PM-Performance

Silhouette Studio designer to Vinylmaster Cut questions on loss of options?

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I just purchased a Prismcut this week to upgrade from my Cameo to start cutting bigger jobs and faster. 

I am used to the simplicity of the Sihlouette Studio software and currently have the designer edition. Now not knowing much about Vinyl master and licensing at the time, I am kind of scared I may be losing some functionality with having just the cut edition and might need to spend more money to upgrade. 

The main tools I use constantly are:

 - Vectorize

- Text and some warping

- Grouping/Ungrouping

- Welding

- Make/Release Compound paths

- Simple shape tools

- Point editing

 

Will the cut version be able to handle these simple tasks fine? Or will I need to blow more money to upgrade right away to keep my little side business running as normal?

 

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Honestly, this is probably a topic better suited to the VinylMaster section ( Questions and/or discussion about the USCutter edition of VinylMaster software ) -- however, since it's already here, lets go ahead.

1. There is a comparison chart of features. Take a look.
https://fcws7.com/vinylmaster-features-and-comparison-list

2. All of the things you mentioned are indeed available for FREE within the SignBlazerElements (SBE) program. All you would need to do is Export the final design as .eps and then Import to your VM cutting application.

If you actually prefer to design and then cut directly right from within SBE without the additional step of Export/Import, that may or may not be possible, we don't know the answer to that. Once the machine arrives, set it up, connect it, and try communicating with SBE using Copam driver or maybe even CreationPcut or LiYu. You just have to keep trying different models, maybe one of the choices will work right. It would be nice to know what you find out!

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There is a comparison chart for VM. https://www.uscutter.com/static/PDFs/VinylMaster_Comparison.pdf

Can you export a file in a universal format like EPS or SVG from your old software? If so you can open that up and cut it in the cut version. Not sure if the silhouette studio exports at all or outside of it's native proprietary file format.  You can see in the chart what formats VM will import. 

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2 hours ago, slice&dice said:

Honestly, this is probably a topic better suited to the VinylMaster section ( Questions and/or discussion about the USCutter edition of VinylMaster software ) -- however, since it's already here, lets go ahead.

1. There is a comparison chart of features. Take a look.
https://fcws7.com/vinylmaster-features-and-comparison-list

2. All of the things you mentioned are indeed available for FREE within the SignBlazerElements (SBE) program. All you would need to do is Export the final design as .eps and then Import to your VM cutting application.

If you actually prefer to design and then cut directly right from within SBE without the additional step of Export/Import, that may or may not be possible, we don't know the answer to that. Once the machine arrives, set it up, connect it, and try communicating with SBE using Copam driver or maybe even CreationPcut or LiYu. You just have to keep trying different models, maybe one of the choices will work right. It would be nice to know what you find out!

 

 

 

 

Sorry new place and did not think to put in the other area. I really would like to avoid using multiple programs since I had the simplicity in the other program. I also don't want to fight with janky drivers to get this to work on some other program. Id rather pay for software at that point. I do not have time to troubleshoot trial and error drivers.

I just also don't want to have to spend another couple hundred either on top of the $1k I just spent on the new cutter to get the same functionality back. I didnt even think of that when i bought it. 

 

2 hours ago, Wildgoose said:

There is a comparison chart for VM. https://www.uscutter.com/static/PDFs/VinylMaster_Comparison.pdf

Can you export a file in a universal format like EPS or SVG from your old software? If so you can open that up and cut it in the cut version. Not sure if the silhouette studio exports at all or outside of it's native proprietary file format.  You can see in the chart what formats VM will import. 

 

 

 

Thanks. I took a look at this briefly earlier after I made this post. I think Silhouette Studio does have its own proprietary file type. 

That is another thing I may need to address is exporting my like 200 custom files I made and hoping I don't need to mess with re vectorizing them and can straight import and cut.

I guess I will see once I get this thing setup. I am a little worried about the steep learning curve compared to what I have now. 

 

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You can download a trial of Vinyl Master and try it out.  VinylMaster.com

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I also don't want to fight with janky drivers to get this to work on some other program. I'd rather pay for software at that point. I do not have time to troubleshoot trial and error drivers.

It doesn't take much time, maybe 5 minutes. You select from a drop-down list in SBE Cutter Setup. If you get lucky, one of the above suggested drivers works right from the get-go. If none of the choices communicate, you didn't lose any money, as SignBlazer is no cost.

