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Everything posted by Wildgoose

  1. Wildgoose

    Corel Draw and Sure Cuts Text Blank

    I don't use corel but have you tried converting it to lines/curves before sending it over?
  2. Wildgoose

    Opinions on Sure Cuts A Lot

    Like many here I design elsewhere. (Illustrator) I just SCALP Pro it for a cutting utlility. As such it has come a long way from where it started when I purchased my $50 early bird special. I used to use SignCut Pro but paid a yearly $98 subscription. (could have bought the dongle for about $300 but never did because my cutting computer has no more available usb ports. I made the leap this year and started cutting just with SCALP Pro to make myself learn the nuances (which I also had to do with SignCut). Now thanks to a little practice (practice with a pen attachment and some butcher paper, its cheaper) and many upgrades it's getting close to being a complete package as far as cutting is concerned. There are a few quirks but mostly I have not had much to complain about. I just wanted something to OWN rather than rent and be able to have available for when I park my current cutter in the corner as a spare. Other than SignCut I have never tried any of the other cutting programs so I am not able to comment on other options. I HAVE played around with the design options on SCALP Pro and found them similar to Inkscape but missing some features. One thing I like better in SCALP vs SignCut is that ofter importing from Illustrator if I have to change something or add something on the fly its not impossible to open up the file and move things around or add/modify something before the cut. SignCut was strictly a cutting utility that had no options to change the design other than some seriously lacking text options. It DID have some cool cutting options that SCALP doesn't yet have, but the Craft Edge design team has said they are coming in the not so distant future. For basic cutting operations and even mild design work it works just fine. Perfect for the occasional home user and in my case a weekend and evening warrior. I personally give SCALP Pro the thumbs up! As much for the support/design team over at Craft Edge as for the actual program. They have REALLY made some nice changes at the behest of a bunch of our user requests. How often can you make a suggestion to a sofware company and have then do as you ask?
  3. Wildgoose

    transfer tape residue

    I've had that problem with G Star layflat clear also. Particularly in areas where I've put a lot of pressure with the squeege. Have NOT had any similar problems with the R-tape though, although the only clear R-tape I have is medium tack. G Star is definitely more fun to work with when warmed up. I am pickier about where I use my G Star at now and am trying to use it up after which I don't plan on using it again.
  4. It does seem that maybe they have slowwed down in their progress, perhaps the bigger issues are more time consuming to fix/add. I am still expecting to see "tiling" come on line this summer for larger projects and hopefully step-by-step cutting also. They told me some time in the first half of 2013 so maybe by end of June? I'm hoping sooner than later. I'm aiming for a new cutter this summer so it may all become a moot point for me personally however I plan to keep the old P-Cut around for back-up either way so I'd still like to see it get a little more polished. Those two items are about all I feel lacking for my needs from this point. Possibly a "copies" option to make multiple sets of a graphic but to tell the truth my cutter ends up freaking out if I try to do too many at once anyway so that's less of a cencern for me.
  5. Wildgoose

    Help- Deciding on Heat Press

    No the lower platen is center mounted so threading on shirts is hard to do. I use a heat pillow when worried but I have never done rhinestones.
  6. Wildgoose

    Another New guy

    I agree with the above. I bought a 48" P-Cut and to date the biggest vinyl I have cut is 30" and mostly 24" or 15" . I used it once as a plotter on a 48" pice of paper for a project for my kids that was it. I am looking to upgrade and downsize to a 30" this season.
  7. Wildgoose

    Help- Deciding on Heat Press

    This is getting to be an older topic but I'm going to reply anyway in case you are still looking and for future searches. I have the 15" swing away from USC and have had really good success with it. The only thing I did was get a hand held infrared heat tester to check the heat because the digital readout is in C and not even accurate in C. Once I did that so I was getting the correct heat temp I have had wonderful luck. The swing away has springs to get even pressure and I use them to guage how much pressure I am applying. The platten gives good even heat and I like the swing away so I can get a good layout on the garment without having the heat above my arms. The USC price is reasonable and paid for its self in no time. Some day I may upgrade to a fancy Hotronix but I'm a part time weekend warrior at this point. That being said there is certainly truth to what dakotagrafx said about getting a nice machine. The old saying: "The quality remains long after the price has been forgotten" is still true today. I like most have budget constraints that make some of those decisions for me.
  8. Wildgoose

