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I have a customer that wants a long piece cut out.  It's a simple one color piece and is only about 20" at it's widest point so I'll use 24" vinyl rolls, but my machine has a max cutting length of 144" and this piece will be around 200" or more.  Will this cut fine?  I have attached a very rough draft of what he wants, for you to see.  There will be some changes, but it will be in segments for sure. 

I guess what I'm wondering is:

1. Will there be a memory issue at all with a large piece, and if so... at what point does memory become an issue?  Or is memory only an issue when the cutter isn't connected to the computer?

2. Will the cutter completely cut out the first segment, then move on to the second, then third etc... or does it cut all the inside holes first, or outside holes first, then roll the vinyl back to cut the others?

I'm using a 28" SC2.

5b33a298357bb_Screenshot(17).thumb.png.cecebb7537650cc0259f155836e83c14.png

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Thought I read on the specs that the SC2 had upgraded memory.   I can see many places that the design could be broken up and cut.  Try it with the pen tool first.  Then you can check memory.  But your real problem may be tracking. 

How it cuts in sequence depends on your cutting software.  Some software has optimize cutting or similar wording. 

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memory issues tend to be caused by lots of nodes - large designs that are clean and minimal nodes will cut much better than one that was traced and has tons of extra nodes 

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"my machine has a max cutting length of 144"

Why do you say that?  There is no limit, the machine will keep rolling out vinyl, and my SC2 tracks pretty damn well over long lengths (10' to 20' if needed)

Just change the vinyl/media length inside the sofware (cutter properties setup).

 

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1 hour ago, slice&dice said:

"my machine has a max cutting length of 144"

Why do you say that?  There is no limit, the machine will keep rolling out vinyl,

 

He is probably saying that because that is what the specs say for the SC2  on USCutter website.

Max Cutting Length 144 in
Max Cutting Width 24/31/48 in

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Well, that spec is just nonsense, then.

There is no physical restriction within the technical constraints of the machine itself, so long as the vinyl tracking is set properly, it'll just keep on going, and trust me, I've done nearly 25 feet running, no problem (the MH I had before this was a tracking beast and wouldn't let me do it).

 

 

 

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I guess maybe I should ask it a different way...

If i were to cut a simple rectangle that was 20" wide and 48" long, the blade would drop and it might travel 20" across then the rollers would feed 48" of vinyl, then the blade would cut back 20" and finally the rollers would feed the vinyl back 48" where the blade would (should) end up exactly where it started.  (I guess it could also go in the exact reverse order too but that doesn't matter)

But if the rectangle was 20" wide by say...300" long instead, I would think there would be a greater chance that at the very end of the cut, the blade will not be at the exact same spot it started.  I could easily imagine it being like 1/4" off or something like that because of the vinyl not feeding perfectly straight.

i always thought that the better your cutter, the tighter the pressure is on the rollers, or the tighter tolerances or whatever it is, that lets it have better tracking ability and the cutter will be able to line up the start and end points better, which gives it a "maximum length" that the cutter will handle.  Yes you can cut longer, but there may be some problems at the end of the cut.  Is that what the max length is all about?

 

Now I would assume that if the drawing is segmented like it is in my picture, the cutter doesn't really care.  The drawing could be 100 yards long but the cutter is only cutting like 20" at a time so it should be fine... Correct?

Yes, I know I could easily also just make I think 12 (according to my count in the picture above) separate pieces, then apply them separately... But I'm just asking hypothetically right now to understand how these machines work.

 

As far as memory is concerned, I still don't quite understand the limitations, or need for more of it.....

Yes the SC2 has upgraded memory from the SC, but it also boasts the ability to cut a design, then... if I'm understanding it correctly, the cutter could be unplugged from the PC and you can just hit the COPY button, where it will repeat the last cut job that it has stored in that memory.  I may be understanding it wrong, but that's what I thought the larger memory was for.  

Larger memory = ability to COPY a more complex job without needing to go back to the PC every time to start the cut... Am I wrong?  I would think that for example with a computer printer, the memory is being used by the computer, not the printer.  As long as the cutter and computer are connected, there's no need for memory.  I could be wrong..?

