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Everything posted by Wildgoose

  1. Wildgoose

    clear or paper application tape

    I keep a roll of 10" clear med tack for a few craft ladies that have me cut them some decals and just HAVE to have clear tape so they can see better when applying. For myself I use paper 100% of the time. Mostly high or high tack R-Tape 4075RLA or higher tack 4076RLA
  2. Wildgoose

    Mac USB 3.1 Type "C" ports

    My wife has a MacBook Pro. Have not tried cutting with it but do you have the dock that plugs in and gives you regular USB and HDMI ports? For the MBPro it utilizes two of the C style ports on either side. It may make the difference
  3. Wildgoose

    Need help to cut this image

    There are tools to manually trace things like this. Even converted to a cleaner image it will be hard for the computer to decipher this as spot on as you can with your own eye.
  4. Wildgoose

    Small text help needed

    Using 651 is not helping you. That is a great vinyl but it a Calendared process and it is a but stiff to cut. If you are going to the extremes in size I recommend going to the extreme in vinyl. Get your self a fresh piece of 951 at the top of the food chain. I would also recommend a 60deg Clean Cut Blade and run through all the proper setup procedures again with the new blade. (going to this blade you will want to lower your cut force by about half and ease back into it or you will push right through the carrier into the cutting strip and may break a tip off. The high end blades are really sharp but the tips can be a little more brittle. I don't know your experience level but getting the depth set correctly (search blade depth on the forum) is the single most often mistake by people, some who have been cutting for years with too much sticking out of the blade holder. There are several notes that say 1/2 of a credit card that are WRONG WRONG WRONG. In order to cut that small you will need to have your machine dialed in absolutely perfect. Another tip that may help you is to apply design partially weeded, leaving in all the trouble parts and weed them after you get it on whatever you're putting it on. This bypasses the whole issue of whether the vinyl has enough sticky to hold to the carrier sheet and lets the adhesive get hold of a solid object and you can still pluck the events out after the fact.
  5. Wildgoose

    Mac USB 3.1 Type "C" ports

    You are going to want to request a tech from SignCut. You will send in a request and they will contact you pretty quick. They are one of the few who have live tech support and they are great people.
  6. Wildgoose

    illustrator to SCAL issue

    IF heading to a cutter you will need to learn how to make your designs without stroke. Illustrator is very robust and there are other ways of getting from point A to point B. Rather than using stroke and trying to then convert it to an object use the path offset tool to achieve the same look. The complication with converting a stroke is that when you do so Illustrator in AI you are typically going through the Expand Appearance option in the Object menu and when AI goes about this is will create a new fill for the inside or original object that sits half way in the middle of the expanded stroke. This can be used as a neat tool to create perfectly layered outlines for letters and objects in Heat Transfer Vinyl and I do this quite often but otherwise can create a problem for other work. Instead of using stroke, use the path offset for the same value you would use stroke. It will work best if you make sure your live text is converted to objects and I usually go a second step and make the selected text a Compound Path and by doing that it will automatically weld all the Offset Paths together rather than having to do that manually. AI looks at Compound Paths a one path or object rather than a group of objects and that is why that happens. The other complication in working with paths is that an offset path will naturally fall behind the original object if it is a positive offset and in front of an object if it's a negative offset. The offset will then become a solid object behind there. If you do not want it to be solid and instead are looking for the outline mentioned earlier then you'll want to use the stroke and Expand it and know that it will go on top in the build process. In AI Clipping Paths and Stokes and Gradients are only useful for printed or web published work. When working with a vinyl cutter learn to avoid these options. Also beware of using the Merge option in the Pathfinder Menu, instead use Unite. Merge will usually create a whole bunch of unfilled objects in any open hole within a Compound Path and your cutter may make a second pass on each of these if you are not very careful to de-select them in the cutting program when using cut-by-color. This all probably sounds more complicated than it actually is but hopefully helps you out.
  7. Dumb question but why the laminate on cut vinyl? If I were doing your project I would apply the top layer (of two) to a solid sheet base and then laminate it and cut out the outline and weed. If your cutter has an optical eye you can cut and apply the registration marks in the upper layer and they will get transferred onto the full sheet lower layer when you apply them. We just don't see a lot of call for laminate on basic cut vinyl since it holds up great to UV if it's Cast vinyl.
  8. If the Cutting Master program works good for you stick with it because it's free. If you find yourself in need of something else I run Adobe with SignCut Pro on my mac. I don't run the Graphtec so can't utilize the Cutting Master plug in. I don't see any reason you should need the other option but wanted to include it as an option. USCutter used to provide a years subscription to SignCut Pro with new cutters but something changed and they stopped. In my opinion it is by far the best cutting utility for Mac for multi brand cutters but costs money. If you are comfy with AI and already paying that subscription then that's the best design tool for mac as well. That parts not just my opinion but pretty a well established fact. AI is a royal PIA to learn but once mastered capable of anything a cutter would do.
  9. Very true. Your typical hat press works great for these curved things too.
  10. Wildgoose

