Wilson

Noob Questions

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So I got an SC2 & heat press a few weeks ago and have started playing around with it.  The setup went eerily well... installed VinalMaster Cut on my Windows 10 laptop, followed their manual to connect using the USB and so far it's worked exactly like I think it should.

Now that I've done a few cuts I have a couple questions...

When cutting, when the head lifts up and then sets back down it seems kinda harsh.  Here's a link to a video I took of it.  Is this normal?  https://youtu.be/62sZZpREJcg

I set the blade depth using the method that MZ. SKEETER has posted before.  When I cut on regular vinyl (I believe it's the GreenStar general purpose) I barely get markings on the carrier sheet but you can still see what was cut when the vinyl is removed from the carrier.  My wife & I decided to play with some Easy Weed Stretch last night and cut out some text to put on a shirt for what her group calls themselves at the gym.  I cut the Easy Weed Stretch at the same pressure (55, which was the default and seems to work well for the GreenStar) and the indent on the carrier looks to be much deeper, almost scoring it.  Is this normal or do I need to go back and look at blade exposure and/or adjust the pressure?  I've attached a couple pics... hopefully it shows what I'm referring to.

Nothing like cutting your teeth with the heat press & HTV by pressing a 95% Rayon shirt. :blink:  After doing a little research, we turned it down to 280* but still ended up getting a slight discoloration before we got it stuck well enough to peel the carrier.  I think some practice on some cotton or 50/50 might be in order.

 

 
 

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I would get some good vinyl.  Oracal 651 etc.  and  set your blade to that.  Greenstar, more like practice vinyl.   You have a TEST feature on your vinyl cutter,  use it when you change vinyls.  You can see how it cuts with each vinyl.   I would back off the force a tad for the Heat press vinyl right now, until you get better vinyl.  

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15 minutes ago, MZ SKEETER said:

Greenstar, more like practice vinyl.

LOL... that's exactly why I got it, it was cheap on clearance when I got the cutter.  Any idea what size the cut would be with the test feature?  I was a little leery to use it because the piece of vinyl I was using was only about 12x12 and I didn't want it to go wild and off the vinyl.  We have an HP plotter at work and the test feature on it prints out a 6-foot tall full color picture.  Nothing like having a test feature like that smoke your ink cartridges right out of the gate.

Other than what looks like deeper marks on the HTV, all the cuts I've done have been nice (no offset issues, ect.) and weeded just fine.

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Not sure on the SC, but on the MH the test is only about 3/4" square. I would expect something close on the SC. Most vinyls are pretty close to the same thickness and just need slightly different pressure settings, but you will also find you'll need to adjust the blade depth for different brands, types, and sometimes even color.

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Test cuts are only 1/4 to 1/2 inch.

Set up for 651, I do not change anything for HTV. And looks just like yours.

 

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42 minutes ago, Wilson said:

 (no offset issues, ect.) and weeded just fine.

How did you set your blade offset, if you didn't do a test cut?   Your test cut shows how square the the square is in the TEST cut feature.   The test cut feature guides you thru setting blade offset. 

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When I started the setup I fully expected having to buy the USB - Serial converter and spending a bunch of time tweaking settings to get it to cut well.  So I was shocked when I plugged it in, ran through the procedure in the manual to set it up and it found the cutter and everything seems to be working just fine.  The offset I believe defaulted to .35 (which seemed a little high compared to the ~.25 I've seen discussed on here) but I figured I'd try it first with the defaults before I started messing with anything.  For tests I think I created my own 1" square as well as some text with serifs (similar to the font I used for the HTV) and all of the corners looked great (to me).  It almost seemed a little too easy. LOL

I have some 651 so I'll set the blade depth with that and then see what things look like with the GreenStar and the HTV.  What about the noise when the blade comes down (sounds like a medium-strong tap of a pen on a desk), is this anything to be concerned about?  Don't wan to keep running it this way if it's trying to self destruct.

