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Everything posted by Wildgoose

  1. Wildgoose

    Hi all, new here

    I have found the market for custom shirts to be far more robust than for cut vinyl graphics. It requires a heat press as well as a cutter but I do 95% apparel but started out 95% signage. I concur with Skeeter. Avoid the MH. Any of the other options will get you passable results but if you are trying to do large graphics like a trailer you will struggle much more with the budget models. If you had several years experience you could probably make do with a low budget machine but being new you will have a larger learning curve and a lot of the issues of the cheaper machines come into play as soon as you go really big or really small. Budget cutters will do fair work up to about 3ft long and avoid lettering smaller than an inch. Experienced users who know how to "tune" their cutters to the best possible precision can do more and one good reason to get a budget is that you may end up learning more from having to do this. Or you'll just get frustrated and quit altogether. We see both happen. Depends on your ability to grasp technical things and willingness to put in the time to learn. It's not rocket science as they say but cutting a 15ft long graphic on a bottom dollar cutter comes pretty close. Now when you jump to a solid name brand servo machine like the Graphtec, Summa or Roland you just don'e have that battle anymore. Again, I sort of think owning a cheaper cutter can make you a better cutter operator in the long run but it is a long journey. On top of the cutter itself there is also the file building side as well as application all of which come together for a nice final product.
  2. I am an Illustrator guy all the way. I use a mac and the best mac option I have found is SignCut Pro1. (it actually works on mac or pc from the same dongle which is handy) There is a newer version Pro 2 out as well. I run the original because I just need a cutter interface and Pro 1 is perfect for that. I think all of the offered cutting utilities that come with the cutters will cut your designs in one form or another. I use .ai version 8 which is SignCut's favorite and works the best for me. You may want to do a little experimenting on which version and what file format will have the smoothest workflow with whatever cutting program you end up with. Should be either .ai, .eps or .svg for most of the programs out there. I do a lot of HTV vinyl and it's all mirrored so when I save to the legacy format I mirror those ahead of time so I don't forget to when it's time to cut.
  3. Set it on the test option and push the button twice and I think it will cut a test box. Been several years since I had mine so I can't remember exactly. That should give you an indicator that the cutter actually works. Your baud rate settings will be in the cutting software and should be 9600. I don't know my way around Signblazer so can't help you on that end. If you continue to get stuck try the free trial of SignCut Pro and they have free live tech support and you can at least get the cutter running and then decide what you want to do from that point.
  4. Wildgoose

    JUNK MH871-MK2

    The most common problem I think I see is people buying a new cutter for the first time is that they don't read the users forum to see what actual users report. Yours will go in a long list that most of the newbies seem to ignore or don't find until they already own one. Speaking to future buyers: If you want to get into cutting buy a little better than the very cheapest. That said there are several on the forum who have made them MH perform but it takes more effort and the results are less awesome. A step or two up is all it takes and the cost increase is negligible.
  5. Wildgoose

    need help cutting vinyl decals by hand

    I am right where Scarecrow is. Using (or owning) an actual cutter is only part of the spectrum and there are plenty of other parts of the puzzle to begin learning while you save some pennies to buy a cutter. I have seen one or two hand cut graphics done that were passable in a grade school atmosphere. You will never reach a point that you can sell those hand cut to earn the price of a cutter. You wouldn't want to anyway because your future clientele aren't going to be impressed with the hand work when the little old lady down the street with a circut can work circles around you. (DON"T BUY A CRICUT save more and get a real cutter) Years of practice by hand would be inferior to even the most bottom line of cutters. Sell some lemonade or mow lawns for some cash and buy a cutter. In the meantime learn a program that you will need to be proficient in when that time comes anyway. I CAN emphatically say that if you desire to cut vinyl and are willing to learn the "ropes" (meaning the vector graphics and then the cutter use and then the application techniques) you will have the time of your life. It's "freakin' awesome dude" to quote the vernacular.
  6. Wildgoose

    Just Some Recent Work

    I don't think we would ban you for showing pics of your work. That's not actually breaking the forum rules. Posting protected files would. Posting pics is just dumb if you are breaking the law sort of like dumb criminals who post pics on FB of their antics and get caught by the ever present search engines.
  7. Wildgoose

    Blades that last longer than Clean Cut?

    CC Blades are a proven performer. If you are having failures with them then you can correctly assume user error. Most of us that run high quality blades get at LEAST 6 months out of them unless we do something dumb. I change them out if I even begin to sense that there is some dullness happening and I save those used blades for cutting paper or glitter.
  8. Like you have some details inside and you want a box around the whole thing? I draw a box around the whole thing.
  9. Wildgoose

    F&M Expressions Question

    The other thing to consider is having a tried and true process that hold up. I was a bit skeptical at first but I use them often and they have a good lifespan. If you were going to do your own then you would screen right onto the shirt rather than mess with a transfer sheet. I haven't seen their production facility but it's obvious that they have a serious industrial sized program and can crank out large orders in no time.
  10. Wildgoose

