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HAMMERFALL

TRACKING FIX NEEDED

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Hi , im having a issue with the vinyl drifting on long cuts with my laser point 24.  im doing 6 ft cuts and its drifting about 1/8 to 1/4 a inch im doing pinstriping so this is a big deal. any help would be great, thanks btw theirs only 2 rollers that cant be adjusted as far as i know. thinking a 3 rd would help, if so where do i get it for this unit?  thanks

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You can get an additional pinch roller on the USCUTTER homepage under Cutters, Parts. I think their 15$ for the laserpoint plus shipping.

Not sure that would help 100% though.

Make sure your rolls of vinyl are as tightly wound as possible and are trapped on both sides to prevent drifting side to side while being unrolled. Also some have luck unrolling enough material for the job into the material basket if you have one and run a test feed.

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You can get an additional pinch roller on the USCUTTER homepage under Cutters, Parts. I think their 15$ for the laserpoint plus shipping.

Not sure that would help 100% though.

Make sure your rolls of vinyl are as tightly wound as possible and are trapped on both sides to prevent drifting side to side while being unrolled. Also some have luck unrolling enough material for the job into the material basket if you have one and run a test feed.

Thanks for the info. i always run the vinyl through to set it up but it still drifts no matter what i do. ;(

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Don't make the plotter pull the vinyl off the roll - always prefeed the amount needed before starting the cut

Great info Scott I was going to say just by a graphtec  ;D ;D :D

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They are cool - but i remember i had to work my way up to the graphtec as I didn't have the funds to just purchase one right off the bat

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The strangest one I have heard was a friend that actually helped there tracking using less blade.  usually I thing tracking I think pressure rollers. best tension, loose rollers, etc

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The strangest one I have heard was a friend that actually helped there tracking using less blade. 

That's what I did.  Les blade and less pressure = less drag on the material, which helps to stop the material from shifting when making long cuts down one side of the vinyl.  Anyway you slice it though, making a long cut down one side will usually cause some shifting.  In over 10 years of doing this, I've seen just about every friction fed machine do it.  If you do a lot of striping work, it pays in the long run to buy a pin fed machine.  If you don't believe it, cut a long stripe down one side the with the vinyl aligned in the same spot, cut the same stripe down the center of the vinyl and compare.  Take it one step further and cut the same stripe down the other side.  You'll notice the vinyl always drifts away from the side being cut.  That's because the drag from the blade is like a brake on that side.  Placing two of the pinch rollers in the area being cut helps...Like this...

                                                            ^

-------------------------------------------------

O                                                    O          O

When I make long narrow cuts, I use the narrowest material I can get a way with and I cut down the center.  The little bit of wasted vinyl is WAY cheaper than cutting the bob over and over trying to get it right.

Of course, you also have to align the vinyl dead nuts in order to track dead nuts.  Even the best plotter will not track unless the vinyl is aligned properly.  Don't rely on the front and rear rulers.  Even the Roland I used to have was off by almost 1/8" on the rulers.  My Refine is off by about 1/16".  Make some test cuts and note where the material was on the rules before each cut.  If it's dead on, you got lucky.  If not, make a note align accordingly.  Remember, what happens when you dry feed and what happens when there is a blade creating drag is not always the same. 

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The strangest one I have heard was a friend that actually helped there tracking using less blade. 

That's what I did.  Les blade and less pressure = less drag on the material, which helps to stop the material from shifting when making long cuts down one side of the vinyl.  Anyway you slice it though, making a long cut down one side will usually cause some shifting.  In over 10 years of doing this, I've seen just about every friction fed machine do it.  If you do a lot of striping work, it pays in the long run to buy a pin fed machine.  If you don't believe it, cut a long stripe down one side the with the vinyl aligned in the same spot, cut the same stripe down the center of the vinyl and compare.  Take it one step further and cut the same stripe down the other side.  You'll notice the vinyl always drifts away from the side being cut.  That's because the drag from the blade is like a brake on that side.  Placing two of the pinch rollers in the area being cut helps...Like this...

                                                            ^

-------------------------------------------------

O                                                     O          O

When I make long narrow cuts, I use the narrowest material I can get a way with and I cut down the center.  The little bit of wasted vinyl is WAY cheaper than cutting the bob over and over trying to get it right.

Of course, you also have to align the vinyl dead nuts in order to track dead nuts.  Even the best plotter will not track unless the vinyl is aligned properly.  Don't rely on the front and rear rulers.  Even the Roland I used to have was off by almost 1/8" on the rulers.  My Refine is off by about 1/16".  Make some test cuts and note where the material was on the rules before each cut.  If it's dead on, you got lucky.  If not, make a note align accordingly.  Remember, what happens when you dry feed and what happens when there is a blade creating drag is not always the same. 

Thanks for the info, i ordered the 3rd pinch roller. and am desinging some guid rails. from all i have read dont see that anyone tried that yet. so im gona give it a shot. we'll see  :- 

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when I make stripes or pinstripes, I tile them, or on your software, it may be optimize the cutting order. ,  Say, the stripe is 90" long,  I tile it into 4 sections, (it does not cut thru the design) so it cuts the first 22.5" of the stripe, then advances and cuts the next 22.5" than advances for each section until it finishes the job. and they are perfect. A continous stripe.   Your vinyl is not going clear from the start to the end and back again to start.   Does Signblazer do that?  I use Flexistarter 8.6

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Guide rails won't help to keep it straight.  If it starts to wander, vinyl will just bunch up against the rail and cause even more problems that if you just let it drift a little.  I made some stops that I mounted to front and back side of the plotter.  I use those as a guide for aligning material.  Another thing that works is to set the vinyl up a little crooked to compensate for the amount of drift you know will occur.  That's not an exact science though.  You kind of have to make an educated guess as to how much drift you will get based on where on the vinyl you are cutting. 

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If the design isn't that wide , small rolls of vinyl can be used . I buy 3 1/2" ( & larger ) X 50 yard rolls from Stickerman5000 on e-bay at great prices plus cheap combined shipping . You can also cut down larger rolls to whatever size is best for tracking .

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Guide rails won't help to keep it straight.  If it starts to wander, vinyl will just bunch up against the rail and cause even more problems that if you just let it drift a little.  I made some stops that I mounted to front and back side of the plotter.  I use those as a guide for aligning material.  Another thing that works is to set the vinyl up a little crooked to compensate for the amount of drift you know will occur.  That's not an exact science though.  You kind of have to make an educated guess as to how much drift you will get based on where on the vinyl you are cutting. 

  Agreeed the guide rails will cause lots of problems and solve none

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If the design isn't that wide , small rolls of vinyl can be used . I buy 3 1/2" ( & larger ) X 50 yard rolls from Stickerman5000 on e-bay at great prices plus cheap combined shipping . You can also cut down larger rolls to whatever size is best for tracking .

Ok thanks for the info. it never drifts the same way .  sometimes left sometimes right. i just got the 3 rd pinch roller in today. now i need to find out how to install it.  anyone know how to do this?? lol  :huh:;)

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How did that 3rd pinch roller ever help you? Did you notice any big improvements in tracking?

Let us know, or if anyone knows, I have an LP24 and have this issue as well sometimes. a little bit better tracking would be fantastic.

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