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Everything posted by Wildgoose

  1. Wildgoose

    Plotter/Cutter Type

    Seems like 80% - 90% of the new people on the forum bought the MH series cutter they practically give away for the shipping cost so you have a better cutter than 80 - 90% of the new people on the forum!
  2. I have not but have seen some of that type data a time or two. Our software is Agtek 4D (used to be 3D but like everything there is always an upgrade). It's pretty expensive at around 14K per license, we run 2. And there is tech support for about $1200-1500 per year annually. Definitely not for small outfits that aren't in the big game but it gives us unparalleled take-off accuracy and we build all our own 3D surface models in house for the GPS machine control and handheld rover units out on the jobs. I get a kick out of it because it's so much like digital work. Perhaps I should say I get a kick out of Vector design since it's so much like surface modeling. I just wish the Agtek program had all the bells and whistles that Illustrator has. There are several other big name takeoff programs out there as well. Agtek seems to be the contractors choice at least out here in the west. Some are more CAD based and harder to use IMO. Agtek is simple enough even a caveman can do it.
  3. Ha! I have been training a new guy, well really and old guy that we pulled into the office, to do computer take-offs for estimating road work. The program we use is sort of similar to vector and you input the elevations at appropriate points as you go and end up with a 3D surface model of the terrain to compare against the original grades that are input in another section. He uses a trackball and by golly you are correct I absolutely detest trying to use his computer when trying to show him something. Nevertheless I have tried to leave his be and use it just for the experience. But I am always glad when I go back to my own workstation and to my basic mouse again. Funny how you get accustomed to something.
  4. I attempted to use a Wilcom tablet with Adobe Illustrator one year. It wasn't exactly cheap but it would work. I found, strangely, that I have no natural drawing ability so the whole thing was not going to work for me. Luckily I wrapped it back up and took it back and got my money back. One problem I had was it was not a drawing tablet that showed the design on the tablet so you had to watch the computer and draw over here with your hand. Not handy for me. It also made me try and learn a while bunch of new methods to draw in Illustrator which is already a two handed affair so it didn't work in that end. My niece has a little tiny 5" pad that she uses with her mac. It is probably too small to utilize but it was at least inexpensive.
  5. Wildgoose

    Im new . like today new . i need an adult .

    Explain the problem you are having with the pen tool. What model of cutter did you get and what software are you using with it? Some use a felt tip pen others use a ball point. Typically the down force is adjusted to put the correct force so it writes but doesn't smash the tip. The offset will go to zero because pens are centered without the castor action of a drag knife blade. All good practice things to learn how to do and congratulations on entering the fray and also on taking a little time to learn your machine before you break a tip or worse by trying to cut without knowing your machine.
  6. Wildgoose

    New into the print world.. where to start?

    That's awesome man!
  7. Wildgoose

    New into the print world.. where to start?

    I have mulled over the Summa thermals for several years especially since I already run a Summa cutter and am familiar with the quality of their machines. I still may go that route one of these days. I hear from what I have read that they made some changes in the DC5 models that helped eliminate banding issues that sometimes happened in the older models. If you are doing multiple small decal type work I bet there are far less worries with that issue regardless of the model. I never quite got up the nerve to pull the trigger. I DID however pull the trigger on an old Gerber Edge printer and Envision plotter from Jburns here on the forum. I was out in his neck of the woods last year picking up a walking foot sewing machine that he was good enough to collect at an auction and hold for me until I could make the trip. Very similar concept to the DC it is thermal and uses Gerber take on the foils. I am still messing around with it and learning but it's pretty fun. I like that it can just sit there when I have nothing to print without worrying about print head clogs and ink. If the Summa is anything like the Gerber you definitely get a lot better color and brightness when working with spot colors than with process colors. The Gerber likes to use their software which I don't have but I have managed to get good workflow using Flexi. The long term decision on how that all shakes out is yet to be determined and am renting the use for now while I explore the whole process. I may just build in the cost to the work and shut it off in dead months or something. The only thing that ever bothered me about the DC is that the material width is evidently not negotiable or better put has just a few optional widths not infinite widths like the plotters have. You either print on 20" 24" or 30" on the DC5sx 30" machine. I'm sure there is a reason somewhere in there why you can't even go down to 15" material but that was a big debbie downer for me. The plotter part is basically the same drag knife that I run but without the ability to just use it as a plotter on it's own. At least on anything other than 24" or 30" material, Not even sure that the control center lets it just run as a plotter. I have never gotten the change to get close enough to play with one. Pretty much a purpose built machine. Good at what it does but sort of narrow in it's realm.
  8. I always seem to have issues with the scale on DXF imports and exports. Not enough of a guru to know why. My experience with DXF is they seem to like to have Splines rather than lines and curves. Not always the case of course but a common thing I have ran into. I try to avoid that format whenever possible and stick to working in a standard .ai, .eps, .svg or even PDF whenever possible.
  9. Wildgoose