In any case, if you re-read what I wrote, I actually suggested that you utilize the features you require in SignBlazer for designing, and Export the finished product for Import to the dedicated software provided by USCUTTER (VinylMaster). Having SignBlazer run your cutter itself is just a BONUS!

Let me repeat ---  SignBlazer contains ALL of the items on your list, and then some.  ( I had to look up the term "make/release compound paths' and it turns out to be a function in SignBlazer called PunchThrough )
VinylMaster CUT may not do all the things you need, and you can discover yes or no by downloading the DEMO and find out.

You may avoid having to recreate your 200 proprietary Silhouette Studio files, since I believe you can export as .svg and then import for cutting into VM.
Yeah, that has to be done one by one, but it can be accomplished, and you can try that out with the DEMO version.

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I would also add that with your prior experience you already have a good idea of the basic mechanics of building a cut file. Learning new software is rarely fun but knowing what you are trying to accomplish you will pick it up a lot faster than some dude who has never done it at all. I use Adobe Illustrator that was a serious PIA to learn, like months of learning and years of later perfecting, when I have to try and get something done in Inkscape, corel or even vinyl master (although it's a lot more intuitive) I struggle because my brain is wired a certain way. You will probably go through that process to some degree. Slice loves SignBlazer and there are many who still use it but as new computer systems come out the likelihood of long term usability becomes more and more a question. Good luck on your endeavor, I have VM Pro that I have been slowly learning in order to be of some use as a moderator. Slowly. It is a really well thought out design and cut program. I don't know what things are missing in the base Cut version but the Pro version is great. (I still like AI best but I'm weird and I use a mac so there's that...)

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Years ago, the USCUTTER company shipped every cutter they sold with a copy of SignBlazer. It was the main standard that allowed the USCUTTER company to exist at all. The guy who was behind all that, Jerry Bonham, knew a thing or two about a thing or two regarding cutters, designing, & drivers, and both USCUTTER (Marcel) and he formed a relationship that focused on providing first-time vinyl-cutting users with a way to quickly and easily enter the field.

My first cutter MH was shipped with a SignBlazer CD. I had that cutter up and running within ten minutes of unpacking it from the box. (Not including assembling the stand, which I did after making my first trial cuts). Before running SBE, I had never touched a graphics program, but immediately was able to figure it out. The colorful 'cartoon-y' interface was fun and practical and efficient. That's what Jerry put into our hands -- a way to make money and enjoy doing so as raw newbies.

I am forever grateful.

By the way, I happen to love SignBlazer, yeah, but the VinylMaster program is superb and USCUTTER deserves a pat on the back for making it the default program to run these machines.

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9 minutes ago, slice&dice said:

Years ago, the USCUTTER company shipped every cutter they sold with a copy of SignBlazer. It was the main standard that allowed the USCUTTER company to exist at all. The guy who was behind all that, Jerry Bonham, knew a thing or two about a thing or two regarding cutters, designing, & drivers, and both USCUTTER (Marcel) and he formed a relationship that focused on providing first-time vinyl-cutting users with a way to quickly and easily enter the field.

My first cutter MH was shipped with a SignBlazer CD. I had that cutter up and running within ten minutes of unpacking it from the box. (Not including assembling the stand, which I did after making my first trial cuts). Before running SBE, I had never touched a graphics program, but immediately was able to figure it out. The colorful 'cartoon-y' interface was fun and practical and efficient. That's what Jerry put into our hands -- a way to make money and enjoy doing so as raw newbies.

I am forever grateful.

By the way, I happen to love SignBlazer, yeah, but the VinylMaster program is superb and USCUTTER deserves a pat on the back for making it the default program to run these machines.

Think you mean Marcus . . .

 

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Yeah, Marcus, the original owner of Selltopia.

Marcel was a presence here on the Forums, I think his job was in the sales dep't.
http://forum.uscutter.com/index.php?/topic/418-goodbye-everyone

Anyway, the entire USCUTTER brand has a lot to be proud of, as they've grown over the years. This newest cutter, the Prism, looks great and offers a high-end machine at a fair price point (just wish it was available in the 870mm size). I highly encourage PMPerformance to get back to us here about the reactions to this new unit. We don't have many users providing feedback and reviews, so it would be nice to see that.

