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brunelloinc

Help with fine tuning and eliminating "Hangnails" on every third small circle

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Hello,

 

Sorry for the long post. Just trying to give as much info as possible up front to minimize any followup questions.

 

Summary:

I'm new to the forum and this is my first experience with a vinyl cutter. I'm having issues cutting small circles consistently and would love some help and suggestions for tuning the equipment and settings to get the best possible cuts.

 

Background:

I purchased a new Graphtec CE6000-40 and I'm cutting using Adobe Illustrator and Cutting Master 3 software/plugin.

 

I'm cutting Oracal 951 vinyl.

 

Attempting to cut small circles, 5mm in diameter. The circles are set up in groups of 3, spaced about .5" apart.

 

The issue I'm having is that the third circle in each set is showing what I would call a blade mark, or what others have described as a "hangnail" or in complete circle.

 

For whatever reason, this is ONLY happening on the third circle in the set. The first one is fine, the second is slightly worse, and the third is unusable.

 

What's also interesting is that the problem gets progressively worse on the right side of the sheet vs. the left. In other words, the third circle in each set is the worst, but the third circles on the right of the sheet are worse than the third circles on the left of the sheet.

 

I watched the movement of the blade and the third circle is the last circle it cuts in the sequence before it moves to the next tile. It's almost as if the machine is "rushing at the end" to move to the next tile and that's why it's imperfect. (Although I know that's probably not really what's happening.)

 

It may seem minor or that I'm being too picky, but the fact that the first circle is perfect leads me to believe that they can ALL be perfect. I'm viewing the circles under a loupe, and also under a 10X macro lens. That said, the issue is still visible to the naked eye upon close inspection.

 

I've read a lot of info on the forums here and I think I have my blade height set correctly. I've also experimented with various speeds and levels of force.

 

I checked the file - it's nice and clean. It's just a simple circle drawn in Adobe Illustrator. There are only 4 nodes on the circle.

 

I've attached some macro shots to show the issue, along with the EPS file that I'm cutting from.

 

Details:

Here's are the details of my equipment and settings:

 

Graphtec CE6000-40 Cutter

Blade: Graphtec CB09U-K60 (60º, 0.9mm)

 

Condition:

Blade: Graphtec CB09U-K60 (60º, 0.9mm)

Offset: 0

Speed: 1 cm/s

Acceleration: 0

Cut Force: 10

Passes: 1

Tangential Mode: Off

 

Tool Setting:

Step Pass: 0

Offset Force: 2

Offset Angle: 0

Initial Blade Position: 2mm Below

 

When Tool is Up:

Speed: Auto

 

Advanced:

Move Step: 0.1mm

Step Size: 0.010mm

 

--------

 

Any help or advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

post-94936-0-54766400-1442506703_thumb.j

post-94936-0-42372900-1442506704_thumb.p

small-circles.eps

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It is like that on all 3 of them... Zoom your image up...on wire frame. Get rid of the box around it.   Don't you have a circle tool?  I can make a circle with it.  It only has 1 node connecting it all.  Not 4.

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Skeeter,

 

Thanks for your reply. I've read many of your posts. You're a great contributor to these forums.

 

It's interesting that your software is showing a break in the circle. I'm not seeing that at all on my end when viewing in Adobe Illustrator or Cutting Master.

 

This circle was drawn in Adobe Illustrator using the circle tool. Apparently Illustrator draws circles with 4 nodes. If I select it with the regular selection tool, it looks like there's only 1 node (in the middle), but if I use the Direct Selection tool, it will select the path and show that it's actually comprised of 4 nodes.

 

When I edit the circle in Illustrator, there is no break at the bottom of the circle. I can even grab the node and stretch it and the sides will follow (indicating no break)

 

Let's assume that I have a good circle without any breaks. I've seen in other posts that this "hangnail" issue is fairly common on round letters and similar shapes. What steps would you recommend for eliminating a hangnail assuming I'm working with a perfect, "breakless" circle?

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try this circle that I made,with my circle tool.   Ok  After I made it and clicked my board it did create 4 nodes on it. circle.eps

 

 

Try overcut in your cutting software.   Funny how it shows in mine...I have no other answers.

