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Everything posted by Wildgoose

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Cutter>mat size>custom and you can set your own size for the vinyl.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Wildgoose

    My initial assesment and continuing help thread

    I'm not going to start a fight but I don't have near the issues with it that Lueman does. SCALP is definitely not Flexi but if you are that serious about things then you can design in AI or correl and import it anyway (or Inkscape for that matter). It definitely has a ways to go in some regards but I have been surprised at the fervor with which the design team has tackled things to date. Also have received prompt concise answers to my questions that I sent to the design guys at Craft Edge. I have been using SignCut Pro with a paid subscription of $100/year and am excited to put that money in my pocket this year. I already draw in AI so the design issues aren't an issue but I did take the time to play around with SCALP and found I liked it as much as Inkscape. Yes kearning is an issue occasionally and maybe they will upgrade that too but it DOES have tracking which can usually deal with it anyway. Bottom line, for entry level cutters and newbies it's enough and will probably teach newbies some great lessons by having to deal with an Edsel rather than having a Ferrari and they will appreciate things more if/when they upgrade. I have a P-Cut 1200 series cutter which has been at times a real PITA but I think I'm better for having to have figured out how to make a budget cutter get me by. I am planning on an upgrade this season to a Graphtec and I am looking forward to using Cutting Master straight from Illustrator but I will still have the old machine in the corner in case something goes down and SCALP ready to save the day.
  9. Wildgoose

    Cutting an image in sections...

    I recently received response from the design team that they are still working on tiling and hope to have it out in the first half of 2013. So within 6 months hopefully we will see something. That is an important feature that is missing and I'm real glad they are planning on getting it going. They were understandably hesitant to commit to any certain date but I'm cool with waiting and it is definitely getting better with every update.
  10. Wildgoose

    Question regarding guidelines/grid

    I have a P-Cut machine which is similar. On your MH machine you will manually align the cutter blade with the edge of the vinyl and find the control to zero out the cordinates. I usually align mine inside the pinch rollers to avoid any damage but that's not absolute. I have never used a circuit but I think I understand the basics. On the MH you will need to pay attention to the available vinyl both width and length. Allow a couple inches at the back and I usually allow about 1/2" at least on each side. When I use SCALP I change the cutting mat size to custom based on those dimensions previously measured and then from that point go on with cutting and it should work out for you. If you have a pen attachment and some butcher paper you can experiment with that rather than learning at the expense of vinyl. you will have some learning to do but there is plenty of great tech advice here.
  11. Wildgoose

    SCALP Tiling tools?

    Has anyone heard or had conversations about any tiling tools in the future plans (hopefully short term) for the program? I am really, REALLY missing having the ability to decide what portions of my designs I want to cut. Any who are familiar with SignCut know what I am talking about. I don't know anything about SB to compare but in SC you can add tiling lines and isolate a specific part of your desing to cut and exclude everything else. I use it every sing time I cut almost without exception. It helps to avoid having to use a large piece of vinyl for a single element in a design that may be a different color. You add tile lines all the way arounf it and exclude everything but what you want and SC tells you in the preview section how big the final item will be and you can jcut use a piece of scrap and cut that one little thing out of a large design without the cutter needing vinyl the size of the entire design. I also use this element occasionally to cut a repar patch if I messed up on an install and need to re-do one letter or a small portion on a large design that had a problem. Way handy! SCALP has the weeding lines so its not too much of a stretch to be expecting to do this. Kind of long description, sorry. If they aren't planning on adding something like this it is probably going to be a deal breaker for me. Paul
  12. Wildgoose

    My initial assesment and continuing help thread

    Been almost a month and I have had a few chances to play with the program a little more. I do my graphic work in AI but I decided to play around a little with the design capability and was pleasantly surprised at how well it did. I was actually surprised at the ease of use on the text edit menu and the ability to stretch and modify live text very much like AI. I can honestly say that if I didn't already have AI I would be comfortable working with the program and it will be a good backup if my other computer goes down. I think I like SCALP better than Inkscape. Its a little more user friendly or maybe a little more like AI not sure why but I definitely prefer it. A lot of my work is traced images from existing logos where they don't have the original vector. The tracing operation is a little different but once you're used to it it works fine. I think its going to be a great program for USCutter to sell with cutters. There are still a lot of things that need attention and I know they are working on them and making regular progress. I had initially found that SCALP seemed to progress through the cuts almost in a sensible order like step by step cutting but as I have had opportunity to use it a bit more I think that was just a fluke with that particular design so hopefully they will continue to improve some of the cutting utilities including step-by-step and tiling.
  13. Wildgoose