 

 

 

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Early on Marcus hired Ken Imes  that was the face of uscutter, he acted at sales , tech support and repairs.   Ken was running things all day and on the forum and support lines most of the nights and weekends.   Back then, looking back, it was incredible for one person to be available so much.    Jerry’s development of signblazer was way ahead of its time 9 years ago . . . Without Ken and Jerry I don’t think it would be near what it is today . . . Even with a couple of missteps like the ill fated 3D printer days and the attempt at being another fellers for wrap printers etc. . . The target market always was the beginner and supporting them as they grew.    When i visited Redmond they was setting up a 48” heat press that sold forv50k.  And shortly after ordered some expensive laser cutters that did not fit the target market well.   Now they seem to have rethought that and got back to basics 

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Thanks for the input guys.

I am no pro by any means and this simple software and cutter kind of had me spoiled. I just outgrew my Cameo and I am just overworking it for things it really wasn’t meant to do. I just don’t have a ton of time to blow learning new software and hardware and then having to spend more to get the features back.

I’m overthinking it I’m sure since it was a large investment for a low level/skill designer.
I got the cutter today and is a little daunting. I will probably spend all weekend with it to get it right.

 

I will certainly be adding a Prismcut series to my YouTube channel as I figure it out as I think the Prismcut videos are pretty useless. US Cutter has some great videos, but nothing really Prismcut specific, so this may be a little tougher.

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 And to get you on the right track for blade depth, NO credit cards widths or post it notes.   That is way too much blade exposed. This gets you there. 

 

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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Posted (edited)

Here we are, getting a feel of the "new reality" of  30  40-million people unemployed, and many still sitting at home.

In this incredibly shocking environment, there is more need than ever for entrepreneurs (and hobbyists) to obtain USCUTTER equipment and move ahead into the realm of custom designs and producing decals with these machines.

Was the Prism probably 'overkill' for a newbie? Perhaps, but as we often suggest, buy the best you can afford right from the get-go, and that slick unit seems like a winner.

Thanks, Pm-Performance, we do want to check what you come up with, as things progress from opening the box to setting it up, to running your first cuts. Keep us posted.

Oh, and by the way, the VinylMaster vectorizing function is quite nice (converting pixel-based images to paths). Try it and you'll see!

Edited by slice&dice
Another 10-million Americans have been left jobless
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9 hours ago, MZ SKEETER said:

 And to get you on the right track for blade depth, NO credit cards widths or post it notes.   That is way too much blade exposed. This gets you there. 

 

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.

 

I think I have the blade depth ok with the credit card trick they suggested. It is very hard to see that tiny part of blade sticking out though, so I found that an odd way to adjust. 

 

9 hours ago, slice&dice said:

Here we are, getting a feel of the "new reality" of 30-million people unemployed, and many still sitting at home.

In this incredibly shocking environment, there is more need than ever for entrepreneurs (and hobbyists) to obtain USCUTTER equipment and move ahead into the realm of custom designs and producing decals with these machines.

Was the Prism probably 'overkill' for a newbie? Perhaps, but as we often suggest, buy the best you can afford right from the get-go, and that slick unit seems like a winner.

Thanks, Pm-Performance, we do want to check what you come up with, as things progress from opening the box to setting it up, to running your first cuts. Keep us posted.

Oh, and by the way, the VinylMaster vectorizing function is quite nice (converting pixel-based images to paths). Try it and you'll see!

So I have found today by accident the Prismcut is just the Skycut machine that is rebranded. I was kind of miffed until I saw the pricing the was same if not more on the Skycut. I was hoping it was not a chicom rebrand at +$500 over the Skycut price. lol

I think I have the jhist of things figured out enough to start other than like head origin placement on a cutter like this opposed to my Cameo that just did its thing on its own. I think once I fully understand how to manipulate that head to place it properly to avoid wasting vinyl and getting it to track right, I'll be set. 

The instructions and videos literally tell you nothing about actual setting up the machine for the cut. Just how to get through the menus and software to make a cut. lol.

 

Yes this will be steep coming from the Cameo. I got that originally only due to price and was not sure how serious I would take it. When that Cameo paid for itself the second day I got it with orders, I was like OK, this is cool. Then I got a heat press and that paid for itself again like next day. Without even marketing like at all, $5k later on that initial $400 investment between those 2 pieces I knew I was onto something. 