    Newbie Seems So cliché

    Wil, Your etchings are seriously gnarly man. I am WAY impresssed. I wasn't understanding what you meant and thought you were getting some sort of bleed out into the etching from the vinyl which I was having a hard time wrapping my head around. Now that I see what you were talking about I love em! The bad part is if I let my wife see them I'm going to spend the next week of my life trying to duplicate your skills. Ha ha! Your work looks enjoyable. I build roads in the daytime and have worked around Hill AFB in Utah and currently live near Boise ID. Gowen Field has some pretty cool attack Heli's. One of my wifes girlfriend buddies has a husband who flies one, he came and put on a presentation for the kids at our church when he came back from active duty a few years ago. I almost went into the service right out of high school but they couldn't get me into the area I wanted to go and I didn't trust that I'd actually be able to transfer as easily as the recruiters made it sound. Plus my dad said it would be good for me so I backed out. LOL
  9. Wildgoose

    Mat size and location..

    I got up this morning with some time to mess around and decided to play with SCALP. I experimented with the WYSIWYG vs Origin thing a littl more than I ever have before using some butcher paper and a pen. I see Slice and Dice and Mars' point about using Origin over WYSIWG. I think they have converted me. Amen Brothaaaa! I was getting pretty much the same result but with a lot more layout effort and worry. Also that miniscule amount of space between your design and the edge of the cutting mat that I am always a little dubious to use for fear of getting too close and having the cutter skip because it was slightly outside the cutting area is no longer an issue. Time saver basically.
  10. Wildgoose

    Application tape

    I have gotten to the point where I pretty much use the Oracal products too. I still have about half a roll of the Green Star clear high tack that I have been trying to use up but I don't enjoy it. I also have a whole roll of standard paper 12" Green star that I haven't used unless its something small and has no fine details. One of the things that you might try if your fighting wrinkles is to lay your app tape upside down and then place your vinyl down on it rather than trying to place your tape onto your vinyl. Typically your weeded vinyl will have some curl to it if its small and you can pretty much set it lightly down and then squeege it from the back starting in the middle and working out and you'll have good luck. On large items if you sort of hang your vinyl so it droops in the center and let that touch and start with the squeege from the middle holding at least one end up off the tape you can get good results on large stuff too. I wouldn't bee too stingy on the App tape, I use liberal amounts rather than getting worried about hitting the exact width of my products. This is especially true when using the reverse application method I just described because you don't have as much control on where your final position will be you will want extra width of an inch on each side and several off each end if the product is a long one. This is where having a decent brand of App tape pays off too because Oracal and other better brands will lay down nice and flat on your work table. Actually to be fair the Green star clear lays down pretty good but I don't like the way it comes off after application. If you squeege too hard it will actually cause the app tape to tear and you have to play around trying to get an edge back up to keep going. Paper tapes are the best although for retail crafty stuff I sell to the local do it yourself ladies I use a medium tack clear R-Tape so they can see what they're getting and I think they like it so they can see things better to apply. Personally I prefer paper because it has less problems with curling, stretching and tunneling and if you need to you can wet apply or even just wet it down to get it off after application if your having problems.
  11. Ha ha! I have been there too. About the time you pull the heat press vinyl back out of the machine you realize your mistake. I am happy with Scalp having an easily accessable button to flip the image right on the standard workspace. It's visable enuogh that it often reminds me and I have not had a screw up yet.
  12. Wildgoose

    Newbie Seems So cliché

    Welcome Wil, You will find some very nice and helpful folks on this forum. Thank you for your service to the country. They don't pay you guys enough but I'm sure you knew that going in. I'd like to see those pics when you get around to it. I have cut a few etching stencils in my day as well but never thought of using colored vinyl and I'm intrigued. Paul
  13. Wildgoose

    Mat size and location..

