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Everything posted by Wildgoose

  1. Wildgoose

    Newbie Needs help

    You are attempting what most consider higher level cutting usually more effective once you've had more time in the seat so to speak. More experience with your cutter and getting it fully dialed in will produce better results. Sort of like attempting to enter a nascar race the week you got your drivers license. Your machine is probably capable and most of us who have been doing this a while could come tweak a few things and get it to cut but even someone experienced can have trouble depending on a lot of variables. I suggest getting your hands on a better piece of vinyl. 651 is great stuff for basic everyday semi-permanent to permanent work but 751 or even better 951 will cut like butter and weed easier. If you have a local supplier you can run grab a single yard from it may be worth the expense at least to have something to play with so you can master your machine. 651 is calendared and by nature is stiffer and has a tendency to fight you if by chance your cut missed the start and stop point perfectly or by popping up tiny pieces. Higher end cast vinyls are much more flexible and forgiving is this type of application. You might also look and see if your cutting program has any options to cut the inside of small letters first. Some programs do some don't. Pay particular attention to your blade depth setting then double check your blade offset is dialed. Cut with only enough pressure to scratch the liner and this will vary from material to material and even from temperature in the room or humidity sometimes. Age of vinyl etc... If you have problems with tags where the start and stop point of a letter don't quite touch you can add a little overcut although go sparingly with that if you do. I don't think theoretically it should ever need to be more than the blade offset or something else is wrong. I can't recall if the table titan is a servo machine or stepper motors. Stepper motors may not be precise enough to do really small lettering. The Titan series have been pretty good though and 1/4" SHOULD be do-able with proper set-up. I did 1/4" letters with my old stepper P-Cut back before I upgraded. Use a magnifying glass to see up close what's happening. You can tell a lot if you look really close. Great practice either way and if it's that small you aren't wasting too much vinyl in the process. There are a lot of video out there that can help but beware because there are a lot of stupid stuff that's wrong too.
  2. Wildgoose


    If the download doesn't work you can get a decent optical drive for $20-$40 that connects via a usb
  3. Wildgoose

    Is a mobile signs shop a good investment?

    Sounds like a good time. You will need a reliable power source as well so you don't fry something. That trailer is pretty small to try and use for all your equipment AND prepping a vehicle graphics project. I'm just trying to envision the workflow with a decent sized vinyl project and trying to weed then mask anything of size inside a trailer out of the elements (wind mostly) Personally I would spend money on getting high quality equipment so your work is easier and more precise. You'd be surprised at the difference in accuracy when layering complicated cuts. I have pretty much stepped away from signs and vehicles and do almost exclusively apparel now. The revenue stream is much more steady and it's something that fits with a home based in the evening type side job. Only so many people want/need vehicle or sign work but everyone, literally everyone wants a tee shirt. With the right equipment you can do sports team uniforms and all sorts of stuff. You can also work well into the night when the big orders come instead of having to try and schedule time during the day to go do an install. Our little side business that started in 2010 almost exactly like yours now grosses over 80K each season, still as a part time gig. My wife is a stay at home and helps press shirts while I'm at my day job. I guess to answer your question with a question, how will the trailer make you money and how much will it add to your overall revenue. How long for ROI and if it takes off will you be needing to upsize? At what point do you think you will outgrow the budget equipment you have been using? Sorry not to actually give you an answer but you can probably read between the lines and see my thoughts. Good luck in your quest though!
  4. Wildgoose

    MH Series 34" - Mac User Software help?

    I did not mention that I too like my compadre's use a windows laptop just for cutting. I do my design work on my mac but usually pull the design off the computer via a thumb drive and go cut it on a laptop on the other side of the room. I do this so I keep my design computer unencumbered while the machine is cutting. Having the SignCut Pro 1 Dongle I can switch computers at any time if my windows laptop decides to blue screen or crap out which happens all too often. Slice mentions the note on the MH series that warn about mac compatibility. Some have made it work so that's still debatable but if you're brand new to cutting it can be a steep learning curve on a perfect setup let alone getting mixed and matched equipment. SignCut Pro offers a week free trial. I would try that out and see if you can get it to work and then you'll have some more information to mull over going forward. If you have not unboxed your cutter then maybe leave it boxed and try to return/exchange. Just my $0.02
  5. Wildgoose

    MH Series 34" - Mac User Software help?