 

I use a Graphtec and have never had that problem. 

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Thanks, I'll try this circle tonight. (I am currently at the office so I don't have my cutter here, but I do have all the software.)

 

I have a feeling I'll get the same results. Just so I can tweak some settings and troubleshoot while I'm cutting tonight, which options should I focus my attention when trying to eliminate the hangnail? Also, since it seems to happen only on the third circle (the last one on the left that it cuts before moving onto the next tile), and it gets progressively worse as we move from the tiles on the left of the sheet to the right, does that give you any clues as to what might be causing it?

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I do not use Illustrator or CuttingMaster..   I use Flexistarter 8.6 with my Graphtec.   I don't know anything about the Illustrator plugin or Cuttingmaster3.settings.

 

 

Just to rule out the cutter or software,   Download the trial version of Signcut,  and try it.    Signcut.com  You will have to use Command HP-GL  on the Graphtec

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Also, I hope you have your blade depth set correctly, This is how. below,   and try slowing your speed down...I have never cut at 10...much slower, and great results.  I'm not in that big of hurry...

 

To start with, you should set your blade depth correctly, by taking the blade holder out of the machine, and firmly cut across a piece of scrap vinyl, you will be cutting. You should only be cutting the vinyl and barely a mark on wax paper backing, Adjust blade to get there, Then put the blade holder back in machine, and use the force of the machine to get there, same results, only cutting the vinyl and barely a mark in wax paper backing.

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Hello,

 

Sorry for the long post. Just trying to give as much info as possible up front to minimize any followup questions.

 

Summary:

I'm new to the forum and this is my first experience with a vinyl cutter. I'm having issues cutting small circles consistently and would love some help and suggestions for tuning the equipment and settings to get the best possible cuts.

 

Background:

I purchased a new Graphtec CE6000-40 and I'm cutting using Adobe Illustrator and Cutting Master 3 software/plugin.

 

I'm cutting Oracal 951 vinyl.

 

Attempting to cut small circles, 5mm in diameter. The circles are set up in groups of 3, spaced about .5" apart.

 

The issue I'm having is that the third circle in each set is showing what I would call a blade mark, or what others have described as a "hangnail" or in complete circle.

 

For whatever reason, this is ONLY happening on the third circle in the set. The first one is fine, the second is slightly worse, and the third is unusable.

 

What's also interesting is that the problem gets progressively worse on the right side of the sheet vs. the left. In other words, the third circle in each set is the worst, but the third circles on the right of the sheet are worse than the third circles on the left of the sheet.

 

I watched the movement of the blade and the third circle is the last circle it cuts in the sequence before it moves to the next tile. It's almost as if the machine is "rushing at the end" to move to the next tile and that's why it's imperfect. (Although I know that's probably not really what's happening.)

 

It may seem minor or that I'm being too picky, but the fact that the first circle is perfect leads me to believe that they can ALL be perfect. I'm viewing the circles under a loupe, and also under a 10X macro lens. That said, the issue is still visible to the naked eye upon close inspection.

 

I've read a lot of info on the forums here and I think I have my blade height set correctly. I've also experimented with various speeds and levels of force.

 

I checked the file - it's nice and clean. It's just a simple circle drawn in Adobe Illustrator. There are only 4 nodes on the circle.

 

I've attached some macro shots to show the issue, along with the EPS file that I'm cutting from.

 

Details:

Here's are the details of my equipment and settings:

 

Graphtec CE6000-40 Cutter

Blade: Graphtec CB09U-K60 (60º, 0.9mm)

 

Condition:

Blade: Graphtec CB09U-K60 (60º, 0.9mm)

Offset: 0

Speed: 1 cm/s

Acceleration: 0

Cut Force: 10

Passes: 1

Tangential Mode: Off

 

Tool Setting:

Step Pass: 0

Offset Force: 2

Offset Angle: 0 (this is wrong should be higher.

Initial Blade Position: 2mm Below

 

When Tool is Up:

Speed: Auto

 

Advanced:

Move Step: 0.1mm

Step Size: 0.010mm

 

--------

 

Any help or advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance.

you offset angle is wrong i use a cleancut 60°and its set to 45° when i used the graphtec 60° i think it was at 30 or something. Also turn on tangental mode.

