Kristof

Help!! Magnet cutting, machine hard to calibrate

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1 hour ago, klcjr said:

The Graphtec FC8600 video on youtube claims it can cut up to 60 mil material and lists 'sandblast rubber material' as a media type.

That is what a spec  says. 

The FC8600-60 has the following specifications:

It has a 20g to 600g programmable cutting force in a total of 48 steps. The media cutting thickness measures 59.1 mils, and the maximum thickness for the auto sheet cutter is 11 mil, with the release liner.

If you can find a good used FC7000-MK2  or FC8000   the specs are the same. 

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1 hour ago, haumana said:

I'd run it through my laser, but i highly doubt it's worth you sending it to me. maybe someone who is closer, with a laser, will chime in.

Are you located far away from the east coast?

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37 minutes ago, klcjr said:

Are you located far away from the east coast?

I'd be located in the middle of the Pacific (Hawaii).

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12 minutes ago, haumana said:

I'd be located in the middle of the Pacific (Hawaii).

Oh wow, a bit far!

The Roland Camm-1 GS-24 seems like it may work as well for my needs?

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14 minutes ago, klcjr said:

 

The Roland Camm-1 GS-24 seems like it may work as well for my needs?

The force is much less at 350g   FC goes up to 600g.   You have to compare the specs.   But that is your choice. 

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7 minutes ago, MZ SKEETER said:

The force is much less at 350g   FC goes up to 600g.   You have to compare the specs.   But that is your choice. 

Less force means I need more passes, correct?

Doesn't look like the gs-24 plays nicely with macOS due to it requiring an Adobe Illustrator plugin.

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7 minutes ago, klcjr said:

Less force means I need more passes, correct?

Doesn't look like the gs-24 plays nicely with macOS due to it requiring an Adobe Illustrator plugin.

correct, a lot less force than the Titan 2 you were using.    The Graphtec requires a plug in for illustrator also.   Very few mac cutting softwares out there.   We usually try to convince people to just get a cheap Windows computer.  I still cut on a 2006 Toshiba laptop with Windows XP on my Graphtecs. No problems.  You don't need a fancy computer to run a vinyl cutter. 

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11 minutes ago, MZ SKEETER said:

correct, a lot less force than the Titan 2 you were using.    The Graphtec requires a plug in for illustrator also.   Very few mac cutting softwares out there.   We usually try to convince people to just get a cheap Windows computer.  I still cut on a 2006 Toshiba laptop with Windows XP on my Graphtecs. No problems.  You don't need a fancy computer to run a vinyl cutter. 

Graphtec appears to have software for the mac: https://www.graphtecamerica.com/cp-software-studio-mac

On the titan 2 force, when I tried higher force settings, that actually made the cut quality worse for some reason.

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I don't mess with Mac, and not a lot of Mac people on here.  But it used to be with the Graphtec Studio software, when you saved a file, it exported as .gs.  Which you cannot use the file in any other software.  You have to stick with that software.  I don't know if it has been changed, where you can export as an .eps file.  An .eps file you can use in most any software.   I only use Flexi software.   I don't mess with the Graphtec software. I think you can download it and see how it exports. 

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I design on a mac and have mac compatible software (SignCut Pro1, which is strictly a cutter interface) but most of the time take my designs over to a cheap windows laptop and cut with that. More to do with keeping my design workstation unfettered than anything to do with the OS platform. I design in Adobe Illustrator as many mac users who cut do. 

The Graphtec FC series are going to be a much better option than the Roland. They are built for higher cutting pressures. Another option might be a Summa T series tangential cutter. They actually steer the blade around the corners rather than dragging the castor style blades all the drag knife regular cutters do. Using the higher downforce when cutting is going to translate into a lot more working force on all the components and that is why none of us want to use our pricey fine cutting machines to hack away at thick magnetic. At least the high end machines like the FC and the T Series Summa are built to take the abuse although it still makes me shudder to think of doing that to one. I have been wanting to step up to a tangential Summa machine (currently running a SummaCut drag knife) but not for the increased cutting power more for the increased accuracy that is supposed to be the case. I really just have this little devil that sits on my shoulder making me think I need one. 

I think if I were you and were considering spending the kind of dough that it's going to take for one of these high end cutters I would take a nice sized sample and go find a test machine and see if they can cut it like you want. Graphtec should be easy to find a dealer or a user somewhere near you, they are the most widely used name brand machines in the states. You will just have to find someone who cuts with the FC series. You might check with some of the sandblast people in your area. The local salesperson for Graphtec in my area has a couple clients that use the FC's for cutting blast resist which would be very similar to your magnetic. I almost bought an FC from her when I was upgrading. 

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I am a huge graphtec fan but want to point out one thing a roland gs is equivalent to the ce series graphtec -  
the roland GR is equivalent to a graphtec FC series.   I do fine detail so graphtec is the way for me but if my business was contouring items I printed I would lean toward roland as they find registration marks better than any plotter I have used.  with the 3 print/cut rolands I had I always kept the graphtec for regular vinyl.

