Dolomite41

SC cutter newbie. Need help

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Hi I just received my Sc2 in mail. With sure cuts a lot 3. I have a Mac computer system running. I am very new to this and have a series of questions that some of you experts may assist me with. 

 

1. How do I calibrate my paper so the carriage arm knows what size my paper is. I tried to do several test runs of fonts that go to about 1” away from the page and it’s going off of the paper and cutting 

 

2. I am importing in SVG files from illustrator. Is there anyway to speed this process up. Or does it depend on your memory? Or the dpi of the file? 

3. What dpi should I export my adobe illustrator file in. 

4. What’s a good speed/pressure to cut out oracle651?

think that is it for now. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks 

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Welcome aboard Dolomite and congrats on the new cutter.  What type of projects do you have planned for it?

I will try to answer your questions, others may do a better job of explanations though...

1.  You size the project to the vinyl (or paper).  If you look at my pic, the project has the blue circles with various arrows, this shows the outside of the selected artwork.  Look at the tool bar on the upper right labled "Properties".  Under "Position & Size" you find the "X" & "Y" axis which shows where the object is placed on the workspace grid.  Below that are boxes labeled "W" & "H" for width and height of the project.  Using my project as an example, the outside measurements are 4.325" wide by 3.734" tall.  If either of those measurements are larger than your paper you are in trouble.  You can resize your project by using the little up & down arrows or simply deleting the numbers in the box and typing the size you want.  The "keep proportions" box under the size will sync the measurements so changing one will change the other - or not. You do not want to cut off the paper, doing so will cut into the cutting strip which can cause future problems for you.  I have never cut plain paper, but I think you use a cutting mat under it if you do.

 

2.  I do not know of any way to speed this process up, and really not sure what you are referring to.  When I finish a design in AI and hit save, I can immediately import it into SCALP and cut.  Not any hold up in time...

 

3.  If AI asks about a dpi I just use default.  I have never seen it ask though so I am not sure of the question.  I will have to look the next time I am in AI working.

 

4.  My speed & pressure is 200/55 - that is on an older SC model.

Cal

Screen Shot 2017-12-22 at 8.13.25 AM.png

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Thank you clhyer for the reply. Very helpful. 

 

1. I understand what you’re saying as far as the project. I figured out how to change my mat size but do I need to load the paper in any certain way. I see the ruler on my machine. Should I put the edge of the paper to the edge of the machine? Or put it in at 1”. I think this may be my problem not sure though

 

2. When you say you hit save and open it up in scalp3 you’re meaning an svg filer correct?  I can save in AI as an svg. But when I go to import my svg into scalp. It loads up with a status bar. Well this is the process that takes a long time (depending on the file size). If I have a small logo it’s quick. However if I have a big file. Let’s say 24” x96” it takes quite some time 

 

3. Also and this may be part of my problem to question 2. What is the max length I can do. I have a project for some lettering and it is about 24” x 600”. I’ve split up the files but not sure what max I can do? I’m trying to stick around 24” x48” 

 

thnaks. 

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Reading the specs on the cutter it says    "Max Cutting Length144 in"   but even so, the value cutters do not track as well as the higher end cutters.  So you may get vinyl drift at that length. Shorter jobs would be better.  Before you send your job, make sure you are hitting the ORIGIN button first.  That is your start measuring point,  The cutter will measure from that point so the design does not go off the other side of the vinyl. but you must make sure that the vinyl is wide enough to do the job.  I don't use SCALP software,  but I would think it has a rotate feature to which direction it is cutting on the vinyl. 

 

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1 hour ago, Dolomite41 said:

Thank you clhyer for the reply. Very helpful. 

 

1. I understand what you’re saying as far as the project. I figured out how to change my mat size but do I need to load the paper in any certain way. I see the ruler on my machine. Should I put the edge of the paper to the edge of the machine? Or put it in at 1”. I think this may be my problem not sure though

 

2. When you say you hit save and open it up in scalp3 you’re meaning an svg filer correct?  I can save in AI as an svg. But when I go to import my svg into scalp. It loads up with a status bar. Well this is the process that takes a long time (depending on the file size). If I have a small logo it’s quick. However if I have a big file. Let’s say 24” x96” it takes quite some time 

 

3. Also and this may be part of my problem to question 2. What is the max length I can do. I have a project for some lettering and it is about 24” x 600”. I’ve split up the files but not sure what max I can do? I’m trying to stick around 24” x48” 

 

thnaks. 

keep in mind that "ruler" is a decal stuck on without any precision by a chinese factory worker making a buck and hour so it is not a set in stone straight edge like on the graphtecs -  IMHO it is more decoration as many many people have found out these decals are hardly ever dead straight

 

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Dolomite41 I can give you help over the phone if you wish, Send me a Pm And ill give you my number..  Im pretty positive i can get you going with just one call and in about 15 min.