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@Mz Skeeter - I tried your circle with my same settings and the results were the same. Any other ideas?

 

@djque - I changed my offset angle to 30 and put Tangential in "Mode 2". The results seem to be slightly better, but I still have a minor hangnail on the third circle. Not quote as bad though. I'll play with the offset angle a bit more.

 

Based on the description, it seems that Tangential Mode is for corners. Since I'm cutting circles, do you think it still makes a different? 

 

Interestingly, the hangnail is facing the other direction now.

 

I also don't understand why it's only on the 3rd circle in every group. Why isn't it consistent on every circle?

 

All ideas welcome.

 

Thanks for the replies.

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I had this happen before and it was caused by a damaged blade. My blade tip was still sharp but was bent slightly causing a varying offset.

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@kysign - thanks for your input. This is a brand new blade, but it's possible that it could be bent or defective. I'll have to buy a new blade to test that theory.

You will always want to keep spare blades on hand..blade tips can break pretty easy.. a vinyl jam up, etc.

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what happens if you cut the opposite way of what you are cutting.  Say you are cutting across the vinyl...Have you tried length wise?    Did you ever try the Signcut software?

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Probably a shot in the dark but be sure your pinch rollers are over the knurled parts on the drive shaft. When I was new I had been cutting great for days then went to use a scrap piece of an odd size and moved the rollers around without realizing I was no longer over the right spot on the shaft and things went weird. Looking back it seems like such a silly thing but I hadn't paid attention to that small detail of operation. 

 

I like the idea of rotating it around 90deg to see what happens. Incidentally I tried to open that eps up on my computer at work which just has the old CS2 version of AI on it and it won't open that up. When saving for the web I always down-save things to older versions to avoid this. My regular work station will probably open that circle up though I'm just not there at the moment. I seriously doubt you have a file issue unless something has happened totally weird in the process. The circle tool will create a closed loop unless you have deliberately broken it or something strange. 

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Thank you all for the input. I checked my rollers and they're positioned over the grit rollers, so I think we're good there.

 

I did try rotating the design 90º and the results were the same. Still getting the hangnail.

 

What I've been trying now is instead of sending the circles to the cutter in sets of 3 (and tiling them), I created a row of 15 circles and send that to the cutter as a single element. For some reason this results in only the first and last circle having the hangnail, which is better than every 3rd circle. So I've been throwing the first and last away, and the remaining 13 are nearly perfect. Very strange!

 

@MZ Skeeter - Yes, tried the Signcut software and had the same results.

 

I'm becoming more convinced that it's something that can be tweaked with settings... I don't  think it's a software or file issue.

 

Any other ideas?

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I have the FC7000-75  Tool settings>   These are factory settings>  my offset angle is 30   Offset force 7

 

Circle resolution Default.

 

When you use the TEST cut feature, is the TEST design perfect?  Sharp corners? Perfect square and triangle (at least that is what my Test cut is) and the Ce5000-

 

Same settings I use for both 45 and 60 degree blade.  I never have to change settings..I use the Graphtec cutting plotter and make my adjustments from it,,  About all I ever change is the speed, I slow it down for more detailed and smaller text. And I don't run my speed over 5.  My designs don't have problems.  And my cutter is 7 years old now.

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I just got my 6000-40 yesterday and I've found that making 2 passes with lighter force completely eliminates any of this - hope this helps!

 

 

edit* probably worth mentioning that I'm using 8 for force!

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Decided to return to a single pass as the overall quality was suffering slightly despite the fixed circles. I think this is caused by the cutter not completely cutting the circle, so it should be fixable by firmware... does anyone know if there is a fix for this?

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Illustrator has this issue with some text and shapes having multiple points on top of each other. I have had this happen to me when I go to clean up art for screen printing or other things I am doing with it. You pretty much need to select the shape go to object > path > join or command J on mac.....control J on PC. See if that works, then you can try selecting the object then click on object > flatten transparency > choose 100% for raster/vector balance hit ok..... then click unite in the pathfinder window. see if that works for you.

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