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Posts posted by Wildgoose

  1. 3 hours ago, arty-rc said:

    I finished off my older roll(late 2019) of Easyweed stretch and started a new roll of Easyweed Stretch that I bought a few months ago but it didn't feel quite right. I bought it from an outside site. I found that the backing was frosted, not clear. The backing was just as sticky as the clear and the htv looked and felt the same as always. Has anyone else come across this? Thanks 

    My newest roll of black came on that frosted carrier so I think its probably the new thing. Did you hear about the higher temp and longer dwell time on stretch they came out with about 6 months ago? 

  2. 4 hours ago, James Morse said:

    .  I can see that there is actually one advantage to setting the origin right at the cutter, because otherwise what you do is measure from the edge, then put that in the software (theoretically) but if you just set it with the cutter, you can see where it has to go so you don't care about the numbers.  And normally if you are doing something weird like parts of pieces you will be near the cutter anyway so there's no remote advantage there, if it did work from the software.  It still makes me wonder why are there features that are in the Vinylmaster but have no significance.  There's some disconnect somewhere there.  Since you have provided a practical workaround then in practice it is not an issue, but it still begs the question of why have features that don't work?  Or else there should be (is?) a list somewhere that says these features do not apply to these plotters (it could be different for different plotters).  Lastly - if apparently everyone always sets origin at the plotter anyway, then why would it be in the software in the first place?  (plus not work). 

    James, for comparative knowledge. Higher end cutter like the Graphtec, Summa or Roland will actually measure the vinyl when you load it. It's called  "polling the plotter" and if the machine is capable it will just feed that info over to the cutting program and then it knows how much there is there to work with. It comes in handy sometimes but some people shut the feature off. If for instance you had a graphic that was larger than your available width my program (SignCut Pro) will automatically tile it into two cuts. Another good thing is if you keep the cutting area inside the outer pinch rollers then you avoid a situation where your cutter head runs off an edge and potentially damages something. 

    I think you will find that even with a cutter that doesn't keep track that you still need to have accurate information input into the program or you'll probably have issues. If for instance you try to cut a 22" graphic but only have 15" plugged into the program(even though you have 24" actually in the cutter) the program will think you only have 15" and may give you problems or only complete 15" of it or perhaps tile it into two cuts which you didn't intend. So the numbers still matter. When I had my budget cutter I sometimes just plugged a larger number like 24" in so that I could ignore the effort and I just measured each job manually to be sure it would fit on the vinyl I had loaded. I occasionally ran off the side of scrap pieces and was lucky I didn't break something. 

  3. Part of taking the leap to being in business is taking the risk in order to receive the rewards. Do the math and take the guess on labor expenses and either add enough to cover a screw up or take the risk and go for it. If you lose money consider it the cost of an education and don’t make the same mistake twice if you can help it. That’s the American dream. Then when you think you’re doing good you’ll be asked to pay taxes. That’s the American nightmare. LOL. 

    I try to make enough that if I screw up I won’t go backwards and still pay me for my time. If I DON”T screw up then I make good money. If I DO (and it happens) then I don’t whine about it. 

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  4. I usually just use the snipping tool in windows to take a quick screen shot which often is a little smaller file size and maybe a little quicker.  I do almost 100% apparel work so I do a LOT of mock ups of tee's and hoodies. As you get good at them you will develop your own workflow. I use mock ups to show clients the look as well as things like getting outdoor graphics the right size. You can take a picture of a vehicle or a glass front window or door with a tape measure laid on there somewhere and scale the pic clear up to life size and thereby build your vinyl to the exact size. Once you bring in the pic make a 12" rectangle and keep scaling the pic until the 12" on the tape coincides with the 12 rectangle in your workspace and you're all set. 

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  5. Yeah the T's look pretty good from here. The little tag at the bottom is probably from the blade being at a different angle when it is dropped and then it rotates into position as it starts to travel. Overcut like mentioned will cause the cut to run a smidge longer and connect the end to the start. Don't over-do it.

