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mattcanpaint

SC 34" Inaccurate Cuts

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Hello my fellow cutters,

I am happy overall with my SC 34 plotter, I've been using it for over a year to cut highly detailed stencils out of .005 mm Dura-Lar film with outstanding results up until recently.

 

I just recently started cutting 32" x 42" stencils that are more intricate and it has not been working out well for me. 

The tracking is off by a huge margin. It's so bad that it leads me to believe that the system is simply going haywire due to larger file sizes as opposed to this being a mechanical issue. 

 

 

Here are my system specs and details

-Windows 7 with 8 GB of Ram

-I connect to my SC cutter using a USB cable run to one of my USB 2.0 hubs (Might switch to standard USB hub if this is sending too much info too quickly)

-I use Sure Cuts A-Lot Pro 3

-I only use expensive Roland Blades and I steer clear of cheap knockoffs

-My speed is at 200 and my pressure is set to 600

-I use minimum blade depth

-These take hours to cut and I usually change the blade out every 1 1/2 hrs

-The material is .005 Dura-Lar. The carrier sheet I use is a .007 sheet of Dura-Lar that I adhere using spray adhesive. 

-The two outer pinch rollers are as tight as can be and are 2-4 inches in from the edges. The center roller is only at half strength because I don't want to add too much uneven tension on one side of the machine.

 

Here are the steps I have already completed to try and remedy the issue

I have tightened the grit roller using an Alan Wrench.

Cleaned the pinch rollers using the rough side of a sponge to get the stencil bits off

Tightened the carriage belt and ensured that the carriage was on track.

Lubed the blade holder to ensure proper swivel.

The offset is good.

The cutting strip is a little rough but it has been since my first time using it. I doubt that is the issue.

I support the stencil and carrier sheet with two tables on either side of the plotter to ensure the carrier sheet doesn't hang and get too heavy for the rollers to move them back and forth.

 

I believe the culprit is not enough system on either the Sure Cuts A-Lot Pro 3, The SC cutter, or my PC.

 

Can any of you guys provide some feedback?

Thanks guys!

-Matt

 

 

 

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if you are cutting all the way thru the stencil material I bet your blade is being pulled by grooves in that chewed up strip.  these are drag knife cutters so the blade will rotate freely and be influenced by those grooves if you are cutting thru and not using a backer sheet

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also wonder if the file is so large you are hitting the memory limit of that value cutter - I am sure someone will be on soon to suggest a keyspan adapter that may help some as it has a great chipset to convert the usb info to serial that the cutter actually communicates thru the MB with - the value cutters tend to have less than desirable built in chipsets that do this - but with that said the sc is usually the better of the value cutters in that respect 

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if you are cutting all the way thru the stencil material I bet your blade is being pulled by grooves in that chewed up strip.  these are drag knife cutters so the blade will rotate freely and be influenced by those grooves if you are cutting thru and not using a backer sheet

I use a thicker sheet of .007 Dura-Lar as a backing sheet for the .005 sheet of Dura-Lar that gets cut. I glue them together with spray adhesive and weed the thin sheet of Dur-Lar from the thick backing Sheet.

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also wonder if the file is so large you are hitting the memory limit of that value cutter - I am sure someone will be on soon to suggest a keyspan adapter that may help some as it has a great chipset to convert the usb info to serial that the cutter actually communicates thru the MB with - the value cutters tend to have less than desirable built in chipsets that do this - but with that said the sc is usually the better of the value cutters in that respect 

That is what my guess is. One of the only variables since my machine stopped working properly is that the files have gotten a lot bigger.

 

Are there any other steps to remedy the Memory Limit? 

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I have the exact same machine, the tracking is terrible past 24". The only thing you can do is turn down the speed & tighten up the tracking wheels. However doing so will put marks in your material. 

 

Bottom line, it has nothing to do with memory, it's how many times the material is fed in and out of the machine. Turning down the speed will allow you to cut long runs but the tracking will still be off on very intricate designs. Long simple simple designs it will perform well. 

 

The SC is great for short runs, long hauls you will need a better machine.  I always wondered if adding a 4th tracking wheel would help.

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That is what my guess is. One of the only variables since my machine stopped working properly is that the files have gotten a lot bigger.

 

Are there any other steps to remedy the Memory Limit? 

several people have posted they did better going with a computer with a real serial port (or adding a card) or going with a keyspan brand adapter that has a superior chipset to convert the serial to usb

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several people have posted they did better going with a computer with a real serial port (or adding a card) or going with a keyspan brand adapter that has a superior chipset to convert the serial to usb

Adding a card?

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I have the exact same machine, the tracking is terrible past 24". The only thing you can do is turn down the speed & tighten up the tracking wheels. However doing so will put marks in your material. 

 

Bottom line, it has nothing to do with memory, it's how many times the material is fed in and out of the machine. Turning down the speed will allow you to cut long runs but the tracking will still be off on very intricate designs. Long simple simple designs it will perform well. 

