtec cutters. Do you have the Dongle or a subscription?
  11. IMO if you are doing advanced work like that (using barcodes and all) you should be running a name brand machine. The titan 3 is a fine blend of affordable servo motors at low pricing but you have to remember that all the components are made in China and are basically a knock off of the real deal. Summa, Roland, Graphtec are a few of the top rated contour cutters and there really is a reason why they cost more; software and quality of objective lenses would be a huge one. If you do mostly basic cutting without the optical eye I think they have good results but using them in a commercial level print and cut situation is probably a stretch as you have found. I have always heard the Roland cutters do really good reading contour marks and the Summa cutters are industry leaders in the contour cutting market. I have heard the Graphtec cutters sometimes struggle reading laminated marks but have never owned one. Not what you want to hear but I don't think pulling punches helps anyone in the long run.
  12. I have some special heat transfer glue remover that I bought somewhere. It does remove the adhesive but on dark garments like that one you can still see a ghost image so I generally toss them too or if I can cover them up I may make the kids something.
  13. Wildgoose

    Help recreating fire rescue ambulance ribbon

    What design program are you using? The basics are there in that file, you'll just have to build the outer gold ribbon pieces that they don't have included. Looking at the pic the ones on the old vehicle are not all that well done anyhow so I doubt you'll make them any worse. I noticed that the lower brown stripe is not quite aligned equally between the yellow stripes. I ungrouped the elements an then did a distribution center between those three peices and the brown now looks much better in relation to the end of the other piece that it is supped to be a part of. There are several weird alignment issues as well. Time to learn your software. I had a few minutes so I fixed this one, hopefully it will help you out. Ambulance Vinyl.eps
  14. Wildgoose

    Oracal 631 not sticking please help

    HT55 is specially formulated to work good with 631. It is actually a medium tack but with more adhesive to allow it to soak down into the mat finish and grab hold. Medium tack so it will come off decently after the install. Unfortunately HT55 dries out if you own it too long (mine did) and it then loses its abilities somewhat. I wish they sold it in smaller roll lengths.
  15. Wildgoose

    Getting a clean cut for photo magnet

    Have you tried multiple lighter cuts? Like maybe 3 passes?
  16. Wildgoose

    MH871 MK2

    Just looking at what you showed as your offset and overcut numbers. The 0.25mm offset is likely very close but as mentioned often needs a minor tweak but your overcut of 2 mm is probably more than you need. If you have a decent magnifying glass take a look and see if the start and stop points on a circle stop at about the same place or if they go past each other. Typically the overcut feature is not needed but if your cuts do not start and stop in the same spot you use that to help it. Most times it is somewhere in the same neighborhood as the blade offset. I don't think too much overcut will hurt anything but it may leave little tags of vinyl if the cuts at the start and end do not line up perfectly. If you are trying to determine the perfect blade offset with perfect corners you will want to use a small box (like a half inch or an inch) and cut it and look at the corners, Then change the offset a little and cut again until you can find th sweet spot between rounding off the corners and leaving weird spikes at the corners. Here is a little chart that may help you visualize it.
  17. Wildgoose

    HELP HTV ON Flame Resistant Sweatshirt

    I think you'll be fine. Flame resistant cloth that I have seen before did not feel all that special.
  18. Wildgoose

    Vinyl for vehicle lettering?

    I would do like slice says with the connected layer (black) all at once and then I would lay the red on top with a top hinge and use a pair of scissors to cut between some of the letters (or all if you feel the need) and then install each cut section as a smaller more manageable set. You can also see if your cut is going to align or not at that point. This is where the better the cutter the better the second layer goes. If the cuts don't match well you probably WILL be placing them one by one. I suggest the top hinge to help keep all the letters lined up. Same principal can be applied even if you have to cut it apart due to spacing errors from the cutter (should that happen) Another helpful tip is spend some time after you tape this off and trim a consistent amount around the graphic. I use a half inch most of the time, a clear craft ruler with 1/4" marks works well for this. This will allow you to square it up from the edge of the entire sheet rather than having to try and see through your app tape to the vinyl to determine if it's going to line up with the dumpster or not. I also use at least a half inch so that my masking tape I use to hang it does not overlap onto the cut vinyl (over the app tape) and this will help reduce the chance of bubbles when you squeegee. I buy PG grade masking tape to hang my stuff. (PG stands for Proffesional Grade I think) It costs a fortune but the first time your cheap tape lets go and you lose an expensive decal during the install it will not seems so bad. I buy mine at the auto paint store.
  19. Wildgoose