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  6. You definitely want to be very sure that you got that blade set correctly because it will cause all sorts of mayhem if it's out too far. When cutting you should just barely be able to see some light between the blade holder and the vinyl when you bend down at eye level. The holder should almost touch the vinyl when in there cutting but not quite. If there is much more than a teeny tiny bit of clearance then you can have weird issues plague you that affect the cut quality. From your pictures at .25 and .35 it still looks like you need a little more like maybe .40 or something. You usually want to push it past the middle until it starts to show tails like in that picture and then you can determine the very middle and be as spot on as possible. Like looking for the high limit and the low limit and then settle in the middle. If you run a quality blade you may find that you need to tweak that a little bit in 3 months if you wear the tip down. (assuming you do a lot of cutting) Most of us who do it professionally can get 6-8 months out of a quality blade before needing to change them out. Sometimes I change them just to be sure and keep the old still good one for cutting something nasty like glitter HTV.

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  7. So not knowing much about the pixmax cutter. On the cutter itself can you get to a screen that lets you adjust the blade offset or is it totally up to the software? I use the older version of SignCut but it will have the same options. In the cut tab (in my version it is a pair of scissors...see pic) you will have an option to either use the machine settings for force and speed or the software settings. SignCut drivers determine a lot of what you see on this and other pages so things may look and be different for you but if you can check that part whether you need to decide the blade offset in the software or if you can set it on the machine itself (preferred IMO) Your layout may be different. 

    The good news is that SignCut has actual real people who will contact you soon and can even remote in to your computer if needed and get you running. I love SignCut. I use it in large part because I am on a mac but it will work on either platform. I design offsite in Adobe Illustrator and then just use SignCut Pro 1 to cut with. The new version you have has design tools I think but I have not tried it out. I own the lifetime dongle so I decided to leave well enough alone and not mess with something that is working for me. 

    Screen Shot 2020-07-15 at 8.08.04 PM.png

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  8. Like haumana said, the 5 is designed to be like that. Almost every font has some size differences between letters and from my experience if you try to mess with them (like reshape the lower part or resize to be exactly the same as all the others) it will look "off". The guys who design fonts are pretty gifted at getting a balanced "look". 

    Another work around that you might try is after you get your text ready to cut make your own box around it that allows a little free space and cut that box along with the text or numbers and it will act like a weeding box and keep your text up away from the edge. Just thinking inside the box a little. ::) If it doesn't actually cut the bottom part of the box who cares, it was just there to create space anyway your text will be in the clear. 

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  9. The process is more than a single step.

    1. Set the blade exposure (often called the blade depth but is different than the cutting pressure) There are often instructions that are WRONG that say use half the thickness of a credit card. That is way too much and can cause you to ruin a good blade tip. To set this correctly remove the blade holder from your machine and, by hand, drag it across a piece of scrap vinyl with some force. Not super hard but enough to definitely cut. You should only be cutting through the vinyl and maybe half way into the paper backing. If you can cut all the way through then you have too much sticking out. When you get this set correctly you know that it is impossible to cut clear though. Typical cheap vinyl is 3 mil thick and high end vinyl is 2 mil thick so if you set this on 3 mil vinyl (cheap stuff) you will be good for both as well as most HTV. Occasionally you may find material that is thicker and you'll have to reset it but otherwise for normal day to day work you won't need to make adjustments to this again. 

    2. Set your speed and down force to relatively slow and light settings. I recommend about 1/4 or 1/3 of the max speed. If your machine can cut at 400 set it at 100 to start with. You can always speed it up later. For pressure you will want to start off light and do small increments until you find the pressure that will cut all the way through. When you get the pressure set just right you should be cutting cleanly through the vinyl and scratching the paper carrier but not be able to feel the cut from the back side. If you cut a little too deep you will find the backing paper sometimes coming up with the vinyl. 

    3. Set your blade offset whatever the owners manual said was the recommended amount. You will have to tweak this but they will usually tell you what to start at. Typically .25-.35mm is common. 

    4. If your software has a test cut option use it or you can create a test by making a small 1" square and cut it. If your cuts look like the one you posted you have too much offset. 

    5. There is a thing called overcut that sometimes needs to be used if the ends of your start and end points don't meet. Most of the time you won't need this. If you do it theoretically would be somewhere around the same value as your offset or less. 