    Cleancut Tool setting

    For the record and to avoid future confusion to other web searches, I believe Graphtec are the only cutters that run zero blade offset. Every other cutter I have ever heard of you would use the 0.45mm number to allow the cutter to know where center of blade is in relation to the actual tip which trails behind in a castor wheel fashion like the front wheels on a shopping cart.
  11. A drop of oil in your blade holder could help too and eventually try out some higher end blades. The cheap blades don't cut nearly as well as good quality.
  12. You probably already did this but try seeing if there is any slop in the grit rollers. Hold one and wiggle another and see if you notice any movement. I would check through your setting again. Your blade offset looks pretty good in the test cut (corners). Typically if your cutter needs over-cut added it shouldn't need much more than the blade offset value. Most cutters don't need it. Your cuts do definitely look like they are not lining up from the start to the end. I agree with Skeeter on the pinch rollers. For normal cutting I don't think you need all the rollers involved. Potential off-tracking from one being out of whack could be a factor. Don't mess with the pressure of those things either, we see a lot of people have issues and then find out they were cranking on them trying (in vain) to adjust their tracking. I would run a piece of vinyl though without cutting just manually run a good length like 4ft and then back a couple of times and see if it stays true. A lot of the Chinese cutters suffer from off tracking but I think the Titan 3 is getting up where this should be less likely.
  13. Well, to get you going why don't you go to SignCut and do the free trial. They offer live tech help ( live chat and of that doesn't get it done they will call or remote you), the program runs on windows or mac (yes both). I run the older SignCut Pro 1 which is just a cutting utility and I design on AI. SC will run with Inkscape or Corel too. They have a new version out that I have not tried out but I believe it had some design tools too. Can't vouch for version 2 but as a cutting utility (cutter interface) Pro 1 is fantastic and trouble free. You will probably still end up with a different program but you will have something to compare with and should be able to get up and running in the meantime.
  14. I pretty much only use paper tape and unless it's a really large simple graphic I go as high tack as I can find. R-tape 4076 is my fav.
  15. Wildgoose

    White Aluminum signs

    Pretty good stuff to work with. If I don't need flexibility I use an off brand called e-panel that is cheaper.
  16. Wildgoose

    Won't stick to painted walls?

    I pretty much quit installing on walls for this very reason. Even when the paint isn't a problem the walls are usually dusty and problematic. I think I've had worse luck when trying to clean them with anything other than a dry microfiber towel. My prices went to high due to actual time spent that the clients were getting upset thinking I was gouging them. After I stopped installing and they did a couple on their own they actually commented that they would be willing to pay the higher price but I still begged off. LOL
  17. Wildgoose

    Cutter size wont change on Signcut Pro2

    Ditto I use SigCut Pro 1 myself. Go to the Website and request support. Last time I needed some help you had to request it through the web but then they will respond in person.
  18. No online. I mostly do apparel these days with an occasional vehicle graphic. I have a full time day job managing a construction company which keeps my daytime hours full so the vehicle and sign work doesn't fit very well where apparel you can work on at all hours. My wife does a lot of the actual shirt builds during the day while I'm off slaying dragons, she's an awesome partner who has grown comfortable with working the heat press and embroidery machine. My biggest clients are in the construction industry and are people I have known for years and years. When I first bought my equipment I happened to come into one of the stores that I do a lot of construction business with and they were looking over a t-shirt that they had built and weren't happy with the quality of the work. I told them I do that sort of thing on the side so I snapped a pic of the design and went home and rebuilt one with HTV and dropped it off the next day. Instant client. Word spread and soon I was doing a whole host of construction hoodies and safety green/orange work apparel. I also have several daughters heavily into club volleyball and that side of things is also big business a couple times a year building uniforms. Softball too.
  19. Wildgoose

    Not for sale

    Love it!
  20. I'm with all the previous posts. We usually recommend to buy the best you can afford but the water gets a little murky in the middle. There is the super budget MH which is truly for the very timid and also one that is the hardest to make work well. The next few steps up are pretty similar until you start into the servo motors and then there is another jump up to higher quality. I think those who have the servo titans have good luck and the new SC seems to do pretty well for itself as a stepper. I started with a Creation P-Cut which they no longer offer but was at the time a small step above the SC. Probably below the new SC2 would be my guess. I ran it for a couple years and got by. Learned a lot of valuable lessons that you won't learn with a higher end because they just work without a bunch of adjustment. I saved up and finally dropped a few thousand on my current cutter and wow what a difference. If you buy a cutter and take the time to learn the whole gambit you will definitely earn a return if you are even remotely savvy. The whole gambit includes graphic work, using your cutter, application, and most likely other offshoot branches such as heat transfer vinyl (t-shirts). For me this started out as a new hobby and POTENTIAL revenue stream. 7 years later we did 80K gross income in our dining room in the evenings and weekends. Even if I ever get tired of it being WORK I will never be without a vinyl cutter again in my life (if I have any choice in the matter.) WAY TOO MUCH FUN and the absolute first hobby I have ever had that actually MAKES money instead of costing. I still do lots of freebie funs stuff for friends and family which is why I bought the stuff in the first place.
  21. Wildgoose

    Summa D60/U Cutter

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say probably not. The SCALP platform is one that was derived from an original program that worked with the little cricut cutters and was upscaled to break into the full sized market. I run a newer summa on SignCut Pro1 without problems and I know for a fact they have drivers for the D60. Not sure about sign blazer or other programs.
  22. Wildgoose

    HTV Vinyl for EZUP

    Is it polyester or nylon? I use Siser easyweed or easyweed stretch on polyester and Siser Easyweed Extra on nylon.
  23. Post a screen shot of the text after you have converted it to outlines (in wire frame mode)
  24. Both speed and pressure sound high to me but every cutter is different. I don't think speed or pressure would contribute to the problem you are fighting. To fix your blade offset make a small square like a half inch and cut it several times while making adjustments to the blade offset. Most offsets are somewhere around 0.35mm. You might go to SignCut Pro and do the free trial. They have live tech support and can get you running. I tried out winpcsign years ago and was not that impressed.