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Everything posted by Wildgoose

  1. Wildgoose

    Need Help to find correct Font on this Boat

    Dakota is killin' it today.
  2. That's an interesting question. When I had my P-Cut budget cutter it said to never leave the rollers up. When I got my High end cutter it said to never leave the rollers down. LOL. I just do what the cutter manual says. The reason the cheap cutter said to always lower them was to keep from compressing the springs for long periods and weakening them. The reason the high end machine says leave them up is because it will create flat spots on the pinch rollers and lead to tracking inaccuracy. Maybe the higher end machine has better quality springs, I have never had to replace the pinch rollers and I've now had this thing for 6 years. I try to keep my vinyl inside a plastic liner so I tend to remove it and store it. If it's some HTV that I am using pretty often I may leave it on the machine but not under the rollers. Each to his own.
  3. Wildgoose

    Need Help to find correct Font on this Boat

    Yeah neither of the pics are clear enough to get Find My Font to tell whats on there. The GP-17 looks like maybe Poster Bodini italic or similar. The other is anyones guess. You need a straight on pic in higher resolution to be able to let the program work well. Script fonts are more trouble because you need to be able to see where the letters meet and cut them apart so it can look for individual letters. Maybe get hold of the actually owners of that thing and see if they have something you can use for your replica.
  4. Wildgoose

    Can't Find Font

    tooler, thanks for your service to our country BTW. I don't know much but I DO have Find My Font and that program kicks butt. I know you're probably not able to get that in your situation there on base but if you could it is really a time saver. I am consistently surprised how many times I even use it to search my own fonts on some project I did two years back type thing. I snap a screen shot and search it in just seconds.
  5. Wildgoose