Best thing would be to find a dealer in your area and take the material there for a demonstration.  trade shows are great too but keep in mind every one at a dealer and trade show is there to sell THEIR product - but then if they show you doing what you need done you have proof the machine can do it

 

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I tried out the Graphtec Studio software for mac last night, and it imports the DXF files incorrectly. Sure Cuts a Lot imports them correctly, but I don't know if the Camm-1 GS-24 or FC8600 is supported?

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I'm located on the east coast, but that coast is lengthy. I may be able to do a sample cut of your magnet on my cutter (Summa S2T), rounded corners or square corners, nothing intricate as I don't want to destroy my blade which is literally 2 days old with less than 30ft of vinyl running thru it. The minimum width of material to fit the cutter is 8 or 9 inches. I not sure about length since I have never cut anything short-term maybe 12 inches?!?! But if you are looking to spend that kind of money to cut magnets, I recommend a used flatbed cutter- more robust and versatile. 

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If possible you'd be doing yourself a favor to get away from the dxf file format. Several cutting programs can open them, but they never seem to work as well as an eps. dxf files seem to have disconnected nodes quite often, so while it looks good on the screen, the cutter is lifting and dropping the blade unnecessarily and you can end up with cuts that have a lot of points still connected. 

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20 minutes ago, darcshadow said:

If possible you'd be doing yourself a favor to get away from the dxf file format. Several cutting programs can open them, but they never seem to work as well as an eps. dxf files seem to have disconnected nodes quite often, so while it looks good on the screen, the cutter is lifting and dropping the blade unnecessarily and you can end up with cuts that have a lot of points still connected. 

That's not possible since Fusion 360 is used for the cad modeling and dxf exporting is the preferred and best format for exporting a sketch profile.

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You stated you are doing squares, rectangles, circles, off circles, shapes. You can do that in FREE inkscape and export as an .eps.   What are we missing?   Very, very detailed  designs can be done in .eps.  I do them all the time.  

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4 minutes ago, MZ SKEETER said:

You stated you are doing squares, rectangles, circles, off circles, You can do that in FREE inkscape and export as an .eps.   What are we missing?   Very, very detailed  designs can be done in .eps.  I do them all the time.  

Fusion 360 is used to create the shapes on demand as orders come in, all we do is change two parameters and since Fusion 360 is parametric, it automatically changes the sketch dimensions on the fly (much faster workflow). For circular shapes, we have one parameter.

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I use Flexi software and have no problem with imported dfx files.    The Windows Graphtec Pro Studio is rebranded Flexisign Pro.  (Over $1000 software)  Which comes FREE with a Graphtec FC8600  Still to your advantage to get a cheap windows laptop to cut with.  I have picked up several for back ups.  for $100 or less with FREE shipping.  They may be a bit more, to pick up a 17" Windows 7 now and throw Windows 10 on it.   I have done that also,   For $200 free shipping.   It is stated you can get 3 licenses for that. 

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I have the FC7000-MK2-75  that I bought new 2008.  Never a problem.  Last year, on Ebay I picked up a FC8000-75 for $1000 free ship. They had the cross cutter locked on it. It took me 10 minutes to fix it.  I had to look at my 7000 carriage head to see the problem,  easy fix.   They are both beasts. 

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Also ordered two cleancut blades that were similar to the ones I have been trying with the titan 2. Too bad they aren't compatible; oh well.

@MZ SKEETER This is what I bought: http://cleancutblade.mybigcommerce.com/graphtec-cb15u-60-metal/

Does a standard FC8600 come with the right type of blade holder out of the box so I won't need to buy anything else to use that blade?

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Out of the box is a holder for the CBO9U blade.  regular vinyl cutting.        The FC8000 that I got, they had been cutting reflective vinyl.  So it had the red cap blade holder in it for that blade.   You will have to go to the Graphtec site or Ebay and get a holder for that blade by the blade number.   The last owner of the FC8000 even installed 2 extra pinch rollers on it.  It has 4 now. It is a 30" cutter.  They come standard with 2 pinch rollers.  

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9 minutes ago, MZ SKEETER said:

Out of the box is a holder for the CBO9U blade.  regular vinyl cutting.        The FC8000 that I got, they had been cutting reflective vinyl.  So it had the red cap blade holder in it for that blade.   You will have to go to the Graphtec site or Ebay and get a holder for that blade by the blade number.   The last owner of the FC8000 even installed 2 extra pinch rollers on it.  It has 4 now. It is a 30" cutter.  They come standard with 2 pinch rollers.  

Will I need more than the standard 2 pinch rollers? They're about $250 a piece extra.

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I have no idea.  I only cut regular sign vinyl. And 2 pinch rollers even on a 30" cutter work perfect.  Tracking is perfect. FC cutters have different pinch roller adjustments that can be locked down.   I cut sign vinyl, my pinch rollers are not locked down all the way.  You can see that in the user manual. 

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Ok great.

By the way, here is one of the dxf files that I need to cut frequently. Can you see if it imports properly? 

DXF_Test.dxf

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