    Prep for first shirt run... What do I need

    I do mostly shirts these days. For a beginner I expect you'll be keeping the budget low. You can just use some Parchment paper like you bake cookies with for a cover sheet. It's cheap and easy to get more about any store. You can get hundreds of press cycles before it starts to brown and nothing, NOTHING seems to stick to that stuff. If the budget allows, a teflon cover over at least your lower platen is nice. It lets you slide your shirts around much easier on the press. I now run an upper platen cover as well but didn't for many years. If you do run a top cover you can skip the cover sheet and just press things without too much worry. I do add a couple seconds to my dwell time to compensate for the teflon. You will also benefit from some sort of see-through craft ruler or other alignment tool. You will be finding the center of your shirt (possibly making a crease) and then using the ruler to get consistent offset from center and distance down from the neck. I do so many now that I bought a fancy laser tool from Hotronix but it was several hundred bucks. I do a lot of sports uniforms that all have to be laid out the same spacing and could not live without the laser thing so it's been a good investment. For press pillows you can also get by with a mouse pad or two stacked up to get a left chest on a polo with buttons etc... I bought a 12x14 press pillow that I have worn out the foam in three times. I just buy 1" thick foam at the fabric store and re-stuff it when it goes flat. If you are handy you can make your own with some teflon, foam and a sewing machine. HTV is a great hobby and can turn into a good source of revenue if that's what you want.
  20. Wildgoose

    Signcut Prod. Pro 1 - XML parsing error

    I agree. As mentioned above, SignCut has, I believe, the very best tech support of ANY cutting program out there. Live help with real people who will even remote into your computer if needed and get you going. You have to request a session and they contact you pretty quickly. It will start out as a chat session which is usually sufficient.
  21. Wildgoose

    mac fonts

    Similar to what Slice says, I run a font manager that seems to be able to make most of them work. I am mostly going the other way though, using everyday fonts ON my mac's.
  22. Wildgoose


    I would drop the free ship and be closer to the competition. Most people see the bottom line before calculating the shipping.
  23. Wildgoose


    I have a HF cabinet and do a little blast etching here and there. I found it was NOT a money maker for my business platform. WAY too much time investment to make it work out for me but that's just me. I now mostly do personalized gifts that I give to people from myself not as business. (although it has occasionally generated some interest that I ended up doing) For instance, I have a friend who brings over pies and I always etch her pyrex pie plates before I return them. Stuff like that. Customized wedding Pyrex sets are great gifts too. I usually do them mirrored so you can read them from looking into the pie plate or pyrex cookware. Cheap glassware from the dollar store suddenly turn into sweet personalized Christmas candy jars. Fun stuff but I can't afford to try and do them to sell. Maybe you can find a niche there, good luck.
  24. Wildgoose

    Any downside to storing (unweeded) cut decals?

    I would do some while you're at it. You'll only be out the app tape and and a little time. If your tape matches your roll width your not even out that. Do your best to store them in a safe place out of the light and flat if possible. I have installed older decals I had made and it went ok. Worst case you can offer as a reduced price inventory reduction item and still recover some coin.
  25. Wildgoose

    Should I get a heat press?

    I use the Hotronix Fusion. Somewhere I did a write up on it. The quick change platens and true threading of shirts make it the machine of choice for me. However the brands listed by Dakota are all great and Hix is also a good brand. I prefer a swing away press but they take up more space. Definitely go with the 16x20 platen. Smaller stuff will need press pillows and press pads if you don’t have other sizes of platens but the larger size is worth it for most work.