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Posts posted by Wildgoose

  1. Have you heard of a bread making machine? You add the ingredients and it stirs it up and lets it rise then in the end bakes a little loaf of bread? What you are attempting is sort of like taking a bread machine and adding the ingredients for cinnamon rolls and and expecting it to come out correctly. 

    Be a good idea to take some time and do some research about contour cuts and cutters that have optical eye's vs those that don't. It CAN be done sort of but not without some education and practice and a whole lot of patience. 

    It IS possible to align a basic cutter to registration marks manually but it will always be less accurate. Your workflow will be something like this: #1 design the graphic, #2 add a contour line around the perimeter and registration marks, #3 print a test print, #3.1 calibrate your printer to your design software or verify the scale, #5 Print the project (or a test job) #6 load your print design into the cutter software (usually without the actual graphic, you only need the contour line and the registration marks from #2) #7 align your cutter to the registration marks (see individual cutting software for specifics), #8 attempt the cut (and hope your cutter is also in calibration with the design program.) 

  2. Wet app will probably make a mess. If you were more experienced it would be different. Check out the The Parchment Trick which is sort of like using a light board to align a stack of layers or to install multiple layers in place. 

    Another cool option is to get your hands on a nice sized piece of Gerber/3M 225 premium cast vinyl and use the clear silicon backing instead of the parchment paper for even clearer see through. I buy some of this 225 for a couple specific clients from my local sign supply house so I save all my backing for just this type of thing. If you have a lot of these to do it might be worth buying some just for the liner. I use mine up first because it's pretty expensive and the cuts do not make any issue with later transfers. Be sure the slick side it placed to the next layer because the backside is not going to release. I also use that stuff to make an occasionally light weight stencil by placing about 3 layers of regular app tape on the back as a make shift carrier and then cutting out the stencil. 

  3. The fact that basically everyone who has responded has asked about the blade exposed should tell you how critical AND USUALLY OVERLOOKED BY NEW USERS that part of cutting is. I know it doesn't seem like it would make all that much difference but we assure you it really does. Often improperly set blade depth (we are talking about how much is sticking out of the holder) has caused poor cutting and broken blade tips which hinder getting ANY of the other setting dialed in. Start there and then move to blade offset and cutting downforce and speed. Most newer users find issues they have all relate back to machine set-up and it all starts with the blade depth. 

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  4. I suggest that you officially join the forum. As a guest we have to approve each post. 

    Inkscape is a totally free vector design program and a great place to start. There are tutorials in the help section. You’ll have to spend some time learning but it’s fun time once you get started. There are several vector programs a put there but Inkscape is the best free one. 

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  5. Probably but be sure and cover any exposed area that the carrier on the HTV doesn't cover so that it doesn't stick to your platen. Also it could have adhesion problems on the laser part so I suggest a test tee and wear and wash it a while to see how it reacts. 

  6. Inkjet is what they call a transfer and yes it prints on a solid piece. You CAN contour around the outside and inside of open spaces although you'll probably want a cutter with optical eye to be precise enough to do a clean job. I can't remember what cutter you are running. I have experience with this type of transfer and can tell you that the "hand" (feel) of the transfer is sucky on every one I have ever found. They also don't have a very long lifespan even with pigment based inks. But it IS as option that works on dark shirts. If you happen to be printing on white cotton or blends Jet Pro Soft Stretch usually shortened to JPSS is really good and has a light hand. It is just some sort of polymer that you print in mirror. Trim around the edges and apply according to the directions and they look great on white. As long as you don't leave straight edges to your trim job you can't really see where the polymer is on a pure white tee and people DO tend to wear white cotton at least a LITTLE more agreeably than the sublimation polyester. 

    A further complication with the transfer for dark option is most cutters with an optical eye require the registration alignment marks to be outside the design with a margin of clearance. This means your available design space is limited. You can combat this by getting a larger format printer that will print on an 11x17 but you definitely burn up excess transfer space. A comparison with the JPSS you can squeeze all sorts of prints on the page and just leave the smallest of margins and trim around them with an exacto in a few seconds and get a lot more prints per page. 