    I have played around with it a bit and come to the conclusion that I actually like the WYSIWYG method. I size my cutting mat appropriately to match my vinyl or the amount of vinyl I want to use and place my svg files on so that they are starting in the lower right corner. If I want to cut text and it fits horizontally I rotate it until its looking proper and make sure the edges are within the cutting mat cut zone and cut. I align my cutter on the spot that I want to call zero which corresponds with the lower right corner of the cutting mat on the screen and haven't had any problems. I usually allow for some extra off the top of the mat from what the actual vinyl so the rollers don't run off the vinyl (2"-3") Have had pretty good luck now that I'm used to it. If you need to re-cut a certain element on a particular design you can shrink down the cutting mat to just cover the letter or spot you need and thats all the machine will cut. Works just fine. I have a 48" machine and am always moving my vinyl around to utilize various sets of grit rollers depending on the vinyl width so I just make sure I get it loaded and reset the zero on the cutter and let the WYSIWYG work for me. I used to use SignCut Pro and have made the switch since early January and after forcing myself to get used to the "feel" and quirks of SCALP I am doing good. Don't get me wrong, I'll be happy when they get a few more bugs worked out but the worst of it is past. SignCut has plenty of quirks too that I had to get used to when I started with it.
  14. Wildgoose

    SCALP Forced update?..costing me time/money

    I have had the window pop up to tell me there is another update out there but it never made me go get it. In fact I ran for quite a while and skipped a couple of the updates before I got around to loading the latest. As said previously, the program is in the process of a major overhaul and probably could be considered a beta version for all intents but I have been amazed at what they have done with it since it came on line. I think you're smart to have another option available like signblazer. I fall into the part time description and also have Sign Cut Pro to fall back on but I have been running for a month without having to renew my license yet and I'm hoping to never have to. I have made a few changes to how I design files and have cured several of my personal issues that way. There are some other things that they need to get working but I have chatted with the tech support guys at Craft Edge and they are working toward those things (tiling and multiple copies). They really don't have that much farther to go but I imagine its a lot of programming time to get those things figured out.
  15. Wildgoose

    Font Editor

    I'm not super up on designing in SCALP either I do my designs in another program but here is a basic walkthrough: Type the text you want in scalp. This will be considered live text at this point. Under the text tab click "convert text to outlines" then go to the object tab and click "ungroup". At this point the text is now an object and you can go into the shapes library and find a rectangle and place it on top of the letter you need to modify. You may have to use the node edit tool to stretch the rectangle out or shring it to fit to cover the area you need without going past the edges. Make sure both the new rectagle and the original letter are both selected and then go to the path tab and click "unite" and it should weld the two together. You will have to play around to get used to doing this and you should watch the tutorials but its very do-able. One thing to note. Once you convert text to outlines you can no longer use the regular text edit tools so you should make sure its spelled correctly and I usually try to be done with it before converting to an object.
  16. Wildgoose

    Multiple Page Decals - Large Items

    They are still working on being able to tile a project that is larger than your vinyl. It IS in the works and will be available later this spring or summer as I understand it. About the only way to do this now is to make the cutting mat the size of your vinyl and drag the image around leaving parts of it off the canvas so-to-speak. Scalp will only cut what is within the cutting mat boundary. I have done one like this as an experiment and it worked although there is not much precision to it and determining how much overlap you want is a guess at best. I drew a line on the graphic where the edge was so I could see it when I moved it for the next pass. I am looking forward to that update when it comes out.
  17. Wildgoose

    Adobe Illustrator Patterns

    Depends on how you got there. If it is a clipping path using the frame of your expanded text to clip the pattern and give it the zebra look then you won't be able to cut that in signcut. I don't think .ai will let you expand that either. You will need to do the proceedure over using the unfilled text frame on top of your pattern and clip it with the "intersect" tool option from the pathfinder pallet. You will have to have expanded the zebra pattern prior to this if it wasn't already, both have to be lines and curves. The pattern should be filled, the top object an empty object. If your doing a whole string of text it will probably need to be a compound shape (rather than a group of letters) or it will just do one. It's a little tricky.
  18. Wildgoose

