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mor1287

Contour cutting, suddenly leaving white edges around the image. Please help me troubleshoot the issue.

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I have a GCC Expert 24 LX and used it for over almost 2 years now with no serious issues. Usually when my contour cuts begin to show white edges on the image, a simple replacement of the blade fixes it. This time new blades didn't make a difference (I tried 3 brand new CleanCut blades!). I also tried replacing the cutting strip, adjusted the cut pressure down to the point where it doesn't even cut all the way through...still the white edges.

A few things probably worth mentioning:

1. A strange thing I noticed is it's leaving a lot of debri on the material along the cuts. This has never happened before.
2. This began happening right after a project I did on Friday that involved a heavy vinyl that put out a lot of debris. I took apart the blade holder the best I could, cleaned it as best as I could an also oiled it. But still didn't help.

I'm clueless at this point...could the blade holder itself be the problem? On some areas of the cuts, it looks perfect, but the majority shows white edges. If anybody has any idea what could be happening here please let me know.

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I always have spare blade holders on hand as they do wear out over time

 

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I'm no expert and only recently even got a printer where I can begin to do print and cut work. From what my understanding is there should be some bleed allowing for the contour if it's something that needs to have no white showing through. Maybe you're trying to cut it too close to the print edge. 

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+1 on the bleed. I always add the bleed to make sure there is no white showing.

 

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Wildgood and bikmike...I'm sorry if I wasn't clear. I'm not talking about cutting perfectly to the edge of the image. My designs have an outer stroke and I cut inside of it. My issue is that when I cut over the print, it just suddenly stopped cutting cleanly and now you can clearly see the cut, almost like the blade is scratching the material. Attached is an example I just did. Zoom in to see the cuts.

Dakotagrafx, does this actually sound like a blade holder problem to you? 

When heat pressing this onto a dark shirt, it looks terrible. This is the first time I've been unable to fix this issue in 2 years and like I said, usually it's just a dull blade but now I tried 4 brand new blades and the issue still happens. My blades are only sticking out enough to tough the liner of the material, and as I said I've been doing this for 2 years now so that's definitely not the issue.

testexample.jpg

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cant really tell from the picture - sorry

it kind of looks like not a clean cut - did your new blades ever cut thru the transfer into the strip where they would have broken tips?  a 60x loupe is good for examining those.   this is one I broke on a fairly new blade by going off the end of the vinyl. totally my fault and have seen people do that cutting thru their material into the cut strip

34708778_10204823149655084_5425396520734162944_n.jpg

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When you swapped out the blade(s), did you check and double check the blade holder for debris? I notoriously get itty bitty bits of vinyl in the holder itself which causes some minor binding when the blade is trying to turn in a cutting direction. It couldn't hurt to look.

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11 hours ago, Dakotagrafx said:

cant really tell from the picture - sorry

it kind of looks like not a clean cut - did your new blades ever cut thru the transfer into the strip where they would have broken tips?  a 60x loupe is good for examining those.   this is one I broke on a fairly new blade by going off the end of the vinyl. totally my fault and have seen people do that cutting thru their material into the cut strip

 

The new blades definitely did not cut into the strip. This "test" sample I attached in my post is with a brand new blade, first cut, and I had it barely stick out of the blade holder to the point where it wouldn't even cut through the first layer of the vinyl. It literally just touched the first layer at a very low down force and it still caused those white cuts.

8 hours ago, haumana said:

When you swapped out the blade(s), did you check and double check the blade holder for debris? I notoriously get itty bitty bits of vinyl in the holder itself which causes some minor binding when the blade is trying to turn in a cutting direction. It couldn't hurt to look.

Before I started this topic, I did take apart the blade holder and tried to clean it the best I could. I'm not sure if there could be anything else in there. One thing I forgot to mention is at the same time this problem started happening, I also noticed that some of the cuts began to not meet at the ends. Meaning if I were to cut a circle for example, the end of the circle wouldn't meet perfectly with the beginning. That's another reason I'm beginning to think the blade holder could be the main issue.

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then I have to agree with Haumana that the blade is not spinning freely

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Also a bit of oil may help. I put a small drop on a small piece of scrap vinyl and dip the end (opposite the cutting end) in that before putting it back together.

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Not sure if you ever read correctly how to set your blade depth, but this is the correct way. No guessing with it. It works.

This is correct way to set your blade depth.

To start with, you should set your blade depth correctly, by taking the blade holder out of the machine, and firmly cut across a piece of scrap vinyl, you will be cutting. You should only be cutting the vinyl and barely a mark on wax paper backing, Adjust blade to get there, Then put the blade holder back in machine, and use the force of the machine to get there, same results, only cutting the vinyl and barely a mark in wax paper backing. You should just barely see and feel your blade tip out of the blade holder.

 

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Once you have the blade depth set properly, the only adjustments that you really need to make will be speed and force, and that will depend on the vinyl you're cutting and the size and/or intricacy of the design you're trying to cut. The blade should be just cutting through the vinyl and adhesive, possibly leave a faint indentation on the backing. If it's cutting into the backing, then it's either too much blade exposure and/or too much force.

If you not getting closure on the some of the cuts, check what the offset should be for your machine, and make sure that's your starting point in your cutting software.

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11 minutes ago, haumana said:

Once you have the blade depth set properly, the only adjustments that you really need to make will be speed and force, and that will depend on the vinyl you're cutting and the size and/or intricacy of the design you're trying to cut. The blade should be just cutting through the vinyl and adhesive, possibly leave a faint indentation on the backing. If it's cutting into the backing, then it's either too much blade exposure and/or too much force.

If you not getting closure on the some of the cuts, check what the offset should be for your machine, and make sure that's your starting point in your cutting software.

check your corners on squares etc to see if offset is correct but you can add to overcut to close those bits 

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Alright everyone....I got it fixed. It did turn out to be the blade holder.

I bought a cheap $15 non-oem one from Amazon today for same day delivery and it just came in. Using the same blades that gave me the issues earlier....the cuts are now perfect with this new blade holder.  In fact, the cuts seem to be even better than I ever had with the original blade holder so I'm assuming it was always worn out a bit when I bought the machine used a few years ago. I honestly don't understand AT ALL why the blade holder would cause this issue...I'm assuming the bearings inside (which I do oil every once in a while) caused the issues.

I appreciate everyone's help.

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2 hours ago, mor1287 said:

Alright everyone....I got it fixed. It did turn out to be the blade holder.

I bought a cheap $15 non-oem one from Amazon today for same day delivery and it just came in. Using the same blades that gave me the issues earlier....the cuts are now perfect with this new blade holder.  In fact, the cuts seem to be even better than I ever had with the original blade holder so I'm assuming it was always worn out a bit when I bought the machine used a few years ago. I honestly don't understand AT ALL why the blade holder would cause this issue...I'm assuming the bearings inside (which I do oil every once in a while) caused the issues.

I appreciate everyone's help.

Awesome example of how mole hills sometimes really are mountains. The little bit of misalignment or problem with rotation is all it takes to have issues. Similar with too much blade exposed that all the newbies seem to mess up. 

Glad you're back up and running!

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Good job ferreting out the culprit! Thanks for keeping us posted. It helps anyone who may have the same issue in the future.

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