    Need Help :/

    SIgnCut has it's own drivers built into the program. I'm not tech enough to know how all that works but I do know that they have the pull down menus that you just select your cutter and away you go. That may not be the case with Sure Cuts.
  10. Wildgoose

    What type of HTV is this???

    Agree with Dakota. That's a half tone type area that they screened a dot matrix to get that look.
  11. Wildgoose

    Industrial decals

    I think those guys have their own little supply chain for products and whatever ink or foils they use. USCutter doesn't sell anything like that as far as I know. I looked into them long ago when I was investigating thermal printers. Full sized printers are really expensive but those little label makers are under a grand. That sounds like a lot, and it is but in the printer world that's like pocket change.
  12. Wildgoose

    Industrial decals

    Labeltac has a small size label maker that is probably what you need for this application.
  13. Wildgoose

    Font Type "Formal Script"

    The closest free font will probably be: OPTIOndine Five Regular
  14. So to be sure we understand. You open the cut window and the vinyl looks like it's the wrong orientation from that pictured. You click the rotate checkbox so that the view looks like what you actually want it to do but it cuts opposite from the view in the window. But if you do not check the rotate box it still cuts opposite from the view but is the way you really wanted it to but the view is incorrect. Have you cut a small test file with the rotate box checked and unchecked to see if anything happens. It's weird that it looks one way but cuts another.
  15. Wildgoose

    Need your assistance , Sure Cuts Alot 3 Pro

    Are you cutting on multiple machines from the same software?
  16. One in every crowd... slice you crack me up sometimes Gary there will be an option to rotate the feed somewhere within whatever program you are using.
  17. Wildgoose

    Import image but I can't cut it

    Glad you got it up and running. Great advice for other newbies too... it takes some patience and diligence at first. You will have a great time with t-shirts. Just remember to mirror your work because you are actually cutting on the adhesive side of the vinyl. I have gotten in the habit of saving my files reversed so I don't forget to do it.
  18. Wildgoose

    Import image but I can't cut it

    Your Basic version of VM is going to be limited in what it will let you do would be my guess. The upper levels of the program have more of the good stuff I'm afraid. That's pretty common with most design programs. The Inkscape option is a good starting point due to the zero cost. I don't like it much but that's partly because my brain is wired for Illustrator which from what I understand is sort of like learning a reverse polish calculator. I CAN tell you the trace engine in Inkscape does a pretty good job once you learn how to use it. Like haumana said, when making text always find the font and type it natively within whatever program you are using. There is basically no program that will effectively auto trace text and have it look good. I don't auto trace much of anything including complex designs just because they never come out clean enough for my OCD tendencies and I want my stuff to look crisp and clean. You are on the learning end of things so you'll struggle some at the first but it will come easier as you keep practicing and gaining experience.
  19. Wildgoose