    MH871 cutting every image twice

    If you are designing in ai then I will almost guarantee that you have unfilled paths. Here is the fix: in Illustrator before you save for the final time, open the layers panel and toggle open any compound paths you have made (particularly with the merge function). Look down the items within the path packet/group and you wil see some with no color. click on the specific item that has no color (use the layers panel to select so that you don't select the whole object) then use the select all items with same fill color from up on the top of the workspace and Illustrator should select any other invisibe paths then just push delete and your drawing should be cleaned up and ready to go. I use Illustrator CS5 and buttons and locations within other versions might be slightly different but I believe that all the above mentioned function have been available for quite a while if you happen to be running an older version of AI. In my experience these invisible paths are a piece of cake to find in AI but I have a lot more trouble trying to find them in SCALP or Inkscape. The layers panel on AI is really the ticket. I use the merge function sparingly due to this issue. Often "Unite" or "minus front" will accomplish what your trying to do and won't cause this path problem. Good luck
  19. Wildgoose

    SCALP worth buying?

    I got mine for $50 when they had the special offer. I am happy with it especially at that price. I also use Sign Cut Pro but am in the process of phazing that out if I can get used to SCALP. So far there are still a few issues but the design team is litterally working around the clock to bring SCLAP up to snuff and it is getting better with each update. I can tell you that once you get away from the sihlouette and get used to the MH you will wonder what the #%^&@ you just spent the last year trying to produce anything with that thing. For vinyl the MH should smoke the little sihlouette. The only thing I see that the craft cutters do better/different is being able to cut cardstock and paper with the cutting mat but I just went out and bought a Sihlouette cutting mat from walmart and I have cut several craft projects for my wife on it already on my big cutter. I have the creation P-Cut which is a little different from the MH but I think they are similar. Both budget models. The only thing that SCALP really is in dire need of as far as I am concerned is getting the ability to tile a project that is bigger than your vinyl. They told me they will probably have that going by mid year. There are a few other things that would be nice to fine tune and I think they will dial in on. The rest is pretty functional really. I design with another program and just import for cutting purposes but I have played around with the design part enough to say it seems to work ok. The good thing is you can import files from other sources like inkscape and .ai so your not limited to what the design portion of the program can do anyway.
  20. Wildgoose

    Following nodes when cutting

    I use Illustrator with an add-on called Concatenate that I bought just for that purpose. I don't know if they make a plug in for Inkscape. The problem is it will connect all the segments but the images still have a bazillion nodes so you have to use another filter and simplify the paths. Its a PIA. .dxf files are structured around splines rather than curves. Not too cutter friendly. You might have about as good of luck saving them as a jpg and just tracing them out.
  21. Wildgoose

    MH871 cutting every image twice

    It sure sounds like you have two layers stacked. If they are exactly on top of each other you would need to move one in order to even tell you had the second below. Did you create the file in SCALP? I would poke around and see if you happened to copy and paste another on top of perhaps one of the design tools inadvertantly made a copy while performing another function like weld/merge. I would try selecting it and dragging and maybe ungrouping it to see if there is something hidden below. I haven't had any problem like you describe with SCALP. Have had it with SignCut. The ones I had problems with were compound shapes that I had used the merge tab (designs in Illustrator) on and it created a separate object in each hole (unfilled object). I am more careful when drawing now and remove them. I would recomend using some butcher paper and a pen attachment if you have it while playing with a problem file until you can get it found.
  22. Wildgoose

    Project size limitations?

    If you have the Pro version the cutting mat size is up to 200" x 200" but SCAL3 and SCALP are two different programs I believe.
  23. Cutter>mat size>custom and you can set your own size for the vinyl.
  24. Wildgoose

    SCALP Mat size ruler

    I have been messing around for a while and can't find if there is a way to change the orientation on the rulers on the cutting mat. My cutter cuts from the lower right hand corner but the rulers are set from the upper left. It would be nice to have the rulers start where the cutter starts. There is very likely somewhere to do this but I have yet to find it.
  25. I have a new wish list idea. I would like to be able to click and drag or a simpler way to adjust the cutting mat size rather than having to go through the cutter>mat size>custom process. This isn't a critical thing but it would save time when working with scrap pieces of vinyl.