    There are a couple of programs that are compatible with mac. Here are a few: #1. I use SignCut Pro 1. It is a cut-only program designed to work in tandem with a design program like Adobe Illustrator (my tool of choice) or Corel Draw or Inkscape (free option). They SignCut people have a Pro 2 version out now that has some design capabilities as well to be more along the lines of a design and cut combo but I have not tried that version. EITHER one will cost you either a weekly, monthly, yearly license fee or you can buy a lifetime dongle. Not free but extremely capable and not only mac friendly but also pc friendly as well. USCutter used to send a years license with new cutters but have stopped, not sure why. #2. USCutter sells Sure Cuts A Lot Pro that is also mac compatible. There are several users on here that run it. You might be able to exchange it or something through USCutter but I'm just a forum moderator (volunteer unpaid helper) so I wouldn't know anything other than to say it's worth asking them. #3. I have no personal experience with it but the open source group who build and modify Inkscape the free vector design program also have some version of cutter control out there I THINK it's called Inkcut but that may be wrong. I have heard of a few who have used it and ASSUME that since they have a mac build of inkscape they also have a mac build of this. Lots of assumptions in there.... Generally speaking there aren't very many FREE options. Inscape being one well known and capable design program (possibly cut too) and the other is the pc-only SignBlazer mentioned by the well meaning if sometimes misunderstood slice&dice. (he loves that old program even though I think he secretly uses Vinyl Master now) It is an old abandoned all in one program that many many people still use and can get it free of charge. I am like you and avoid windows whenever possible so I get ya.
  6. How about contacting SIgnCut tech support to be sure it's not something software related. You can ask for assistance on the website and they are pretty quick to get back to people with an actual live person.
  7. Wildgoose

    New to vinyl cutting.

    make sure your top object is no longer a jpg image. You said you traced it out. Then make sure the image you want to trap inside the shape is below the layer your trace is. In vector art there are basically layers of things. You can move them up or down in the stack of things. I would add some solid fill to the trace to make sure that it is covering the lower layer. I am an Adobe Illustrator guy and not very good in VM so am not a lot of help. Most vector programs can do this but each calls it a different thing and each goes about getting from point A to point B a little differently.
  8. Wildgoose

    New to vinyl cutting.

    Here is a recent post that has more details of what you are wanting to do You will need your outline object which you have from your trace. Then it's basically the same thing as these folks were talking about.
  9. Same answer fro REAL business, computer all the way. A good laptop can do it just fine too and be reasonably mobile if you tether your phone as a hot spot. I broke down this year for my birthday I bought myself an iPad pro and have REALLY enjoyed it. Not functional for design work in AI but for handling other documents for my day-job and being able to open up a PDF plan set, mark it up and turn right around an email off to the original sender with all my scribbles it's a serious time saver. Kind of one of those "Amaze your friends, be the life of the party" thing at reconstruction meetings.
  10. Wildgoose

    Poke anyone?

    My nephew spent 8 or 9 years over on Oahu. He has since moved back to the states and made us some poke at a family function last night. First time I have tried it. I think the one with the sauce he called tsunami I can't remember the other.
  11. Ok good to know. I purchased the beta version way back hoping it would be the best thing since ice cream. I no longer have that program, I gave it away.
  12. Wildgoose

    Font Help

    I have to agree. Poor form dude.
  13. I have Corel D x6 on one of my old computers. I don't use it except the rare file conversion over to AI. I opened it and checked to see the export options and when exporting as an AI file it has a pull down tab that lets you decide which version. I suppose that could be something new to X6 but I bet your X5 has it as well. Maybe go take another look. I made a couple test files to import into VM Pro. (I don't have VM Cut) Interestingly enough though the file I tested doing version 8 came in and so did CS2 but not CS5. I also sort of brought in an svg file but it was way out of scale and not all elements came through properly. I would not be surprised to find that certain versions of svg would work with some experimenting. Maybe some of that will help you.
  14. Well according to that list I was wrong about the svg file. Strange.
  15. VM cut is the basic version of the program that is primarily for interfacing with your cutter but with Corel you should be fine for most things. I’m not a Corel user so can’t help on the export end. I know Inkscape is native svg and I’m pretty sure the ink users are able to send to VM ok.
  16. If you will sign up to the forum you’ll be able to post without waiting for approval from a moderator. try exporting as an SVG
  17. What version of VM are you trying to print with? What are you trying to print and on what type of substrate? Paper with an inkjet? We need more info to give you good answers.
  18. Tanner, if you sign up and get registered your post won’t need to be approved. You’ll get speedier answers.
  19. Ok this may be a dumb question but just to be clear, are you sure your version of SCALP is for mac? I thought the SCALP program came as an either/or. Either Windows OR Mac not both. Maybe they have changed that.
  20. Wildgoose