    Large cuts are out of alignment

    You have something else going on also. Probably a white colored object in there messing with things. In some cases your cutter will make additional passes. The chunk taken out of the smaller line shown in this screenshot should not be happening. Check your file or cut by color (or perhaps you have not divided the two parts of the red) something not right because it's not the same as the other one.
  11. Wildgoose

    Tracing shape by hand and transferring

    Limited to using top of the line Adobe Illustrator and SignCut Pro, ha ha!
  12. Wildgoose

    Tracing shape by hand and transferring

    Scan your cut out paper and you can then trace your shape in most vector programs (best done by hand in manual mode). You might want to measure the length of same easy to check part so you make sure to get the scale just right. My home scanner scans exactly to scale which may be a miracle but it works out good for me.
  13. Wildgoose

    Question on copyright infringment

    If your svg files come with a license then you at least have a layer of protection in case something goes awry and other than potentially having to stop selling something you have a bunch of inventory of you will just get a C&D letter and be forced to stop until it's decided in court (court assuming you want to keep going). I have bought several designs when I didn't have time to make them myself and I just adhere to the license that came with them. If this guy contacted YOU and has demanded you cease and desist you probably better listen unless you want to be sued. They DO have to sue you though but they will likely win if you unlawfully obtained the design or were "inspired by" their work which is part of the wordage and if they have more money than you do to pay attorneys. I have a really sweet spoof design on Harley logo that says Hardly instead of Harley and I was going to market it. Before I did so I decided to contact HD to be sure I didn't get myself into a pinch knowing that they aggressively prosecute. They told me to pound sand and see you in court in no uncertain terms. I have a very good friend who is an attorney who said I could definitely claim Fair Use because it's absolutely the exact scenario that Fair Use was created for and that I would definitely have a good case based on that. The Point he was making was that I would be in court over it fighting with a multi million dollar company so was it worth the risk and could I pay for attorneys and courts for the next 5 years? How many decals or tee shirts could I foresee selling? Yea, no thanks, I'll keep my house. I dropped it. Had one copy I had originally made for a Yamaha rat rod I had built that I left on the fender (it had gotten a lot of comments and snickers by HD owners). That was the end of that idea and with it my claim to fame.
  14. I use a "Big Squeegee -Cut vinyl tool" but just a 24" model. They take a little bit of practice but once mastered they really make taping off a large job simple. They are a bit expensive and if I had had one to copy I probably could have built one myself. Bottom line is I don't know how i would get by without one with larger signage. I don't do a lot of big stuff anymore but still use it occasionally even on a long run of smaller logos. The trick is to waste at least 6"-8" at the start and be sure it is laying down smooth and then I use a clear 24" craft ruler to alight the vinyl roll with the direction the tape is going (sometimes you end up going slightly crooked and you can catch this before you get a messed up project this way) Then I usually let the roll of tape sit on the vinyl and just push it along and the roll spins backward and keeps control of the vinyl while the tape comes off behind it under the squeegee. Some designs have really small details and if I am worried about catching one of those I slide the roll up into the rounded holder or use my off hand to slightly lift the roll up when going over those parts. Takes a little practice but I almost never had an issue now. I have done signage over 14 ft long without any issue. There are videos out there that will help you visualize what I am talking about. I looked at the larger Big Squeegee I think its 48" and has a push pole. I would probably cut that down with a miter saw to around 32" in your case so you could still manage it one handed. The push poles look a little suspect IMO. Good luck, there are other options like the ones that hold the roll up off the table on the far end but I have tried a home made version and the static cling always caused me a lot of issues.
  15. Wildgoose

    pounds of air pressure to etch glass

    I can only give you what works for me. I use some 100 grit crushed porcelain (because using sand is dangerous! unless it's garnet sand it creates silica dust and is just about as dangerous as asbestos for real so be careful). You can use several other products to blast as well. The porcelain started out at 100 grit and is probably half that now but still works great. I only blast glass at about 35 psi. You will want an air dryer/moisture catch and pressure regulator in line. You can get them cheap at harbor freight.
  16. Wildgoose

