Nitro218

Shop series or professional cutter?

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Looking to step up to a shop series or professional cutter from an entry level/value cutter. I've got a 7 year old 24" PCUT that has gotten me by until now. I need a cutter with better cut quality, faster inches per minute without compromising cut quality and less noise is a plus. I currently struggle with precision, production time and limitations to jobs. I'd like to be able to do more precise images, produce more quantities and take on the larger jobs. I've exhausted fine tuning the PCUT many many times to still get disappointed with the cut quality with clean cut blades, pressure, blade exposure, offsets, speeds and so on.

My budget is about $2K, lower the better. I've looked at the Titan series 1-3, Graphtec CE-6000 and the Mimaki in that price point. My main needs are to stay in the 24" cutter range, precision cuts, faster speeds, less noise and no need for contour cutting. I mainly use 651, and I'm the type to keep usable scraps for small jobs. I would like to be able to move the pinch rollers for that reason. From what I've seen in pictures, the roller positions are limited on the Titan series?

Most jobs are small quantities and sizes but about once a month or so, I will have a bulk order request of 400+, detailed cuts and or large cut requests.

Correct me if I'm wrong, I see that the Titan series uses VinlyMaster, Graphtech uses SignCut and the Mimaki uses Simple/Fine Cut. My question is, how is the transition and learning curve from using Inkscape & SignBlazer for 7 years? Are the programs easy to transition to and learn? SignBlazer files to the new programs?

I'd like to hear some pros and cons and comparisons if you've had experiences with the cutters.

If I missed anything, please chime in. Please let me know your thoughts to which cutter and why. Thanks!

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In that price range the CE-6000 wins hands down. I believe Graphtec is now offering a free cutting software that is proprietary and basically a rebranded Flexi program. I don't own a Graphtec but it would be my #2 choice. (I run a Summa but they are half again as much as your budget and only come in 30Inch or larger)

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1 minute ago, Wildgoose said:

In that price range the CE-6000 wins hands down. I believe Graphtec is now offering a free cutting software that is proprietary and basically a rebranded Flexi program. I don't own a Graphtec but it would be my #2 choice. (I run a Summa but they are half again as much as your budget and only come in 30Inch or larger)

I see that a lot of professional shops use the larger Graphtecs as their main cutters, I'm simply a one-man show in a garage. I have no experiences with any other programs outside of SignBlazer. How is the program laid out? Something easy to learn and possibly convert my SB files to it? Thanks.

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graphtec hands down and with the free download of graphtec pro studio (flexi pro cloud) it is impossible to beat the deal - the software would run you as much as you pay for the plotter if you bought it separately.    you know you are in it for a long run now after owning a cutter this long so get a graphtec ce6000-60 and be amazed  

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Just now, Nitro218 said:

I see that a lot of professional shops use the larger Graphtecs as their main cutters, I'm simply a one-man show in a garage. I have no experiences with any other programs outside of SignBlazer. How is the program laid out? Something easy to learn and possibly convert my SB files to it? Thanks.

Sorry I can't help out much in the graphic department due to not actually using that set-up but I have seen a lot of posts recently about the offering. You will have some learning to do for sure. I think that's a given with any change. Other than the initial pain it's usually worth the effort to improve yourself. The Graphtec's are known for being bullet proof and have built a name that few other cutters can compete with due to their reliability and build quality. 

I started out with a P-Cut for about 2-1/2 years so I know what you are going through. Someone once said "The quality remains long after the price has been forgotten" and that definitely hold true to cutters. My Summa is a little different but similar to the CE. I have cut 30 or 40 feet of HTV in relatively small 3" wide Left Chest logos on that thing. I set it up and got it running and went to bed and it cut all night and was sitting there when I woke up the next day. You can't do THAT with a P-Cut. Heck I couldn't get more than about 10 of anything before it wigged out. 

 

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4 minutes ago, Dakotagrafx said:

graphtec hands down and with the free download of graphtec pro studio (flexi pro cloud) it is impossible to beat the deal - the software would run you as much as you pay for the plotter if you bought it separately.    you know you are in it for a long run now after owning a cutter this long so get a graphtec ce6000-60 and be amazed  

 

3 minutes ago, Wildgoose said:

Sorry I can't help out much in the graphic department due to not actually using that set-up but I have seen a lot of posts recently about the offering. You will have some learning to do for sure. I think that's a given with any change. Other than the initial pain it's usually worth the effort to improve yourself. The Graphtec's are known for being bullet proof and have built a name that few other cutters can compete with due to their reliability and build quality. 