    welding on adobe

    I would recomend using "minus front" which will accomplish what you want without leaving anything in the hole you are trying to create. Some cut programs like SignCut will recognize the knock out letters as objects of their own and male a second pass over that area when you are cutting. I use merge sparingly due to this little issue and usually go into the layers list and find the open objects and delete them. not sure what cut software you use so maybe its not an issue with your program.
  14. Wildgoose

    Letters like "O" are showing a fill color in SCP

    Merge is pretty handy for certain applications like what you are doing here. I use "Unite" whenever I can and it doesn't cause the same problem I don't believe that any of the exclude options do either but I can't remember right off. Seems like "Merge" is the main culprit but there are some actions that only merge can complete. Once you are aware of the problem its not too big of a deal. I have found a lot of pre-built vectors come in with a lot of empty objects also I assume they are a product of the designers save options or program. It's nice to be able to pick them apart. You may also note that you can order your cuts by stacking them in the order you want and SignCut will follow the stack, usually from bottom to top which can be nice on jobs with a lot of small elements so you don't have to have your cutter jumping all over the vinyl. (Assuming you didn't already draw them in order or if they got re-ordered during the build process)
  15. Wildgoose

    Letters like "O" are showing a fill color in SCP

    When you use "merge" Illustrator creates a separate object in the open holes. Usually they are transparent/no fill, so SC is interpreting them as black for some reason. I usually go into the layer stack and check for objects with no fill color and delete them before I send them to SC. If you select them from the layers panel you can see where they are and you will know if you wanted them there or not. I found for me in SC that it would basically double cut all these spots and often pull up some of the vinyl in the process. You will find these two holes at the very bottom of the stack in the layers panel which is how SC interprets what to cut first. If you try it with the top object a different color like grey or something its a little easier to find the problem objects.
  16. Wildgoose

    Question from a noobie

    Won't you have to use app tape to stack the three colored layers? That means you would also have to try and cut through that as well. I don't think its a feasable way to do it. I am not familar with Corel but the design could be built in AI easily enough. If you have the camo vector can't you layer the final design over the top and trim the excess to give you the three color layers that you're looking for? With the camo design you might want to think about overlap of the colors. The lower layer(s) might need some modification so you can get a little overlap and not end up with gaps. It would depend on your existing vector camo design.
  17. Wildgoose

    My initial assesment and continuing help thread

    I finally got around to cutting a job using SCALP. I have been hesitant to waste vinyl with some sort of mistake and have mostly just been using the plotting pen. I was very satisfied with the cut. It went about it differently and I had to go into the cut by color menu and deselect a couple stray items that somehow found their way in but it did a good job. One interesting thing I noticed was the way it chose to work down through the lettering I was doing. It was definitely different than SignCut which follows the stacking order of the design. I'm not quite sure if I am happy with letting go of having control over the cut sequence or relieved that I can skip that on my design checklist. I sometimes spend quite a bit of time re-ordering things to make the cut track as fluid as possible rather than jumping around in the order I drew things. SCALP was sort of like a modified step by step cutting although that would neccessarily change had my design been one with a large object spanning the design. This project was a 12"x 36" quote from the constitution for someones rear window so it was just a bunch of words. I have also noted for design glitch complaints that if for any reason you stop a cut in progress it will freeze up SCALP to the point you have to kill it in the program manager and start over. Thats just a weird quirk really and quirky can be dealt with. SignCut does the same thing if I forget to hook up the USB cable to the cutter, freaks it out for some reason. All in all as they proceed to make the improvements that are still in the works I can see this being a great program. I don't use the editing end of it because I draw everything in AI but its a nice change to have it there if I find something I screwed up I cold just fix it right there. I'm also loving that I can import CS5 version artwork from AI. There is still a problem with the colors coming through the transfer but I'm sure they will cure that one easily enough.
  18. Wildgoose

    3.039 not activating

    Do you have to uninstall and reactivate? I just intalled it right over the top with no apparent problems.
  19. Along with tiling I would like to see step by step cutting. Also duplication/stacking like Mars suggested.
  20. Wildgoose

    SCALP Tiling tools?