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  10. 1 hour ago, Guest DAVE H said:

    i have the dsr version of vinylmaster. recently i viewed an instructional video of on bitmaps and images where they inserted an image into a shape. i have tried a number of times and cannot find the import image to shape button. just wondering if i am missing something or this option is no longer available.

    You are probably looking with the wrong search terms. That is typically referred to as a clipping or clipping path Clipping Mask or just a Mask. I know there is a post about there here somewhere. I will see if I can find it one maybe someone else can help out. I have a copy of VM Pro but I'm not by that computer at the moment. I am more versed in Adobe. In essence what you are doing is dropping an image in and then using a shape above it to trim (clip) off all the excess outside the top object. At least that is the Illustrator way. I think VM does similar but may use different terms to describe it.  

  11. 3 hours ago, Style said:

    ok well now its works and has no rattles, I did my first cap I need alot of practice.. still missing some screws but I guess thats no extra charge right..( be cool if I got some kinda credit for having to deal with this nonsense a nice coupon code for next purchase,hint hint..)

    This is a users forum so other than an atta-boy for being a problem solver that's about all we have for you.

    That's a big logo for a cap. If you do those that large you will want to build in on a curve. Best way I know to do that is to take a piece of paper and cut yourself a pattern of the arc of the face of that hat and then scan that in and use the image as a template to get the right amount of curve on it. You will find hats tend to vary as well so what works on one may not on another (as far as curve). My clients have mostly been doing smaller 2" to 2.5" tall by 3" wide stuff on one side. That has been the recent trend around here. 

    Do they offer different size lower platens for that press? I have a press that has several options and it definilty helps out to have a couple different sizes. I mostly use the smallest one for most hats and only use the bigger one (the regular standard sized that came with the press) for taller logos.

    When placing the cap the best method I have is to try to seat it as best you can then do a light press to pre-heat and lift the heat platen back up and stretch the hat around the lower platen now that it has some heat to help you. 

    You will find other great uses for the hat press. They work really good for shoulder or sleeve logos and stuff on things like gym shorts and the like. 

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  12. 9 hours ago, Mjen said:

    Gildan cotton shirt with siser HTV. Applied at proper heat w circuit easy press. Preheated shirt first. Appeared to apply fine. Next day it is wrinkling. Little puckers in the vinyl. There were a couple then a couple more a few hours later.  Not sure how to post picture. 

    I do a lot of HTV work. I would concur with Dakota that the press is the likely culprit. Siser is almost never the issue. I have done literally a couple hundred thousand dollars worth of shirts with Siser and only once ever had a bad roll. There is no comparison between a hand operated heating iron style press and even the cheapest budget model of actual clam or swinger press. Siser says you can apply their product with a hand iron but I wish they wouldn't. Seems like every time we see an issue it's frequently when done with a hand iron. Heck, even with a clam press there are potential ways to mess a job up. Buttons or thick sewn seams can hold a press up just enough to cause an issue. They make press pillows and press pads to deal with that sort of thing. 

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  13. I had heard that the mac version of quick books was lacking. I'm glad to hear it's true because that is why I bought the laptop in the first place, just for the books. It has turned into a good workflow to use it over at the cutter so I can still have use of my mac for other work while the cutter is busy. I bought my wife a macbook pro 15" last year as a tax write off. That thing is sweet. She doesn't let me play with it much. 

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  14. Be sure and try out the free week of SignCut Pro. it is a FULLY Functional trial so you can actually use your cutter without any issues. You can rent it by the week or month if you like it or buy a lifetime dongle. Either way it's a good option to test stuff and totally mac compatible. It's what I use on my mac AND my pc laptop because it will run on both. I design on my iMac and usually cut over on my windows 7 laptop when it will stay running. I know some people run a partition and run a windows environment in order to cut from their macs. I guess if you are real handy with computers thats an option. I am not that awesome and bought my mac to use because it just works. I just find mac compatible programs and don't have so much worry. I have the old pc laptop but the stupid thing gives me a blue screen literally every other time I open it up. I have had the same iMac since 2010 and just finally had a hard drive wear out about a year ago. Dropped a SSD in and back up and running as good or better than new. I love my mac. 