I started out with a P-Cut for about 2-1/2 years so I know what you are going through. Someone once said "The quality remains long after the price has been forgotten" and that definitely hold true to cutters. My Summa is a little different but similar to the CE. I have cut 30 or 40 feet of HTV in relatively small 3" wide Left Chest logos on that thing. I set it up and got it running and went to bed and it cut all night and was sitting there when I woke up the next day. You can't do THAT with a P-Cut. Heck I couldn't get more than about 10 of anything before it wigged out. 

 

Well it looks like the Graphtec is winning so far!

Most of my learning of SB is from trial and error, youtube, here and self-taught. Starting over fresh with a new program will be a pain but I'm sure it shouldn't take too long. I don't even trust stepping out of the room while my PCUT is going. I just fill what I can in one row of 24", cut, remove from cutter, cut again while I weed. 

If I remember correctly I can export or save my SB files as .eps? With Graphtec pro studio (Flexi) would I need to still use Inkscape to vectorize files?

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1 hour ago, Nitro218 said:

 

Well it looks like the Graphtec is winning so far!

Most of my learning of SB is from trial and error, youtube, here and self-taught. Starting over fresh with a new program will be a pain but I'm sure it shouldn't take too long. I don't even trust stepping out of the room while my PCUT is going. I just fill what I can in one row of 24", cut, remove from cutter, cut again while I weed. 

If I remember correctly I can export or save my SB files as .eps? With Graphtec pro studio (Flexi) would I need to still use Inkscape to vectorize files?

yes sb will export .eps - and you can use the ce3000 or ce5000 drivers from signblazer with the ce6000 but once you get used to the Studio pro being a little different it is far more powerful

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4 minutes ago, Dakotagrafx said:

yes sb will export .eps - and you can use the ce3000 or ce5000 drivers from signblazer with the ce6000 but once you get used to the Studio pro being a little different it is far more powerful

Awesome, I'm glad to hear that. I'm more than willing to learn Studio Pro. Anything at this point is more powerful than SB haha. Thanks!

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I'm a die hard believer in Clean Cut Blades! I cut with the 60-degree 99% of the time, but have 45-degree on hand for thicker stuff.

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On 3/19/2018 at 7:49 PM, Dakotagrafx said:

yes sb will export .eps - and you can use the ce3000 or ce5000 drivers from signblazer with the ce6000 but once you get used to the Studio pro being a little different it is far more powerful

I use the CE3000-60 driver with SBE, seems to work perfectly for me.

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7 minutes ago, haumana said:

I'm a die hard believer in Clean Cut Blades! I cut with the 60-degree 99% of the time, but have 45-degree on hand for thicker stuff.

 

6 minutes ago, haumana said:

I use the CE3000-60 driver with SBE, seems to work perfectly for me.

I've got the 60* CCB on my P-Cut and I've never had to change it. I'll pick up a set. Does graphtec have their own style of blade/holder? I remember I had to buy I think a roland style blade for mine. Thanks Haumana!

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23 minutes ago, Nitro218 said:

I've got the 60* CCB on my P-Cut and I've never had to change it. I'll pick up a set. Does graphtec have their own style of blade/holder? I remember I had to buy I think a roland style blade for mine. Thanks Haumana!

Yes, unfortunately it's not the Roland style. The one you're looking for is SKU: AGTK-60

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5 minutes ago, haumana said:

Yes, unfortunately it's not the Roland style. The one you're looking for is SKU: AGTK-60

Awesome I'll take a look.

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7 minutes ago, Nitro218 said:

@haumana Can you please link me the CCB. Are they on USC or CCB's page, can't find that SKU.

here is the page for the graphtec blades

http://cleancutblade.mybigcommerce.com/categories/Graphtec-Plotters/

this is the one I use in my ce6000  http://cleancutblade.mybigcommerce.com/graphtec-cb09u-60/

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ORDERED! I chose to go through their eBay store. I was able to save on shipping and tax, plus the free heat press seemed too small for the jobs I would plan to use it for so I opt out on the heat press for now. Also ordered the 60* and 45*M CCB's. I've gotten a few requests for reflective signs.

Thank you so much to everyone who has helped!

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