    Can't Find Font

    Mission Script Regular
  6. This little blurb is specifically to help out those who are struggling with AI specific to vinyl cutting type applications. It is by no means exhaustive or all inclusive but hopefully covers some basics for the frustrated newbie or old hat who is more used to printed graphics. I am anti-monthly payment so I still use version CS5. Some of these tips may be different within your own version although CS6 is almost identical. I use a mac and the quick key shortcuts are slightly different between mac and pc so I will refrain from listing them out. There are a LOT of handy quick keys that are worth remembering if you find yourself using a certain function often. AI is designed for a lot of keyboard to mouse interaction. Preferences Settings Here are a few simple changes that you can make that will probably help. In Illustrator Preferences you have several panels that rotate through. In the General panel change the Keyboard increments to 0.2px. and check the box beside Scale Strokes and Effects. UnCheck the Append [converted] Upon Opening Legacy Files. The 0.2 px will give you finer control, scaling strokes and effects will maintain your outline appearance etc and when you send cut files they are often older versions and you don't necessarily want them updated to a newer version every time you open them up because it will then save them as newer versions and cause you trouble. In the Selection panel be sure the Object Selection by Path Only is checked. This will make it so you don't accidentally select objects you didn't intend to. You simply click at the edge of the part your wanting to select. You may want to adjust your anchor points and handle preferences while your there and I have the Show handles when multiple anchors are selected as well. In the Units panel set General, Strokes and Type all to Points. Finally in the Appearance of Black panel I run On Screen to display all blacks accurately and Print/Export to output all blacks as Rich Black. This isn't so much for vinyl but is a good setting Another HUGE side note. AI is the only program I have found that can turn off the Bounding Box. Once you have your selection set to select by path. turn off the bounding box View>Hide Bounding Box and you won't have that annoying box around everything. Your selected object will be visible by the highlighted path. You can always click it back on if you want to use it to upsize or rotate something but I just use the Object>Scale or Object>Rotate to do those functions and rarely have the box showing. I don't know if anyone else dislikes the bounding box but it irritates me to no end and I appreciate being able to turn it off. Live Effects AI has a lot of what are termed Live Effects. These include Stroke and all the warp options etc... These are handy and in some cases necessary for design but you have to at some point expand them in order for the final art to match the cut paths. A simple trip to View>Outlines will show you want the cutter will see. As for strokes, I use no stroke when designing cut files with the exception of applications where I want to do multi-layered work and have the bottom layer overlapped by the outlines such as HTV outlines around lettering. When using strokes and expanding them it will leave the original object centered in the stroke area. The rest of the time I use Object>Path>Offset Path to create these. Text is basically the same thing but called Live Text until it is converted to outlines (which also needs to be done to cut it. Depending on the method used you may have to expand text and then expand the appearance if it is warped etc... Some workflows will do this in one step. Objects When working with multiple objects and performing functions such "welding" (to be discussed next) you will find that most operations perform better when the Group is changed into a Compound Path. A compound path is commonly known as something with a hole in it like a letter A but can also be a group of objects. Illustrator looks at Groups differently than single Objects. Changing a string of text for instance into a Compound Path by Object>Compound Path>Make will let AI consider the whole string of letters as ONE object which lets special functions perform properly. You may stumble across Compound Shapes as well which are similar to a live effect and need to be expanded. "Welding" Although not an Adobe term, welding is an easy to grasp description that is widely used in graphic discussions. AI has several forms of this function thus finds the term lacking. For basic welding/joining the usual choice for beginners is the Merge function from the Pathfinder menu. Unfortunately this tool will create issues for vinyl cutters. A better choice is the Unite tool. (I think some of the older versions may have a different name for this) Unite will weld various objects together usually without filling in any existing "holes" within compound paths. Merge appears the same and in some cases is the only option if Unite decides to mess something up. However, Merge will also leave unfilled objects inside all the "holes" of an object. Failure to notice these has caused a lot of cutters grief as the cutter will cut that object out as well as the main cut meaning a double cut often messing up the project. The unfilled object problem can also surface when using certain presets in the live trace feature. I set my presets to ignore white but older versions do not have this option. Should you have unfilled objects within a compound path there is a simple remedy. Select one of the unfilled objects, I prefer to find them in the little preview pics over in the Layers panel. Use the little button beside it to select it and then go to elect same button and elect all the objects with the same fill. This will select all within the document and you can just delete them. You will notice that nothing in the appearance changed thus affirming the need to remove them prior to cutting. (As an aside, many cutting programs have a Cut-by-Color options that can also separate these out if you forget to do so.) Live Trace Most newbies see the Live Trace feature when placing an object into the art board and expect it to work miracles. Well, it won't. IF you get a really clean black and white image you can sometimes get a passable result but those are rare. There are some who have fantastic PS skills and can clean up an image and turn it into a traceable design but it takes practice and skill. I usually just trace it out using the Pen tool. Slower but yields great results once you get familiar with the keyboard keys used in combination to the mouse. Another side note. The Pencil tool is probably the least known jewel in the toolbox. If you have something that isn't looking good. Select the object in question and then use the pencil tool to draw over the part of the object that is looking bad and it will append the line to match your pencil path and also apply the auto line smoothing to that area and can help clean up a bad spot in a live trace. I don't pretend to be an authority on the program but these techniques have helped me over the years and hopefully they will help you. I was originally going to post this in the Instructional Contribution area but decided it was better suited to the AI section. There are lots of other tips and tricks but these is the basics.
  7. Wildgoose

    Help with Scorching

    I don't do much sublimation but I tried it out for a while. You are always bumping up against the scorch limit to get the reaction to take place. Have you been covering the entire shirt with a cover sheet of some sort? That seemed to help me and also helped keep the ink from transferring out onto my upper platen when it reaches critical mass. I found that untreated white butcher paper was cheap and effective. I did some testing on some old polyester fabric and was surprised at the color variations you can get just from changing temp and/or time. (nothing to do with scorching but you might find you can run lower than 400 deg like Dakota suggested and avoid the scorch)
  8. Wildgoose

    Vinyl peeling, HELP!

    If you laundered it it is possible that 5 seconds was not enough. You sound like you have checked all the most common causes, temp, pressure and time and if you have had no issues with the same product on a different fabric then that only leaves moisture or some sort of softener issue. Some detergent has softeners in it and can leave residue on the cloth. My bet is that the cloth is holding more moisture than you think. The Gildan G185 is probably actually 18500 which is a 50/50 blend and is pre-shruck so you aren't gaining much by pre-washing. Press is again if it isn't completely ruined and sometimes it will stay down. I don't ever pre-wash anything but have successfully pressed on old clothing that has been through many wash cycles. If you happened to change rolls of vinyl it is possible you got a bad roll. Not very common but I once got a bad roll of white. That's the only bad roll I have ever gotten in the 8 years I have been doing this and I go through hundreds of yards a year.
  9. Wildgoose