 

The SC is great for short runs, long hauls you will need a better machine.  I always wondered if adding a 4th tracking wheel would help.

The pinch rollers pick up a lot of crap during the cutting process of an intricate piece. 

I'll try cleaning them one by one during the process to see if that helps at all. 

I don't mind tracking marks on the material  so adding another pinch roller and tightening them up might be a good option to buying a titan 2

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Also this could be an issue "set to 600" I cut through 6mil laminated decals with 34 however I make 3 passes. 1 pass at that pressure could be your problem, I was never a fan of hogging though the material if I could make a few passes. Think of it like this if you were working with metal would you remove 1/4"  at at time or would you make a few passes ?

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I was wondering about the 600 on pressure myself.  That is a lot of pressure!  I think when I cut oracale 651 I am only about 100 pressure or maybe even less.  (plus I put a keyspan adapter on my SC and a lot of little issues disapeared)

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Thanks for all the help guys. I just ordered this off of amazon

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000VYJRY?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00

 

Will attempt cutting another 42" x 32" stencil tomorrow with the new keyspan, lower pressure and a file size that is under 5mb

 

Could using my computer for Ram hogging tasks during the plotting cause issues as well? I often design large files during the cutting process and was wondering if that could be causing issues with the communication from my PC to my SC.

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Mattcanpaint

 

You are awesome.....    I can't add much more then what's already been said here but reading through this thread you've been an awesome newbie here.  

 

You've taken everyone's advice here and you have applied it as best you can and you never argued.  

 

Most of the time we hear newbies here not want to buy a keyspan because it's been working fine for a year without one.  

Another example, someone in another post doesn't want to try a different cutting software for their problem.  

As you know we can only do so much through the forums but with the people here that's a wealth of knowledge and experience.  

 

You get a thumbs up for being cool.   

Just thought I'd share.

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Mattcanpaint

 

You are awesome.....    I can't add much more then what's already been said here but reading through this thread you've been an awesome newbie here.  

 

You've taken everyone's advice here and you have applied it as best you can and you never argued.  

 

Most of the time we hear newbies here not want to buy a keyspan because it's been working fine for a year without one.  

Another example, someone in another post doesn't want to try a different cutting software for their problem.  

As you know we can only do so much through the forums but with the people here that's a wealth of knowledge and experience.  

 

You get a thumbs up for being cool.   

Just thought I'd share.

Thanks! Sorry you guys deal with jerks all the time. Hopefully they'll wise up!

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Hey guys,

One more question.

Could using my computer for Ram hogging tasks during the plotting cause issues as well?

I often design large files during the cutting process and was wondering if that could be causing issues with the communication from my PC to my SC.

Thanks again for all your help!

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Can I make a suggestion?

 

Download and install SignBlazer Elements and use the LiYu driver.

http://support.uscutter.com/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Article/GetAttachment/190/24198

 

With 8GB of RAM, that shouldn't be much of an issue to multi-task, but try it without anything else running.

In my opinion, a computer should be dedicated only to the cutting task, and not processing anything else. (except maybe another instance of SignBlazer, running simultaneously, so you can do some other design, but SBE is not a memory hog, unlike Photoshop or Illustrator).

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Hey guys,

One more question.

Could using my computer for Ram hogging tasks during the plotting cause issues as well?

I often design large files during the cutting process and was wondering if that could be causing issues with the communication from my PC to my SC.

Thanks again for all your help!

 

I have less issues cutting through cardstock, mylar,  & layered decals when I make multi passes with nominal change in pressure vs 1 pass with the force cranked up.

 

What slice said - I misread the question... ooops

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Can I make a suggestion?

 

Download and install SignBlazer Elements and use the LiYu driver.

http://support.uscutter.com/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Article/GetAttachment/190/24198

 

With 8GB of RAM, that shouldn't be much of an issue to multi-task, but try it without anything else running.

In my opinion, a computer should be dedicated only to the cutting task, and not processing anything else. (except maybe another instance of SignBlazer, running simultaneously, so you can do some other design, but SBE is not a memory hog, unlike Photoshop or Illustrator).

Thanks for the advice, Signblaster freezes up every time I try to import a file.

 

I tried using my keyspan adapter with SCALP3 and the program freezes up, doesn't recognize the connection, etc.

 

What should I do now?

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Ok, I got a Null Modem Cable and am ready to try cutting a new piece with the following stats. I will try signblazer and signcutpro if these current settings fail

 

SCALP3 with triplite keyspan and Null Modem Adapter

Speed: 300

Pressure: 400

The file size is about 7 mbs and should take 7 hours to cut

I can't afford to not work on my freelance design work while these are cutting so I'll work on light files during the cutting process.

 

Thanks again everyone, You've been a great help!

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SignBlazer .eps import will NOT handle AI files in versions past v.8.

 

When you Save As, there should be an option for a legacy version (8 or prior).

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