sleeveofwizzard

Getting back into the game

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Hey all,

Long time no post. I sold my business half a decade ago but am in the market for a new cutter. I am looking to purchase something a step up from my previous Laser point machine for two reasons. I would like something that comes with GREAT software. I am pretty good with Inkscape and Sign Blazer. Also want a machine with better tracking and quality then the lazerpoint.

So what machine do you guys recommend. Would like to stay under $2K if possible. Vinyl cutter and stand only.

 

Thanks,

Ted 

Edited by sleeveofwizzard

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Good to see your smiling face again Ted! I second Dakotas Graphtec recommendation. It's a sickness isn't it. Just can't live without a cutter ever again. 

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Ok ok, I get it. So the CE-6000 looks like a possibility. Now onto software. I have used Corel draw in the past but not proficient with it. I was originally thinking Roland because I thought it came with its own  it software. 

 

Is the basic version of Vinyl Master worth anything or would one need the pro version?

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if you still have corel you can cut directly from corel with cutmaster 3 on the graphtec - not sure on the vinylmaster as I only have the pro version.  as for the roland it also just comes with plug in to cut from corel or ai just like graphtec does.  IMHO the graphtecs always do fine detail better than a roland.  I recently updated my ce6000-60 from the same model (I like to update equipment every 3 years or so)

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I may be wrong but I though the Graphtec proprietary software Cutting Master was also compatible with Inkscape. It's a plug-in style interface that lets you cut from within design software. I have never used it since I don't have a Graphtec but it sounds proficient. 

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The last setup I had was time consuming and frustrating. Inkscape to design and save in a certain format. Then import into signblazer to cut. Whenever I had to deal with someone else's files then usually had to fire up Adobe illustrator and stumble my way around.

I really don't have the time to be fiddling with all that anymore. I need an all inclusive program to design and cut that works well with the machine. I am slightly better with Corel then I am with Adobe but a "plug in" to cut with doesn't seem totally fluid to me. Anyone have experience with that?

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Well, in adobe or Corel you would have a "send to Cutter" button somewhere installed INTO corel to AI and once you press that it will open up the cutter preferences and cut it. Not much easier than that. The Plug-in moniker just basically means it will install and work from within a dedicated design program. Cutting master is proprietary in that only Graphtec cutters will run on it but it's supposed to be handy. 

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I'm not trying to be a sissy here ha ha. Just want to make sure I have a user friendly set up without having to purchase more stuff after the end of this calendar year. 

 

Is there any tools or options for arranging cut jobs or separating layers while using a plug in?

There was some options for this in Sign Blazer that didn't work very well. 

 

Just curious, the optional software listed for the graftec is Corel and Signcut Pro. Is that one any good? Everyone used to rave to no end about Flexi is that one old news now?

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Can you get the Dongle for SignCut pro as part of the package? or just a subscription? I use SignCut Pro and picked it over all the other options out there but it's just for cutting. You have to design elsewhere. AI, Corel, Inscape etc... SignCut works as both a plug-in and a stand alone cutting program. Meaning if you want to you can just go to signcut and open up cut files and run your cutter independent of your design software. I actually design on one computer and cut on another so I have two things going at the same time. SignCut is also cross platform compatible with mac or PC so you never have to worry about what you are running. You can load the program on all your computers and cut from any one of them (if you have the dongle). If you don't have the dongle it's harder to hop computers though and you need internet connectivity to verify your subscription. Has tiling, weeding, copies, nesting, re-coloring etc.. All the fancy cutting tools that the top level programs offer for a lot less $$$

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I agree with WG...I too design on one computer and have a laptop hooked up to the cutter

just for cutting with SignBlazer and VinylMaster Cut.

Take the time & effort to learn to work with one of the main graphic design programs like

Corel or AI.  This allows you to save your work to eps or svg files that ANY cut program

should be able to handle.

If down the line you change cutters or cut programs it won't matter.

 

BTW, I've said it before, VinylMaster works/feels very much like Corel....

so if you choose to work with those two you won't feel so out of it moving between them.

Sue2

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Well I pulled the trigger and everything arrived on Friday. Not sure when I'll have time to set it up and start relearning. I'm excited about having good stuff to use. Thanks for everyone's input!

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Graphtec CE-6000 24" that came with the 9x12 heat press. Went with vinyl master pro and a bunch of tools and such. Only bought white vinyl so far because I needed the color guide to pick the other colors I need. 

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13 hours ago, sleeveofwizzard said:

Graphtec CE-6000 24" that came with the 9x12 heat press. Went with vinyl master pro and a bunch of tools and such. Only bought white vinyl so far because I needed the color guide to pick the other colors I need. 

Awesome!!!!!!!

You're back in business.

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Update,

I have cut a few circles and shapes just to test things out. Got the blade depth set. Today I tried to cut a few things to practice and ran into an issue. 

 

The machines starting position isn't very close to the right side of the vinyl. I cut two things and both got cut off at the left side because it ran out of vinyl. I even moved the material over on the rollers but the machine adjusted itself and made the same error. On my old laser pointer there was a reset button on the side of the machine that allowed me to set the starting point for cutting. 

Thanks,

Ted

IMG_20170208_185633.jpg

IMG_20170208_185654.jpg

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the machine sets the cutting width when it measures the distance between the rollers - so you want the rollers at the very outter edge or you can turn the sensors off in the cutter menu to cut closer to the edge of the vinyl (risking cutting past the end then).  I know in flexi it will actually feed back the measurements into flexi after it measures the vinyl so you know where it will land.  I haven't actually hooked my cutter up to the computer with vinylmaster to know if it will do the same thing or not

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