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12 hours ago, Primal Decals said:

Dolomite41 I can give you help over the phone if you wish, Send me a Pm And ill give you my number..  Im pretty positive i can get you going with just one call and in about 15 min.

And right there you go @Dolomite41.  An offer you can't (and shouldn't) refuse.  Primal is a good guy with a heap more experience than myself.

 

But, since you asked... it does not matter where you load the vinyl as long as you have the pressure rollers over the feeders (not even sure what those things are called).

A 50' long design!!!  The only thing I have done even close was a set of pin stripes for my truck.  Those were maybe 18'.  I used Sign Cut step by step cutting on my SC cutter.  Results were not saleable, but ok for my use.

 

As an experiment I loaded a design into AI and saved as an SVG (I usually save as an AI or EPS).  I then imported into SCALP and it loaded immediately.  It was a smaller design, but complicated.  Not sure what you are running into unless it is those 50' long designs?

I very much recommend that you give Primal a shot..

Cal

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Most big or long projects are one in segments. I think the limit of AI is a little over 20ft for workplace unless they have revamped that in the CC edition. Generally you would be scaling up a smaller project to cut something that long. I don't know SCALP enough to know if you can even do that. 

The bottom line is (as mentioned by clhyer) your SC cutter is not really capable of those size of things although people push the envelope all the time. If you have projects that large you should be looking into a cutter that can handle it and I suggest looking for a cutting utility that is professional grade as well.

If you have and are savvy with AI for design you can use SignCut Pro 1 that they sell here at USCutter for like $270 lifetime dongle. It is mac compatible and also pc compatible. It's just a cutting utility with almost no design ability but it has a step-by-step option that can help out budget cutters in SOME cases. I like the program so much I chose it over all the other options when I bought my Summa cutter. 

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Sounds right. Rarely have I even gotten close but should the need arise thats when you want to design at a smaller scale and let your cutting program upsize it. That's easy to do in SignCut.

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Thank you guys for all of the help, I think I played around with it enough to get it working correctly.  No issues at all.  You guys are great and thanks for the quickly replies.  Thanks @Primal Decals for offering help over the phone, ill Inbox you and give you my number should I have any questions in the future.  

One last thing, 

Ive seen other cutters with a built in blade to cut the vinyl after cutting.  the SC2 has a red guide on it to put in a blade to cut.  Do they make one for the SC2?  Like a slide blade that mounts on the machine?  Just curious cause I've seen some on others.  Thanks 

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1 hour ago, Dolomite41 said:

Thank you guys for all of the help, I think I played around with it enough to get it working correctly.  No issues at all.  You guys are great and thanks for the quickly replies.  Thanks @Primal Decals for offering help over the phone, ill Inbox you and give you my number should I have any questions in the future.  

One last thing, 

Ive seen other cutters with a built in blade to cut the vinyl after cutting.  the SC2 has a red guide on it to put in a blade to cut.  Do they make one for the SC2?  Like a slide blade that mounts on the machine?  Just curious cause I've seen some on others.  Thanks 

I don't think I have seen a cutter with an auto cut off until you get up to the graphtec fc  series - I have been using a snap off blade knife on all my graphtecs for years

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4 hours ago, Dolomite41 said:

 

Ive seen other cutters with a built in blade to cut the vinyl after cutting.  the SC2 has a red guide on it to put in a blade to cut.  Do they make one for the SC2?  Like a slide blade that mounts on the machine?  Just curious cause I've seen some on others.  Thanks 

I have a Graphtec FC series and it is the only vinyl cutter I have seen that has the cut off blade.  Or rebranded Graphtec FC

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On 12/22/2017 at 7:16 PM, Primal Decals said:

Dolomite41 I can give you help over the phone if you wish, Send me a Pm And ill give you my number..  Im pretty positive i can get you going with just one call and in about 15 min.

Can I get on your call list? LOL - my machine is going to land out the window in the snow soon! :P

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5 hours ago, LindseyM84 said:

Can I get on your call list? LOL - my machine is going to land out the window in the snow soon! :P

Sure can lol. Ill send you a pm

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2 hours ago, Primal Decals said:

Sure can lol. Ill send you a pm

How about helping in the open so others can benefit in the future when they search

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Dakotagrafx i fully agree with you until it doesnt work on a forum ,It always doesnt work out easily for some when they read toms of comments, So hands on is the next best thing and does work.