I figured with all the waste vinyl with the Cameo and limitations on size and no roller adjustment and feeding limitations, it was time for something a little more serious. I was looking at like MH and SC models to save money but this had options that really got me excited. 

The contour cut and WIFI were the biggest selling points for me. I work out of my family room as a makeshift office, so having the wifi option to put this thing anywhere I want without having to keep it near my desk is worth its weight in gold. 

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SkyCut, huh?  Does it have that cool multicolored LED strip?

How about a stand? Did you order one (optional, for another $100) ?

Didja' download and play around with SBE?

Setting the head position shouldn't be difficult. Go OFFLINE (Pause), use the directional keys to jog the head and vinyl, then hit "Origin"

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1 hour ago, PM-Performance said:

I think I have the blade depth ok with the credit card trick they suggested. It is very hard to see that tiny part of blade sticking out though, so I found that an odd way to adjust. 

 

 

We will see you back after you discover that any credit card trick is about 10-20 times too much blade exposure -we deal with hundreds and hundreds of people that do this every year and come back saying they have bad cuts because of the too much blade exposure.  the people helping on the forum have many years of experience - 

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1 hour ago, slice&dice said:

SkyCut, huh?  Does it have that cool multicolored LED strip?

How about a stand? Did you order one (optional, for another $100) ?

Didja' download and play around with SBE?

Setting the head position shouldn't be difficult. Go OFFLINE (Pause), use the directional keys to jog the head and vinyl, then hit "Origin"

Yes, has the same LED's and everything. Like 100% the same and even comes in diff colors. 

I didnt download yet. I am still converting files and figuring out the cutter. 

Not sure this has the cutter keys to move the head. I need to look it over more. I didnt see origin on the device itself either, only in the software I think

52 minutes ago, Dakotagrafx said:

We will see you back after you discover that any credit card trick is about 10-20 times too much blade exposure -we deal with hundreds and hundreds of people that do this every year and come back saying they have bad cuts because of the too much blade exposure.  the people helping on the forum have many years of experience - 

So far it seems to be cutting fine, but I did dial it back a tad I think from the credit card thing. I havent cut much yet, just a couple small test cuts. I am not quite there yet. I appreciate the advice. I was just saying I tried that first and seems "ok" from my very tiny bit of testing. Sorry if that came off wrong

 

So I found I needed to upgrade my Sihlouette Studio to Business edition to export all my 200 files I already made to SVG, which that sucked!

Now I think I need to upgrade Vinyl Master to import SVG too. lol. This just gets better as I go. hahahahaha

Exporting 200 files individually sucked as well. I planned on cutting this morning and learning the machine, but was nothing but moving files so far

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Not sure this has the cutter keys to move the head. I need to look it over more. I didnt see origin on the device itself either, only in the software I think.

Setting the origin is a cutter function. VinylMaster cannot move the head of the cutter nor advance the vinyl to align it (tracking).

Yeah, that $50 charge for SilhouetteStudioBusiness is a bad hit, but you had no choice. Your current CUT version of VM has svg import, no need to make any upgrade.
 http://forum.uscutter.com/index.php?/topic/51007-svg-importing

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, slice&dice said:

Years ago, the USCUTTER company shipped every cutter they sold with a copy of SignBlazer. It was the main standard that allowed the USCUTTER company to exist at all. The guy who was behind all that, Jerry Bonham, knew a thing or two about a thing or two regarding cutters, designing, & drivers, and both USCUTTER (Marcel) and he formed a relationship that focused on providing first-time vinyl-cutting users with a way to quickly and easily enter the field.

My first cutter MH was shipped with a SignBlazer CD. I had that cutter up and running within ten minutes of unpacking it from the box. (Not including assembling the stand, which I did after making my first trial cuts). Before running SBE, I had never touched a graphics program, but immediately was able to figure it out. The colorful 'cartoon-y' interface was fun and practical and efficient. That's what Jerry put into our hands -- a way to make money and enjoy doing so as raw newbies.

I am forever grateful.

By the way, I happen to love SignBlazer, yeah, but the VinylMaster program is superb and USCUTTER deserves a pat on the back for making it the default program to run these machines.

 

47 minutes ago, PM-Performance said:

Yes, has the same LED's and everything. Like 100% the same and even comes in diff colors. 

I didnt download yet. I am still converting files and figuring out the cutter. 