    I recieved an email from the design team. They indicate that tiling is in the works along with some import issues I was having with AI files. I have to say I am impressed with how well they are getting after all this stuff. They must be seriously burning the midnight oil. I applaud their efforts and feel much better knowing they are working on a tiling solution!
  21. Wildgoose

    SCALP Tiling tools?

    You guys aren't getting what I'm talking about. If the sock is huge and you still have to re-cut the whole thing then you have to waste a whole bunch of vinyl. As I ponder this issue another part of the equation comes into focus: How do you cut something that is bigger than the vinyl you have? I don't find any options to input your vinyl size other than using the mat size. So what happens as in scenario #1 if that sock is 50" tall and your using 24" vinyl? Is there even a way to cut it at all without a tiling utility? Either you have your mat size reduced down to what you can cover with your vinyl or your cutting head will be running off the side of your vinyl and how are you going to control the next part of the graphic and for the scenario you will have to build a 50" sock in 3 parts assuming your using 24" vinyl. Some folks only run 15" and would need tling even more. Hopefully you can see my point and why this is a real concern if it's going to be a boni fide cutting software. What good is having a mat size large enough to build a 6ft graphic if you don't have the mechanics to actually cut that vinyl out?I feel like there is a whole facet to the program that got overlooked.
  22. Wildgoose

    SCALP Tiling tools?

    I played around and found a way to somewhat accomplish an isolated cut. If you shrink the mat size down and drag the graphics over it until what you want cut is the only thing on the mat it will ignore the rest. I guess thats something.
  23. Wildgoose

    SCALP Tiling tools?

    I tried what you suggest. I can select individual objects but it won't cut just that item. Here is a scenario: The sock in your design is on a sign that is 50" tall. The wind was blowing and the tip of the toe got caught in a wind gust and folded onto itself. You had to trim it off of the sign and have to run back and re-cut the design to stick a patch on that part of the sign. You just need the tip of that one sock and at the 50" sign size the patch will be about 4" square if you can just select and cut the very tip that you need. Otherwise you have to re-cut the whole sock or perhaps the whole design in order to make one repair. Scenario two: This one actually happened to me. You are cutting vinyl to go on an 8ft long banner. 3/4 of the way through the design your cutter glitches out and stops cutting for whatever reson (in my case static electricity problem) you now have 6ft of an 8ft design. Do you scrap the whole 6ft and hope the next time it doesn't do it again or do you re-cut the last 2ft that didn't make it allowing for a little overlap and tile the project wasting only a few inches of the precious vinyl you specifically ordered in for your client (and don't have extra)? If you can draw a selection box around the part you want to cut and it will just cut that part then that would be great but I can't get it to work. I can't even get mine to just cut the selected item let alone a partion of it.
  24. Wildgoose

    Live Trace silhouette image help needed

    I have rarely been happy with any live trace images to try and cut. If it's something that I want to look good I usually maually trace the object. It's much more time consuming but the resuts for vinyl are far superior. Live trace on a black image on white background will yeid ok results but even then there are often weird little protrusions or rounded lines that should have been straight. If you are going for a colored item like the pic you uploaded there are just so many colors involved that live trace tries to take into account that it gets confused. All the gradients and shaddow effects throw it off. Where that is a vector you might try picking it apart by removing the gradients and changing the colors to the point your happy with it. Going to a raster then back just causes messy lines where you won't want them. With practice you will get faster. I would allocate about 30 minutes to that image. Also if you are using SignCut you might be having some input issues. I have to down-save everything to illustrator 8 to get good results in SC. I like the idea of live tracing the hands individualy to get them closer to how you like them. You should be able to merge them togother for a full image and maybe you can go through the nodes and clean the image up to be satisfactory. Good luck. I learned the hard way that there's really no easy button for a clean image. You might try using the plotter option with some butcher paper for the first time to avoid wasting vinyl. I am assuming your cutter has a pen attachment.