    Help! I can not find a fix for this problem

    I would also say revisit your exposed blade length, many people gloss over that one because it doesn't SEEM like it could be the problem. Practically EVERY new owner does this incorrectly and it can cause these sort of issues. Remove the entire blade holder and drag it across a scrap with some pressure (not too much but "some") and be certain that you can't cut all the way through the backing. You SHOULD still see just a little bit of clear space when cutting (while cutting look at the work in process down at eye level and be sure you can still see a little gap from the blade holder to the vinyl). The combination of not being able to cut all the way through and yet not quite touching the vinyl surface with the blade holder is the perfect sweet spot. If you aren't there, get there.
  17. If you are sticking with free shipping how about offering faster shipping for an up-charge and build some profits into that fee? If they go free it will be slow but for XX amount it can get shipped at a higher rate. I would include some sort of clarifier that lets them know at least subliminal that it will speed up the overall process as well. Something like.... "usually ships in 2-3 business days and then in the expedited shipping offering shown that you will ship in 1 to 2 days as part of the up-charge. You'll have to be careful how you write it so it looks like you are going out of your normal day to day process to get it out sooner so you don't piss off the slow boat people. Some just want free shipping and couldn't care less about how long it takes but most people would prefer to get it sooner and so are often willing to ship in an extra $10 or something to get it there.
  18. Ron, I know this was not the main point of your question but along the same lines if you have ANY input in the designs that you are working on try to steer them to things you can actually build easy. For instance you may design some gnarly American flag skull that looks totally awesome until you actually try to produce it for the client on a sign or tee short. Whoops... I try real hard to show options that can be done with simple 1, 2 or 3 color work. If my clients ask about the more complicated stuff I will go there but I always give them the run-down that if it's got shadows and gradients and all the bells and whistles then it will be printed work and will ALWAYS be printed work costing them much more in the long run. Practically all the truly big names in any industry have a fairly simple logo. Striking and unforgettable for long term brand recognition yes, but usually not complicated. Years later when they have a lot of money they can use that base concept and expand on it if they feel the need for a face lift. An example in my area is a lawn company that has a sweet looking vehicle wrap with grass growing up along the bottom of the car and a picture of an actual lawn mower doing it's thing. It's really a work of art. Try putting that on a tee shirt. So when they DO decide to do a tee shirt what do they do now? Come up with something else entirely? And how does that new look coincide and support the vehicle and the "Brand" they have been busy trying to establish? You won't win all the arguments (and don't argue with your client but you know that) but you can really help yourself out sometimes. Even simple things like showing a flag that the stars are each out in the open and the weed just peels off them vs one that the stars all sit in a rectangle and have to be individually plucked out costing you a lot more labor. I never even show them the solid one so it doesn't get in their head. If they pull out a screen shot off the internet and want something similar I at least TRY to get them to go the simpler way but you can't always get what you want or so the song goes.
  19. You really don't want to cut ALL the way to the edge anyway. If the blade drops off the edge of the vinyl as could happen if it tracks off any at all which it will you could have all kinds of bad things happen. If you need to cut wider you better go for the next step machine that can handle 30" material and then you will have plenty of room.
  20. Wildgoose

    Best Third-Party Software for USCutter... Easy Cut Studio

    And the pure theater of the moment is the only reason you're not already banned as a spammer.
  21. On your comment about the price. I generally try to get the "perceived" value out of the job. I hate to admit this but when I started I called a few places and asked for phone quotes of basic pricing including installs to get a feel for what my local area is getting for their products. Bearing in mind that I do not have a brick and mortar and therefore way less overhead I can make nice margins and am respectful of the market in the area so as not to end up like the soccer moms on their Cricut machines practically giving away products. If I don't have anything to do and am hungry I may drop down and do a cheap job here and there but as soon as you do one too cheap then they will expect that forever so you need to sell it with some sort of caveat that you had some left over vinyl or they are getting a first time customer discount etc... so you don't set yourself up to be working too cheap. If I do a log or a design for free I keep the design and own it even if it's their logo. If they want the fruits of my previously free labor (having done it free for a shirt order for instance) they have to pay me to get it. When I do artwork for sale, even if it's strictly a logo build with no product at all, I always make up an agreement with joint copyright so the client owns it from his payment and I own it for my efforts and the ideas that came from my mind. I may use it for advertisement or some elements out of it in some other design etc... I don't do those very often but have done 3 or 4 over the years where someone wanted a logo for their new business or a new logo for their old business. My typical charge is $300 and I explain that it's for approximately 6 hours of computer and consultation time and a thumb drive with their logo(s) when complete. The first one I did not make that clear and they had me doing mock ups for about a week straight so I learned my lesson and now when I get to the point that I am tired of them changing their minds I let them know they reached the limit and will now start paying extra. It helps motivate them to decide. I'm fairly fast with AI but you can still rack up hours very quickly if not careful. This may be bad but I also make sure to leave plenty of time between changes even if small so that they don't actually realize how easy it may or may not have been to adjust. This falls into that "perceived" value thing. One guy had a logo that ended up really simple and it didn't take very long so when it was all said and done I cut the price in half but it was after I was all done and knew what I had into it. He is now a client who buys shirts and hats etc.... That happens a lot. Treat people fair and they come back.
  22. SignCut is great for macs. Not free but great. It’s what I use. The original version Pro 1 does no design. Only a cutting interface so I design in AI some people use Inkscape. I think the new version Pro 2 has some design but not sure to what extent.
  23. Wildgoose


    Sounds like your machine has a problem not the program. Here is a similar issue with a different cutter brand:
  24. I actually usually charge about $35 for a basic window about that size plus an up-charge for the second color of about $6/SF but my area prices are really low. That is actually one of th reasons I have switched to mostly apparel, better margins because you not only get the design, vinyl and labor you also get the MU on the shirts. If you have extensive design then you better charge for it. Design is my strong suit so usually something I offer as no charge if they are buying product (and not too many revisions). Some txt in a box is 10 minutes design at best.
  25. That doesn't sound out of line. If they baulk at the price or ask about it just tell them you have a $50 minimum charge for any install. If I am there doing other work like several windows or a sign plus the door or window I usually give them a break but you should always allow for the potential screw up you'll have once in a while where you have to do it twice.