    Reminds me a little of the good old Copam that was also a stepper motor but I think a better quality stepper. I think it's like anything, there are grades of performance within steppers and servos motors alike. You do get what you pay for and for a mid level machine that looks pretty darn good. Dakota has a point, HTV is sort of cheating on the weed end because the little tags that would cause issue with the weed are less likely to cause issues in HTV but none-the-less that is pretty nice accuracy from what I see. The premium blades are a must too if trying to go down to this kind of level.
  21. Wildgoose

    Need advice what to buy to cut mylar

    I sometimes cut up the clear silicone backing that comes on Gerber 225 vinyl and use it as a stencil. I don't know the thickness but it's less than 7 mil I think. When I do it I take some app tape and apply it to the backside of the clear backing (because the front side is what the vinyl was on and is resistant to adhesives) and use the app tape as my carrier. Sometimes a couple layers if I'm worried. It seems to work pretty good and is a lot easier to get the stencil up off of afterwords. I do like Skeeter suggested and make a couple cuts so I'm not overworking my fine tuned machine and running at full pressure can cause feed distortions especially when you are doing something strange or out-of-the-norm like we are talking about.
  22. You can do it two ways. You do the work as normal in Illustrator and then there is a button to "Send to SignCut" and it will take over from there. I don't actually do it this way because it will also then be the main thing going on so I typically just save the file off as an "Illustrator version 8" and pull it off on a thumb drive and go use a laptop to cut so my main workstation isn't tied up while cutting. My laptop is a windows 7 computer. If it blue screens and causes issues (eye roll, why would I ever expect THAT to happen?) I roll the cutter across the room and cut from my iMac as back-up. SignCut likes version 8 of Illustrator the best. It will convert whatever file version you are working in for you if using the plug-in but in talking to the techies at SignCut they said version 8 is the best and is what it converts to when you send it to the cutter. SignCut is a working stand alone program as well so doing it my way is about as efficient as any other than down-saving the file. I do most 100% HTV work so when I down-save I also mirror the work so I don't forget to do it later and it's a nice workflow that has served me well. I keep the original working file in CS5 (my main version) for edits and continued client relations so I end up with two files for each job. I add an 8 behind the filename so I now it's version 8 even though you can see it from the thumbnail view.
  23. I used to try and size per shirt when using HTV but as my order sizes grew the complexity got to be too much. I now do one size for adults and then a smaller size for kids if needed. I typically take the smallest shirt and squeeze the largest size that I can get away with on it and use it on all the larger size. I HAVE offered a multi sized option a couple times when I first started worrying about this and both said all the same was fine. Now I am willing if the customer brings it up but I don't even bring it up on my end. Like you most of my sizes are around 10" standard width and 11 or 12 for a large look. The vertical size effects the width IMO. I had a guy who wanted a 11" wide one-off logo done on a hoodie. HAD to be 11 inches so i did it. It was 13" tall and almost touched the neck and pocket and he said afterword he wished he would have stuck with the 9 or 10 width I had suggested. I have gotten to the point with LC logo's that I print out about 3 sizes on paper and cut them out and see which one looks best before I commit. Usually around 4" but have some that look better a little wider and some a little smaller.
  24. Wildgoose

    I need help!!!

    What computer are you running on? Mac or Windows? Most who run the Sure Cuts a Lot do so as a way to run on mac. It's an option for both but not all that much awesome news comes from the SCAL program. Some on the forum have figured it out pretty good and make it sing but most of us go a different route. It was originally built on an existing platform for small craft cutters. Craft Edge does do some tech support too. If you bought direct from them they should offer some help.
  25. IMO go the SignCut route. ESPECIALLY if you are already an AI user. They have a plug-in and work great on the mac. Best part is they ALSO work on a pc so you can migrate between them if you need to. If you pay monthly you have 5 moves before they make you check in but if you buy the lifetime dongle you can load SignCut on all your computers and your neighbors your mother-in laws and cut from any one of them with the dongle. I am an AI guy and use the dongle on the original SignCut Pro1.