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Most cutters that I have used, start cutting where the design was created at first.. I may cut a 20" wide x 90 Inch long design.  When I hit cut the cutter will feed out maybe 5 feet, which is where the design was created at, then it will continue to the front and back of the vinyl to finish the entire design.  I use Flexi software. If has always cut like that.   But my Flexi software will also cut, OPTIMIZE cutting order.  Say I break this design up into panels of 20 inches each.  The software will tell the vinyl cutter to cut everything in the first 20 inches,  then it will advance and cut everything in the next 20" and so on until it finishes the entire order., instead of cutting all the way  vinyl end to end back and forth.

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What I have done, in SBE, on long cuts is uncheck the weed box and set the machine to limit the movement of the vinyl for the cut. This way it will cut each graphic one by one down the line.

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12 minutes ago, MZ SKEETER said:

Most cutters that I have used, start cutting where the design was created at first.. I may cut a 20" wide x 90 Inch long design.  When I hit cut the cutter will feed out maybe 5 feet, which is where the design was created at, then it will continue to the front and back of the vinyl to finish the entire design.  I use Flexi software. If has always cut like that.   But my Flexi software will also cut, OPTIMIZE cutting order.  Say I break this design up into panels of 20 inches each.  The software will tell the vinyl cutter to cut everything in the first 20 inches,  then it will advance and cut everything in the next 20" and so on until it finishes the entire order., instead of cutting all the way  vinyl end to end. 

So you're saying that it's possible that my software (VinylMaster by the way) might (depending on how I draw it up) cut all the outside boxes in my picture first, then come back and cut the insides of those boxes?  I know I can arrange all the cuts in order of fronts and backs, which should let me have them cut in whatever order I want, but I was hoping that it was intelligent enough to cut the design in order of what comes first on the roll.

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I don't know how Vinyl Master works.  I have always used Flexi software.  Draw it and try using the pen tool and see how it does.   Does Vinyl Master have anything like optimize cutting order?  Flexi and Signcut do. 

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"Now I would assume that if the drawing is segmented like it is in my picture, the cutter doesn't really care.  The drawing could be 100 yards long but the cutter is only cutting like 20" at a time so it should be fine... Correct? "

Yes, correct.

The cutter can be commanded to "move the vinyl less" or to "move the carriage head less" --  I always have it set to move vinyl less.

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7 hours ago, slice&dice said:

"Now I would assume that if the drawing is segmented like it is in my picture, the cutter doesn't really care.  The drawing could be 100 yards long but the cutter is only cutting like 20" at a time so it should be fine... Correct? "

Yes, correct.

The cutter can be commanded to "move the vinyl less" or to "move the carriage head less" --  I always have it set to move vinyl less.

That is interesting s&d, what cutting program are you using and where is this command located?

btw, I am using scalp 3.  don't know if it is in that one or not.

Thanks

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For cutting each segment in order I would either do as Skeeter said and use a pen on butcher paper to test or simply shrink the design down to a few inches and cut it so you can see the progression across the design. As to whether it will cut the whole thing as long as you figure out the cutting order idea then if it happens to twig out on you it won't really waste much vinyl other than no longer being one long run. I too would turn off your weeding box if you typically use one.

Bear in mind once you cut something that long you will also have to mask it off. I use a Big Squeegee Cut Vinyl tool for that kind of thing but getting started straight on something that long is tricky and takes some practice. 

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Hey cal, I'm in SignBlazerElements. (cutter setup dialogue box)

I stick with that 'obsolete' program because it's easy to configure, easy to design, and has a simple interface with all sorts of valuable tools (including a terrific Library of graphics clip art -- DRAW menu).

 

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1 hour ago, Wildgoose said:

For cutting each segment in order I would either do as Skeeter said and use a pen on butcher paper to test or simply shrink the design down to a few inches and cut it so you can see the progression across the design. As to whether it will cut the whole thing as long as you figure out the cutting order idea then if it happens to twig out on you it won't really waste much vinyl other than no longer being one long run. I too would turn off your weeding box if you typically use one.

Bear in mind once you cut something that long you will also have to mask it off. I use a Big Squeegee Cut Vinyl tool for that kind of thing but getting started straight on something that long is tricky and takes some practice. 

Not to mention the install of a graphic of 20 feet compared to 3-4'

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Regarding the memory question. It depends on how the cutter protocol is setup. In theory, you are correct, the protocol could be setup so that the data is fed to the cutter from the computer as the cutter needs it. In reality, I'm pretty sure, the cheaper machines require the entire data set be sent to the cutter before the cutter starts. The higher end machines might do streaming, but I kind of doubt it.

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I bet you can save the file and check the file size vs other known files and get a good guess if it's going to be a problem. 

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