    Import image but I can't cut it

    If you DO have Illustrator in your program line-up I have posted a tutorial in the Adobe Illustrator section of the forum that has some helpful set-up information that may make life a little easier for you too.
  20. Wildgoose

    siser recommendations needed

    I agree with darcshadow. 15" seems to be the most usable with the least waste. You can save most of your scraps and find uses for them too. Unlike sign vinyl you don't need a mask on regular HTV so if you use a weeding box so you can see where the edge of the current job came to you can cut off and save any excess if it's still a wide enough piece to load into your cutter. I usually save anything that is at least 2" wide and find times to use them for names and other small add on's often. Some times due to availability or brand I have had to get 20" wide and usually seem to waste more at that width. 12" is a bit lacking or you have to turn the graphic sideways and then end up with waste that is just a bit too skinny to be usable as scraps or you have 20 feet of 2" stuff etc.... HTV ain't cheap so every bit you can conserve is good. Don't forget to mirror your design!
  21. Wildgoose

    Tunneling when rolling up vinyl!

    HT55 is specifically designed for mat finish vinyl. I talked to the manufacturer about what makes it different. They told me it has extra adhesive that allows some to sink down into the mat finish better than regular paper app tape and that's why it works a little better than some other options on mat finish vinyl. I have a roll and it seems ok. Nothing works great on mat finish even the HT55 struggles to do what I would consider a GREAT job but I think it's the nature of mat vinyl. I use Rtape 4076 most of the time which is one sticky step above the 4075. Either of those are a great choice for cut vinyl. The biggest problem I have is you have such a large roll of tape that keeping them from drying out before you use them up can be an issue. THat's what happened to my HT55 I tried to save it for only mat finish but I rarely do mat and it started to dry out so I used it up for regular work. To be candid I don't do a lot of regular vinyl work so my stuff sits around too much. I do mostly HTV these days.
  22. Wildgoose

    Import image but I can't cut it

    You are using Photoshop CS5 do you have the whole suite including Adobe Illustrator? Illustrator is specifically a vector design program and your best option if you have it. I use CS5 myself but only use the Illustrator portion.
  23. Wildgoose

    Should I get a heat press?

    I used to do a little of everything. Now I do almost exclusively tee's and other garments. Not a lot of profit per piece but if you make 30-50% mark-up on the shirt itself and then make some money on the cut, weed and press you can make bank in the end especially when you get into large orders. When you DO start to get large orders that are becoming too time consuming to cut and weed or have too much coverage area to be practical with the cost of HTV you can switch to plastisol transfers like F&M. My order sizes have gotten so big that many of them have to be plastisol just due to the time it would take to prep all the vinyl. I use a rule of thumb of about 25 shirts but if the coverage area is large I go for plastisol with less than that sometimes. Takes a little longer to send off the design and wait for the transfers so if it's a rush then HTV wins the day. I suggest a swing style press if you have the space in your work area to allow it. They let you have the best experience in getting everything straight. The budget models of swingers are generally fair quality as far as even heat. Most budget presses will be off with temperature so be sure and check with an infrared heat gun to verify. The clam presses are usually cheaper but the really cheap ones do not have a center point load and will not allow the platen to adjust to thick garments properly. Get at least a 15"x 15" anything smaller is hard to get your placement right. Another cool aspect of this arena is if you DO screw one up you're usually only out about $3-$5 and some time to re-do. When ordering large orders I always bring in a couple extra of the predominant size in case I make a mistake. I build those extra shirts into the cost of the quote and keep them if I don't mess up.
  24. Wildgoose

    Heat press lock

    Any press typically have an over center lock that will hold it during the press. Sometimes they get worn and sloppy and won't hold well. Some brands have an electric auto open feature but they are usually higher end machines. I am not familiar with that brand you ave but I would try adjusting the pressure a little and see if it's just not set right.
  25. Wildgoose

    ISO Distressed Flag

    When it comes to this kind of stuff I have found that if I didn't have the skills or more likely the time to build my own I have good luck finding a sales deal at one of the vector sites. There are some freebies out there but they usually hold the good stuff back for a price. The only ones I have in my collection are ones I have paid for and therefor can't share due to copyright restrictions.