    In short the inkjet option is ok (just ok) for occasional darks and wonderful and inexpensive for white shirts. I recommend using a pigment based printer though because the regular dye based inks will wash out or fade much faster. If you have designs that are solid colors and do not need to be actual printed then HTV is far far superior for longevity, appearance and hand. I do a LOT of apparel and most of it I use HTV or pre-built plastisol transfers. If you have volume enough you can buy prebuilt transfers in full color and they work fine. Also not a great hand but at least you don't have to invest in a special printer and can spend you time just pressing them on. Might be a viable option for you. IF it's just one here and there then that doesn't pencil out. 

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  7. I think it not a bad idea to have a cutter capable of 30" material. I regularly run across town to the local sigh supply shops and pick up a yard of this or that color premium cast vinyl for one off quick jobs and about 1 in 5 times they are out of stock except in 30" and it's nice to be able to say fine with me and grab it. You could obviously cut 6" off and feed it through your regular machine but there are also those times when the design is just a bit bigger than the 24 material and 30 keeps you from having to tile it. Well worth it at that point.

    I agree with haumana on the app tape. I have overlapped it occasionally. Doesn't look great to a client but functionally fine. Sometimes you can get small bubbles along the seam during the application but they are usually localized to that seam in the app tape. 

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  8. I'm betting it's a dull blade. HTV is a little bit resistant to cuts and if you don't have a nice sharp blade you end up having to increase the down-force which then starts messing with the way it feeds because HTV carriers are more of a plastic and have more give and stretch and are prone to bunching ahead of the blade if excessive pressure if used (due to dull blade) A Clean Cut blade will perform much better for longer on HTV. At the least try swapping in a fresh blade even if a cheap one and see if it helps. And DO use Mz Skeeter's tip for setting blade depth. (can be found with a search) 

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  9. Bang for the buck VM is pretty hard to beat for an all in one design and cut program. The cut version you are using is the basic version without all that many bells and whistles. Price comparison to other design and cut programs and for the tools they offer VM Pro is a good price and capable of about anything you would want to do with a cutter. 

    I use Adobe to design with and run on a mac platform for design. Consequently I don't use VM very often but have VM Pro and am slowly learning it when I have time (on a PC computer). From what I have experienced with it to date it is very capable and well thought out. I don't know how the cut version compares but I assume you are doing your design work in another program because the cut version does not appear to offer a lot of, what I consider necessary tools, to design. Cut DOES appear to have the basic tools needed to interface with your cutter and cut vinyl.  

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  10. I personally would not order that much vinyl. If the shipping time is not horrible I usually just stock the basics and add to it as you need it. Black, White, Brown, Red, Green. I guess if you're aiming at the prebuilt market maybe you plan to build a bunch and see if they sell? That would require more vinyl at the start. IF you made a couple to show and they just had various designs for them to pick a size color and design then you'e be making to order and probably have time order some in if your close to a warehouse. I away buy more than I need and let the jobs help pay for the extra inventory. I do mostly shirts and I tried to stock some shirts here for faster turn around. Almost NEVER had the right color/size and style combination. You may find the same problem. 

    I would probably not mess with the vector graphics unless you are not experienced with Illustrator. Many of the "canned" graphics may not even cut well and need additional work to get them truly "cut ready". As mentioned by Dakota there are a million people out there selling the basic window decals. Try making some original art that they want and you'll probably see some other dude selling it a week later. Then you'll understand what copyright infringement means.  If you aren't handy with Illustrator you will want to spend some covid time learning it. I have some helps in the AI section here on the forum. 

    You will also end up with a few different widths most likely because it's too costly to waste 24" app tape for small stuff. Sometimes you can turn it sideways and use small strips but over the long haul you'll find a few different sized rolls in your cabinet. Keep it wrapped up so it doesn't dry out. HT55 will dry out on you. I would suggest an application tool for the app tape if you are doing large wall graphics. I am a believer of the "Big Squeegee" cut vinyl application tool. They have a few different models and are not all that high tech but after learning to use it I regularly tape off 12 to 15 ft long designs all by myself without any issues. Small stuff you can do with the upside down technique. 

    I detest indoor vinyl but if you'r only selling it and not installing that is a little better. 

    • Like 1
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  11. Not sure which software you are running but some allow a post-feed after the job to allow you good access to trim the work off and then reset for the next job. SignCut Pro does this and it's handy. It allows me to set a feed length after the job and a return length after I trim it off that initializes after I hit the enter key on the computer. Pretty slick. I wouldn't be surprised if VM has a similar feature. I think Flexi does. 

