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Awztun

Limits based on cutter width

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Hello, I've been searching around the forums for a while, but I can't find and answer to my question.

 

Will the limitations of having a 15 inch servo cutter outweigh the benefits of having a 24 inch or greater stepper cutter?

 

    I'm aware the answer largely depends on the type of work i will be doing, but I've yet to decide my focus. The two types of machines in question seem to be around the same price, which brought me to wonder if a 15 inch cutter would be wide enough. Please comment with your opinions and type of work you mainly do. Also, if you use a 15 inch cutter and regret buying it, please let me know why.

 

Thanks

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I have a 25in cutter (actually cuts 23in). I pretty much only do HTV and havent cut anything bigger than 14 inches...so far. I guess it depends on what you'll be doing with it.

But at the same time, if you have the 15in and need to cut something longer, you can always change the "orientation" of the design to cut it.

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Even heat transfer vinyl is available in 20" width. I personally have never owned smaller than 24".

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I just sold my 14" MH mini -- it was actually able to cut only 10" and that limitation was frustrating.

Just remember, most 15" vinyl sold is PERFORATED along the edges (those holes are there for machines that have sprockets to feed the material, like the Gerber units). As a result of the holes being there, your actual usable cutting area is around 13.25"

 

Like you said, the answer to your question really depends on what work you do.

In general, the 24" machine is the right one to own.

The first time you need to make a bandit sign or car magnet (18"x24") you'll appreciate having the 24" width.

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My 24" stepper was great, unless I had a really long piece - say 6' or more.  Tracking wasn't desirable on really long stuff.  I would never own anything smaller than 24".  Get a 24" with a stepper and then upgrade to a servo when you can. 

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Thanks for the answers guys. Exactly what I was looking for.

It seems going with the 24 is the best option. As for the motor, I'm a little paranoid about going with a stepper. I've never owned either and I'm not sure how substantial the difference in accuracy actually is. Can cuts with a stepper pass as professional quality? Will I be ok if I just avoid cuts with fine details?

Again, thanks for the answers. Great community

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 Can cuts with a stepper pass as professional quality? Will I be ok if I just avoid cuts with fine details?

 

The things that will make a difference are going to be multi layered work where two or more colors interact with precision. If you are making a sign that has intricately combined alignment (called "Registration") of various colors you will have a harder time getting a professional look. An example of this might be a design that has two color letters where the outline look of the background color or shadow is exactly 1/4" around the main letters. Or where the lettering sits within a solid color and has a space knocked out around the letters that will show badly if the cut isn't exact. 

 

Most basic stuff if the lettering is regular sized (1" or larger) you may not even notice the difference if you have your cutter dialed in. It's when you go really big that the tracking performance starts to cause issues. There are ways to mitigate these issues too like using a cutting program that has a step-by-step cutting option. SignCut Pro is one that has this and will greatly help on larger signs. This feature cuts all the parts of a sign in a given area (like 12" at a time) before moving on to the next part. This feature will NOT likely help you will overall registration like I mentioned previously but will help with large one piece graphics that are several feet long. Step-by-step also doesn't work good with text because value cutters are not accurate enough to cut part way through a string of text then come along and make the tie in on the next pass. 

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I have a 28 Titan2 with a stepper and it does pretty well around a 1/2 text with no issues smaller gets a little tough for me at least....lol The stepper is loud but makes great cuts and affordable. Just a hint US Cutter sales a little cheaper on ebay :ph34r:I didn't tell u  ;D

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I have a 28 Titan2 with a stepper and it does pretty well around a 1/2 text with no issues smaller gets a little tough for me at least....lol The stepper is loud but makes great cuts and affordable. Just a hint US Cutter sales a little cheaper on ebay :ph34r:I didn't tell u  ;D

The Titan2 has a servo motor, not a stepper.

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