    Can anyone help please

    Test your blade offset on a perfect square. We can't tell from the pics whether the text is supposed to be somewhat rounded or not. I think most of the rolland style blades are going to me more in the 0.35mm range. Your pics show some definitive off-tracking. Those multiple copies weeding boxes don't line up very well and they should be. That can be a result of a lot of things. One being too much blade exposure, poor traction on the pinch rollers (but I we recommend not adjusting them without severe care), too much pressure and too much speed or a combination of all or parts of the above.
  10. Wildgoose

    Hix and Frusion vs PowerPress and BetterSub

    I like to charge at least $1 and sometimes up to $3 per shirt for the press part of the process. It can pay off your press pretty quickly if you actually put it towards it that way. I started out with a cheaper swing press and it got me started and running for about 2.5yrs. If you get rolling and then happen to snag a big job you might be able to about pay for a lot or all of a higher end press in one project. The name brands you mentioned are solid workhorses. Just do some research and find the one that fits your situation. I found that I didn't know what I didn't know until I had some experience under my belt and the budget press did a good job getting me there. I would NOT want to go back after getting my Fusion but they are also very expensive and hard to justify without an in-place revenue stream. And freakishly heavy did I mention that? I think the GeoKnight swing press is heavy like that too. Most of the clams are a little lighter weight and you can set them on a caddy and get a little threadable action going on. I just don't like the platen over my hands and often am leaning over my work to align multiple layers.
  11. Wildgoose

    Starting Out With Vinyl Cutting

    Just to play devils advocate I too started out with a budget cutter like Haumana. Mine was a Creation P-Cut. It had all sorts of quirks and issues with static but was still able to produce fairly decent work if not in volume. The limitations of a budget model will be very small stuff and very large stuff. All your medium sized stuff (up to a couple feet maybe 36") can be done and especially single layer work. Multiple layers you will probably notice some inaccuracy if they have tight registration one with another. Starting out with a budget model will teach you things that you may never learn with a higher end machine. About the only cutter we consistently steer people to avoid is the MH. It's the door buster deal and for just a smidge more you can get into a better cutter. I also steer people away from the laser mounted one. It sounds like a great idea but is not practical and so I feel it's a sales gimmick as well. The SC2 seems to be the budget cutter sweet spot on the low end. I have not owned one but they get good reviews.
  12. Wildgoose

    need a different font

    There was similar question just a day or two back and it sounds like even the cut version has the outline tool. That's the problem with having a higher level, it's hard to know if that particular option is available.
  13. Wildgoose

    need a different font

    Vinyl Master 4 has an outline tool that will easily do exactly what you want.
  14. Wildgoose


    I think of two common errors. 1. Fully prepare the surface. An final alcohol wipe after a thorough cleaning is always a good idea to make sure there are no finger prints or other residue. Rubbing alcohol works fine. 2. Pulling the tape off properly. Start on one corner and pull up a little bit, fold it flat against itself so the non-sticky sides are touching and using the tackiness as traction for your fingers slide the folded over portion across or down. This will put the force of removal at a nearly flat angle to the vinyl so you're not lifting the installed vinyl up as bad.
  15. Not sure what features the Cut version has. It may not have the outline option. If not you'll have to upgrade or work from another vector software. Inkscape is free and can do what you are needing. VM Pro is really nice and easier to use than Inkscape IMO but the upgrade comes at a cost.
  16. Wildgoose


    If you can them to do the dirty work peeling that stuff and trying to clean the adhesive whether it's supposed to be water soluble I am skeptical. If it sucks to do they will probably decide to buy new ones sooner.
  17. Wildgoose

    Software help

    My trick is to actually save all my HTV cut files already mirrored so I have to remember to reverse them if I want to cut regular vinyl. It's much easier to catch that it's backwards writing than to remember that it needs to be backwards for shirt work.
  18. Wildgoose

    Stahls Cap Press

    Depends on your volume because the press is definitely expensive but I make fair money on each hat. If you can score a large order it will pay off really quick. One other thing I forgot to mention you will need is some of the heat press tape. The curved platen often makes it hard for the graphic to stay in place so I usually use a piece of the clear heat press tape to keep in line. Two color layered is the more common need here. If you do it right you can leave a tail and get hold of it to pull up the hot carrier without having to get your fingers on the hot surface so much. Its not a big deal, the heat, but if you are doing 100 of them you can find your finger tips a little tender.
  19. Wildgoose