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  15. I realize and agree that the corners are well rounded but I don't think it looks bad. Sort of a true stencil vibe to it. 

    Start with your blade exposed length as the first thing to dial in. Most new users have way way way too much sticking out and can even break a tip off. Once set then you can dial in the pressure and do a blade offset test like the one shown, probably at the same time.  Just make a series of about 3 small squares about 1/2" each and cut them and play with the offset until they are crisp.  You should cut all the way through the vinyl and leave a scratch on the paper backing that you can't feel from the back side. Do not set your pressure on HTV. In the end your regular sign vinyl pressure will probably be about the same but the adhesive carriers are much harder to tell whether you have too much pressure. 

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  16. 59 minutes ago, vyrus74 said:

    Yet no one addressed the question on if carriers can be used and if so, do any changes have to be made? I get alot of 12x12 pieces and 3 pinch rollers wont let me run two different colored pieces at the same time. Hence the need for a carrier... is it possible?

    Should be fine. I never liked the cutting mats but most machines will feed them through. I have seen some flexible cutting mats that looked a lot better than the Cricuit mat I bought which is stiff and can get caught on the front or back edge if you run to close to the edge. Meaning that as the stiff mat is all the way back like you would be at the start it will tip down in the back due to weight and inflexibility and the front edge can poke up and find things to catch on, the same will happen in the back if you get to near the end. I watched some video with some soft semi-clear mat that looked much better for a roll feed cutter. Cricut mats are made for Cricuts specifically that have that flat landing built into them so they don't need or want to bend. 

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  17. Slice, this is a USERS forum and therefore a place where true users can voice opinion and real world experience. Your opinion is as valid (and diverse) as anyone else. If we weren't honest with people we would be doing them a disservice in the long run. Being that we are all just users and not paid employee's we are giving our opinion and most of us recommend spending more money on a better cutter if the potential buyer can afford it (or if they actually do a little research before jumping in). This is basically an up-sell so in a way we are actually helping the company who hosts this site by inadvertently talking people into spending more.

    30ft away like your picture of the truck shows is NOT a fair representation of what someone who is planning to go into business can expect. Any buyer who pays good money for a truck logo or a sizable sign will be looking at it up close and personal. YES you CAN get by with a budget cutter but with each step up in value you definitely get a better end product. YOU should know this as you have stepped up from the MH to the SC2 (I think that's what you have now). From what I have read you have never owned a top dollar cutter so you're basically talking out of a different orifice of your body on some of these points. For a basic crafter beginner the lower budget machines are sufficient but spending more really does get you more in this instance. I think for this customer has already jumped in so the point is probably moot.

    To the OP JSAX. When my budget cutter struggled with longer runs I was able to "get by" with a feature that my cutting software of choice (SignCut Pro) has that is called "step-by-step cutting". Not sure what you are using but SignCut Pro has the option to turn on this feature that only cuts a certain amount of a design before moving on down the design. This amount of length is determined by the user so say you have 4ft long stripes like you described. You can set the cutter to cut it in12 or 13" steps. I say 13" on a 48" design because if you miss the length by a small amount at the end it could cause some issues so it's better to give it a little free spaced make the cutting as simple for the machine as possible. This feature works great on simple designs like you are struggling with but does not work well on intricate ones like large strings of small text. The budget cutters are not accurate enough to cut part of a small F or R and be able to come back to it and continue on. The software even has a preview feature that will show you a little video of how the blade will progress though the cut so you can see where you set your sections and decide if you need to make some edits. I suggest you go to the SignCut website and try out the free trial and see if this is something that will help you out. The program is free for a few days or a week but then costs money. When I bought my first cutter they included a years subscription. I ended up buying the lifetime dongle and still use it with my high end $3500 cutter. (I no longer need the step-by-step feature though due to the new cutters excellent tracking)

    Good luck JSAX and don't be discouraged with your MH. If you stay within the limitations they do fine. Really big or really small detailed graphics you will struggle but text over 1/2" and length below 30" or so can be done fine if the machine is properly set up.  

    • Like 2