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Hey guys,

First post here, but I've owned and cut with a LPII for a few years now. I have resolved a bunch of grounding/static related bugs and have cut tons of material without issue, until my current project.

The artwork I am contour cutting consists of series of parallel squiggly lines of a consistent thickness. I am having a major issue where the vinyl or plotter is somehow tracking off throughout the progress of the cut, and giving me inconsistent line thickness. The cuts are generally around 10'-12' long (some more, some less), and I have been running 2-up per cut (see attached artwork). The line needs to be a consistent thickness of 1/4", but I will often end up with one part being almost 1" thick and the other line being 1/8". I've included a snippet of the artwork and a photo of the issue as well. 

I have run these cuts in the past without this issue, but I assume that it has to do with the length of the image and the order in which the machine processes the cuts.

 

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

 

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 10.52.04 PM.png

Photo Jan 19, 10 54 45 PM.jpg

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I'd think it'd be easier to just use 1/4" pin striping tape.

Regarding the tracking issue, have you messed with the pinch rollers? Do you pre-feed the 12' or so of vinyl first?

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Don't know what software you are running but you might try SignCut Pro free trial. They have a setting called "step-by-step" cutting that will let you set the distance you want to cut at a time. So you can just have it cut 12" or so at a time and then move on. It will get you through tracking issues if that is the problem. There may be other software with this option. 

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I generally feed about the length of the cut before running the file, and then scroll back to the origin. The pinch rollers are centered on the feed rollers and vinyl centered between rollers. I do notice that when feeding the 12 or so foot length before cutting, the vinyl tracks off to the left. By the time i've finished, the right edge of the vinyl has jumped 3-4 hash marks.

I am currently running on SCAL Pro. I will give the free trial a go and see if that helps. The step by step may be useful for some of the longer cuts as well.

 

 

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The only thing I can think of is that the hash marks on the plotter itself are not aligned. I double check that the vinyl edge is aligned before cutting.

I was able to get one to run perfectly with the pen holder in on the back of some used vinyl. I then ran the same file with the blade holder on and the same issue appeared again. This leads me to believe that the issue is not with the artwork, but with the motherboard of the machine, blade holder or the pinch rollers. I will try squaring the vinyl off the cutter with a T-square or framing square to see if the hash marks are misaligned.

 

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have you messed with the pressure on the pressure rollers (lots of people have lessened the pressure to reduce marks that are normal only to cause problems like this.  also are you using the absolute least amount of blade possible or how are you setting your blade exposure

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I haven't messed with the pressure on the pinch rollers at all. 

Using about .5mm of blade depth (approximate), with about 150g of pressure. Cutting a circle by hand pressing as hard as I can doesn't cut through the backer at all. 

The issue seems to be random. I ran the same file through 3 times, first with the pen and it looked perfect. Then with the blade, and it thinned the lines again. Then with the pen a 3rd time and the lines were thinned again. You can see in the pic below there is some kind of registration issue when it comes back to complete the outside of the second line. I think it only happens on the final few cuts of each run.

This happened with the vinyl perfectly square to the cutter.

 

 

Photo Jan 20, 10 33 01 PM.jpg

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So like something is slipping, rollers, belt, maybe

 

if it is only right to left then I would think maybe the belt in the side of the cutter has slack or slipping.   Just brainstorming here

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That's what I was thinking, its as if it somehow gets hung up or slips and misses that 1/4" of travel.

I just made up a quick squiggly line, stroked and expanded it to run as a test. No issues whatsoever, perfectly parallel lines all the way around. My next step tomorrow will be to look at the art and see if it is somehow being caused by that.

 

 

Photo Jan 20, 11 23 05 PM.jpg

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Any more ideas on this? It keeps happening every couple of cuts I run. Some will run perfect, some will be really bad. Its inconsistent.

 

I have reworked all of the artwork for the entire project, so I know that can be ruled out.

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Did you try using different software, such as Signblazer, it is free if you want to download it and try it and that way you can rule out it being a software issue.

If it turns out not to be a software issue, it might be time to  consider upgrading to a Titan or better yet Graphtec cutter.

 

http://www.uscuttersupport.com/downloads/Software/SignBlazer/signblazer_setup.exe

 

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13 minutes ago, mb20music said:

Did you try using different software, such as Signblazer, it is free if you want to download it and try it and that way you can rule out it being a software issue.

If it turns out not to be a software issue, it might be time to  consider upgrading to a Titan or better yet Graphtec cutter.

 

http://www.uscuttersupport.com/downloads/Software/SignBlazer/signblazer_setup.exe

 

 I will give SignBlazer a shot. I have already been looking into the Graphtec cutter, I have had nothing but problems with the LP2.

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Try making two straight parallel lines and closely watch the cutter head to see if it drifts at all. If not, and the cuts are not equal the entire run, then the problem is the vinyl slipping.

If the cuts are both equal, then try doing it again, this time with the parallel lines about an 1" apart and a standing sine wave between the two cuts for the entire length. Assuming the two parallel lines are again equal the entire run, if the sine wave does not stay within the lines then the problem is the cutter head drifting.

Still though, keep in mind this is a budget cutter using a stepper motor and you're wanting a 1/4" accuracy over a 12 foot long run, you're pushing the limits of what the cutter is capable of.

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