    Stahls Cap Press

    I hate to be the only guy giving you advise but I have the Auto press and it's a dream. I had an old original version (still do as my back-up) and got a monster order so I decided to upgrade. The Maxx is built by Hotronix too so both are great quality and use the same interchangeable platens. I like the auto open although you have to be just a little careful when pre-pressing so it doesn't lock because it really gets hold and you have to work at it to override the magnetic hold. My only worry long term is whether the mag hold will be any kind of a breakdown problem. You can get parts even for my ancient one so not too worried. Having the pressure readout is far more awesome than the auto open part. One thing I suggest is buying the small lower platen for kids caps. That one fits almost everything and I use it almost exclusively. I have the regular one that comes with them but have only used it a couple times. I rarely do a design more than 2" tall and the small platen fits in low pro hats and doesn't cause as much of a pressure ridge at the crown. The larger platens require more stretching. You have to preheat then rub the face and smooth it down so the center seam doesn't bunch up and crease. Small platen is less work.
  20. Wildgoose

    cutting mylar

    You will want to hold your blade up beside the mylar to make sure it will be able to cut all the way through. In this instance you will want the bare minimum blade exposed to cut the 6 mils. I think you can cut upwards of 10 mil with a standard 45deg blade if that helps. I don't know whether a 60 is advantageous or not on something like mylar. The angle is steeper but the tip will be a little leaner. Not sure how that will do when turning corners in hard plastic. They make 30deg blades for cutting hard products like window tint, just makes me wonder which would be best between the standard blade and 60 deg.
  21. Wildgoose

    MacOS update issues

    Interesting. I guess I'm glad I'm not the only one. Ha ha that's not much of a positive note, misery loves company.
  22. Wildgoose

    MacOS update issues

    You might be getting into that no-mans land where the older programs start having issues. My iMac HD started to go so I had a local shop drop a new SSD in and we upgraded to 10.13 at that time. I am still fine with CS5 on it but if I scroll too fast down the list when in the font view mode it will cause a crash. I think its some hoopla related more to my FontAgent Pro than to AI but I'm not sure. I have just been a little more careful to save before I start messing with fonts and scroll a little slower. If I am not in the preview mode it is fine I just can't ever remember the name of fonts and have to see them. SAI is Flexi isn't it? I don't have a Graphtec so can't offer much real help.
  23. Wildgoose

    cutting mylar

    5 MM is something like 200 mil. I doubt it's THAT thick. More likely 5 or 6 mil which is .005 or .006 inches (around 0.15 mm) If it's 5 mm you aren't going to be cutting it with a regular cutter. Assuming it's not too thick to cut through. Stick it to your mew mat and start some test cuts. You may find that two or even three passes is necessary. I have some stuff I had to do two passes or one nearly maxed out pass and I liked the two passes better because it wasn't dragging so hard on the plastic which caused more weird deflection during the cut. It's a PIA to figure out what pressure to use for a two pass cut and I just dedicated a scrap to mess with and kept slowly increasing the pressure until I got it where I liked it. With a cutting mat you don't have to worry about cutting through.
  24. Wildgoose

    Paper Transfer Tape-Layering

    I've layered transfer tape and if you are in a pinch or a one off job that doesn't justify buying a large roll you can. As darcshadow mentioned you will see a rill of bubbles at the point the two layers overlap. As you squeegee over the area the single layer edge will not get the right amount of pressure and allow air to be trapped. It's often not too bad if the design has lots or words or a busy design but you will probably have to work the bubbles out with a pin after you remove the tape. I like to use a felt squeegee after removing the tape so I can push the air into a localized spot and then release it with a pin tool or thumb tack. Don't use a knife you don't want a slice.
  25. Wildgoose

    Paper Transfer Tape-Layering

    You might try using some parchment paper to help you out with your project. I did an instructional contribution on it a few years back In the case of a vehicle with multiple layers I try to do the layering at the shop so I just have one layer to put on when I get there. You can fight bubbles with layered vinyl so sometimes it's doesn't work as well if the layers actually overlap. If the layers are just side by side with space between each color then it works really good. You can use a piece of parchment right on the vehicle if you are layering there at the install. Just pull off your carrier and lay a piece or parchment back in it's place prior to aligning the layer onto the car door. It will aid in getting set in the right place. Use a top or bottom hinge once you get it to where you want it and slide the parchment out and squeegee center out. If you have compound curves on the door you will definitely want to pre-stack all your layers as mentioned because getting them all aligned with compound curves is really hard to do accurately.