    Those plastic letter openers are cheap and work pretty well. They help avoid scratching up your machine like using a box cutter or other open blade knife would do. Sharp scissors would work but vinyl and backing are pretty tough on scissors so keeping them sharp enough to do the push-cut technique with scissors might be hit or miss. 

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  12. I would also add. As you grow your font collection you will probably find that you get too many and it can negatively effect your computer operating system. Most end up going to a font manager program that will better handle the volume of fonts and keep it from bogging down your system. I have around 3500 at the moment. I add them when I need them and it just adds up over time. 

  13. Just for posterity sake I am posting something in this thread. I have a large order of caps and have been doing a case every night after my day job. the night before last my temp reading was off. I adjusted the readout until the platen was at the correct temp and went on for the evening. Then last night when I fired it back up it was off even more and I decided I had better figure out what was wrong. (I didn't the previous night because I have a deadline on these and was worried that I might find something really bad and I wanted to finish up before I started messing with it). Something I didn't know until last night at around 7pm mountain time is the Hotronix products have a 24hr 7 day a week tech hotline. I called, got a real person who diagnosed my problem in about 32 seconds and I was able to self repair and get back to work. Turned out I must have been a little too violent when moving the press and shook the temp reading wire slightly within the control module either loose or wiggled it enough to partially disrupt the low voltage connection. Unplugged it and plugged it back in (inside the control box) and wham back in perfect business. Definitely impressive to have true product support. I have to give an atta-boy to Hotronix. 

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  14. Have you looked in your file manager to see if Graphtec has it's own font file? You might have to drag it in there also if Graphtec isn't pulling up your computers fonts. A lot of programs come with their own set but they typically also merge in the fonts from the computer and have access to both. I am not a Grpahtec user so take that for what it's worth. 

  15. If it doesn't have Heat Transfer paper as an option I would think something like a matt finish photo paper would be a good starting place. Not familiar with your printer specifics. I use a Brother now and have used Epsons in the past and they never really had the actual paper setting so I used photo paper options and did a little experimenting.

  16. 15 hours ago, ShePlays2Win said:

    I am using SCALP3 and it is jumping around some while cutting. I haven’t had any problem until now, but I cropped the horse and turned it into an SVG, then added the font. 

    Did you check to see if you have converted your text as well? There is a way to do it. Try that and see what happens. It is good if you can get it figured out to respond back with your results and fix for others who come searching some day. They definitely will. 

  17. Have you tried converting the text over to objects? Some software (SCALP being one) will cut from live (editable) text and I think that's half the problems that get with the text. SCALP is known for text issues. You should be able to select the text and convert it over to an object. I don't know what SCALP would call that process or how to go about it in that program but I'm sure it's an option somewhere. If you can select it and change the spelling on the words then it's live. Once converted you can't make changes without re-typing the letters and replacing them. 

    If it's some other software like VM then I would not know what to think. Are you watching the cut and does it cut from one letter to the next or is it jumping around and coming back to the other letters after doing something else? Slipping is not the same thing as off-tracking. 

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  18. 2 hours ago, tomr928 said:

    Sorry if these questions have been asked before but I am brand new to this, I will try to keep it short:


    1.       I am custom painting a car and wish to make stencils to paint over with automotive paint and then remove after shooting. Is ORAMASK  810S a proper selection?

    2.       Can an MH721 28” cut the ORAMASK 810S?

    3.       Is the ORAMASK 810S adhesive backed already, or do I need a separate material?

    4.       In the B-MH721STRKIT is the vinyl applicable for use on cars? Outdoor.

    5.       In the B-MH721STRKIT  does the vinyl require a separate adhesive material?

    6.       If I purchase the B-MH721STRKIT  will I be ready to set up and print or do I need anything else other than the material and a PC?



    Have you already bought the MH cutter? We usually try to get people to consider a step up to the SC. The MH have more issues being the rock bottom of the barrel. 

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  19. Sorry to keep waffling but after a long heart to heart with my better half. The unknown future revenue due to the covid crisis has her spooked from investing and she's probably right. I am going to wait another season. I have had several contracts pull out but others keep going so it's just a it scary. Really sweet deal from the Summa folks that will be painful to pass up. One of the want vs need situations. 

    The cutter is not currently on the market. If I had posted it sooner and had it sold she would have been ok with it but no takers and I didn't leave enough time to deal with it properly.