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Siser Easyweed and Easyweed Stretch HTV will generally cut as the same pressure and speed as regular vinyl assuming you have a good blade tip. Regular Siser is less picky on blade sharpness, stretch is very resilient and if your blade tip happens to be a little worn it can resist cutting even though it will still do fine on regular adhesive vinyl. 

The carrier on most HTV is super tough so you have no worries about over pressure cutting through but if you are using more than you need it can sometimes cause the material to bunch up in front of the blade which will cause accuracy problems sometimes or worse. The higher end machines with vacuum hold down do better at resisting this but any of them can have the problem if you are using more pressure than you need or because you blade is getting tired and you had to crank up the pressure. 

Rayon is tricky to work with compared to cotton or blends. Regular shirts and  hoodies are simple. Be sure and double check your platen temp with an IR thermometer because accurate heat time and pressure are what assure a good application. We used to say that a good sign was being able to see the weave of the shirt through the HTV was what you are looking for and that still hold true for regular Easyweed but the stretch doesn't always show that so the rule of thumb doesn't apply to Stretch. 

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You still may need a Tripp-lite Keyspan Adapter in the future.  Time will tell.   Those value cutters do not have TRUE USB, like higher end cutters.  Large designs with a lot of nodes, may cause you problems.  Or running a lot of copies at 1 time. The Keyspan Adapter controls the data sent to your vinyl cutter, so as not to overload it. 

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I don't know about anyone else, but even though I pretty much only cut with 651, pressure is partially determined by color and age of the vinyl. There's a 'happy medium' setting that i can typically use, but when changing to black or white, or some old vinyl - I always make sure to use the test button on my cutter because it's the quickest and easiest way for me to test the settings, and it has very minimal waste.

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White is my nemesis. No matter what brand I try it takes more pressure and just doesn't leave as nice a cut as the other colors.    I've noticed I can cut a 24" x 60" red or black 3M reflective in two passes and it's a nice clean edge. Cut the same design in white reflective and there is so much drag that the 1st and 2nd cut don't always line up...frustrating.

As for the Greenstar, I bought a bunch with my cutter for practice.  Didn't care how much I wasted or gave away at the price.  It was a great learning experience, because once I got good at cutting and weeding it I switched to 651 and it was night and day different. The 651 cuts, weeds and lays so much nicer!  Can't imagine how much time and headache I would have saved myself if I'd just started with 651 and a CleanCut blade....but think of all the lessons I wouldn't have learned.

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3 minutes ago, ShaneGreen said:

 Can't imagine how much time and headache I would have saved myself if I'd just started with 651 and a CleanCut blade....but think of all the lessons I wouldn't have learned. 

Yup, the lessons are the part you do not want to miss before going to the good stuff.

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On the thicker stuff you should be using 60* blades (the ones with the RED cap, not blue) on the thicker reflective white. Probably last longer (and cost more)

 

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15 hours ago, bikemike said:

On the thicker stuff you should be using 60* blades (the ones with the RED cap, not blue) on the thicker reflective white.

----   The RED caps are 45*, this is an industry-wide standard.

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Right, I missed the part about the sc2. Graphtec red caps are a thicker stronger blade and available in 60*

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Well, so much for an "Industry Wide Standard"!!!!  The above reference, of course, is just for the Roland-type blades, and Graphtec has their own proprietary thing going on. One cap color I've never encountered is the yellow --- I wonder about the benefit or use of 30* blade angle?

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23 minutes ago, slice&dice said:

Well, so much for an "Industry Wide Standard"!!!!  The above reference, of course, is just for the Roland-type blades, and Graphtec has their own proprietary thing going on. One cap color I've never encountered is the yellow --- I wonder about the benefit or use of 30* blade angle?

actually slice - graphtec has different blade holders that have red and blue caps - the cb009u that most of us use are the blue standard blade holder with a blue adjustment knob on the top the cb015u is for a thicker blade used for things like thick sandblast resist (thinner can be cut with the cb009u) and has a red adjustment cap - unlike the protective caps you show on the roland blades when they are shipped - - -   http://www.graphtecamericastore.com/blade-holders/

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