@cardudenchad an issue last night with importing svg files into scalps . And it is now resolved to the problem being that he is pushing his ram in his laptop to the max. Tried figuring it out thru messaging and sending me photos of what he was seeing and it just wasnt working that way , Not everyone can be easily helped and instead needs a one on one only because they may  get themselves overwhelmed with too much help. I used to be one of them when i first started using Ai and Scalps ,And thanks to Wildgoose for things he has taught me outside of the forum.....   but it was hard to do without seeing what was really going on with cardudenc issue..  So I had to do a Live view with him. And i actually do it a lot with others cause its much easier to help that way with others. .Once i Physically seen what it was doing and did some svg file tests with svg files and exporting etc .Ran a simple FREE software  from the web that tells me how much ram is being used while he has several programs running at once ,And it was using up to 86% of ram which affected everything . When he imported the Vector file to Scalps it would show nothing  until you ran the mouse over it and then it would make an outline image of his work..

Ai was even slow at running while i checked everything But after running the Ram cleaner it sped up as well... Ran the Ram cleaner to free up ram resources and also restarted scalps and it was fixed... He needs to add ram for he is at 2gb and 4 will be just fine to fix it. In know cause i added to my other laptop before i had my new one built and the ram upgrade solved it on mine as well... 

So sometimes things cant be just resolved thru chatting on a forum. But i do try to post on the forum until i see its not getting anywhere fast enough for the person asking for help, so  i offer direct help..

Im just one of those people who enjoy helping no matter how busy i am with my own work. And @cardudenc @zip2it @fatih @Chriscarp746  @Powerboss   are just a few of tons ive helped one on one and they continue to get ahold of me anytime they need something . I hate seeing people struggle to long,

 

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2 minutes ago, Dakotagrafx said:

if you could post back the final solution though it might help someone with a mac in the future.

Well for cardudenc it was lack of ram, after freeing up ram and restarting the software he was using allowed the software to have the ram needed to work properly, So now on his screen in the corner is a little tab he can watch and when it starts climbing above ( lets say 75%) he clicks it and in secs it frees up  what it can. I have it on mine but i have no worries due to having 16gb ram. upgrading to 32gb soon. ..  Hes only running 2gb ram on his which is not good. And running Ai is a killer for ram hogging.  Cardudenc has a newer laptop he just bought and is not going to have this problem with it having more than enough ram and power. Just need to get his software all transferred over .

My buddy who doesnt do designing  but uses Photoshop and lightroom software like me but  has a mac and was having the same problem.His Processor speed was great  but lacked ram, So we upgraded to 8gb from 2gb and his problems were fixed as well instantly .. So sometimes its not the software and its the computer. I have noticed some people are buying computers before researching what they need it to run or do,thinking they are getting such a great deal and then find out they have to spend more in the end cause it lacked 1 thing or another. 

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Adding to that, if you doing this stuff you should leave the computer alone when it is cutting. If you sent the file from any program to another, shut down the other first.

Computers have a habit of deciding what needs to be done first. And as we know, computers are stupid.

Prep, then process, then continue. That is why most of us use a cheap computer on the cutter and something better on the design side.

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1 minute ago, bikemike said:

Adding to that, if you doing this stuff you should leave the computer alone when it is cutting. If you sent the file from any program to another, shut down the other first.

Computers have a habit of deciding what needs to be done first. And as we know, computers are stupid.

Prep, then process, then continue. That is why most of us use a cheap computer on the cutter and something better on the design side.

Lol very true and good point @bikemike.. the more thats running at once the more its stealing from everything else which can cause the issue also.

I also see that some people have 2 computers .1 for cutting only and the other for designing etc. Im in the process of setting my system up that way right now . My high end laptop for designing and the other for 1 thing only, Even tho both have more than needed for doing everything .....

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For me it is the best way to go. A cutter needs next to nothing to cut. You can still keep working on the "good" one while the job gets cut.

Unless you have a cutter that needs constant supervision.

 

 

 

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I use an old smaller computer that is dedicated to the cutter with no internet connection - been that way for 10 years always ready to rock and roll - the design computers come and go every 3 years but the old trusty simple cutting computer like you can buy for $60 works great connected and left alone on a cutter - the old cutting computer is  dual core 2.6 ghx with a whopping 2 gb ram and works flawlessly - so it takes very little to run a cutter.

the latest design computer I went a little more nuts on :)

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6 minutes ago, Dakotagrafx said:

I use an old smaller computer that is dedicated to the cutter with no internet connection - been that way for 10 years always ready to rock and roll - the design computers come and go every 3 years but the old trusty simple cutting computer like you can buy for $60 works great connected and left alone on a cutter - the old cutting computer is  dual core 2.6 ghx with a whopping 2 gb ram and works flawlessly - so it takes very little to run a cutter.

the latest design computer I went a little more nuts on :)

I spent 2500 on my laptop lol..

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