Not sure this has the cutter keys to move the head. I need to look it over more. I didnt see origin on the device itself either, only in the software I think

So far it seems to be cutting fine, but I did dial it back a tad I think from the credit card thing. I havent cut much yet, just a couple small test cuts. I am not quite there yet. I appreciate the advice. I was just saying I tried that first and seems "ok" from my very tiny bit of testing. Sorry if that came off wrong

 

So I found I needed to upgrade my Sihlouette Studio to Business edition to export all my 200 files I already made to SVG, which that sucked!

Now I think I need to upgrade Vinyl Master to import SVG too. lol. This just gets better as I go. hahahahaha

Exporting 200 files individually sucked as well. I planned on cutting this morning and learning the machine, but was nothing but moving files so far

If you save your files in .eps format it is interchangeable with most vector based software so you don't have to go thru the conversion again.


if you upgrade your VM remember the discount here 

 

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47 minutes ago, slice&dice said:

Not sure this has the cutter keys to move the head. I need to look it over more. I didnt see origin on the device itself either, only in the software I think.

Setting the origin is a cutter function. VinylMaster cannot move the head of the cutter nor advance the vinyl to align it (tracking).

Yeah, that $50 charge for SilhouetteStudioBusiness is a bad hit, but you had no choice. Your current CUT version of VM has svg import, no need to make any upgrade.
 http://forum.uscutter.com/index.php?/topic/51007-svg-importing

 

Well I already had designer, so it was only $24, but still sucked to have to do. I wish they had a bulk export function atleast. Would have made it much easier. 

Awesome to know that my VM Cut has SVG import. I tried the import earlier and nothing was coming up, so I got side tracked. Ill play with it later. 

I just turned it back on and confirmed it has the head move arrows. I couldnt remember, alot to digest at the moment. I think I tried this and for some reason it cut at a diff place. Maybe it was alignment in the software for the image not matching now that I think of it. 

I really wish this thing had a build in ruler and guide marks. It would make this process easier. I will likely get a stick on ruler of some sort to stick on the front ledge. 

 

47 minutes ago, slice&dice said:

 

 

14 minutes ago, Dakotagrafx said:

 

If you save your files in .eps format it is interchangeable with most vector based software so you don't have to go thru the conversion again.


if you upgrade your VM remember the discount here 

Thank you very much! I am still kind of a noob in the formats since Sihlouette did all that for me. I thought SVG was the go to, but i will convert to EPS if that is the proper format. 

I really appreciate the advice from everyone that has responded. Seems like this is a great forum with a wealth of knowledge from the little poking around I have done.

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Cut my first order on EZ weed and yea, I had to dial that blade back a bit to get it perfect. Quite a few test cuts to get it dialed in. I wish there was a more scientific way that was more repeatable than trial, but I guess that is the joy of things. 

Cutting 3 full shirts in one cut now to see how it does. Now that I understand the head tracking, this is much easier. Hopefully this machine will lead to less wasted material *fingers crossed*

Thanks again to all that gave advice!

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27 minutes ago, PM-Performance said:

Cut my first order on EZ weed and yea, I had to dial that blade back a bit to get it perfect. Quite a few test cuts to get it dialed in. I wish there was a more scientific way that was more repeatable than trial, but I guess that is the joy of things. 

Cutting 3 full shirts in one cut now to see how it does. Now that I understand the head tracking, this is much easier. Hopefully this machine will lead to less wasted material *fingers crossed*

Thanks again to all that gave advice!

I gave you the best instructions there are from the git go.  They are posted hundreds of times on this forum.  They do work.  Have helped hundreds and hundreds of people.  You set your blade to the  thickness of vinyl that your using, not to a credit card or post it notes, which have nothing to do with the thickness of vinyl.  Most vinyl is only 2.5-3 mil.  You only cut with the very tip of the blade. 

 

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23 minutes ago, MZ SKEETER said:

I gave you the best instructions there are from the git go.  They are posted hundreds of times on this forum.  They do work.  Have helped hundreds and hundreds of people.  You set your blade to the  thickness of vinyl that your using, not to a credit card or post it notes, which have nothing to do with the thickness of vinyl.  Most vinyl is only 2.5-3 mil.  You only cut with the very tip of the blade. 

 

I appreciate the instructions. I did not fully understand this was a manual thing at first with taking it out and basically running it across the vinyl by hand. I get it now. 

Thank you.

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I tried this and for some reason it cut at a diff place. Maybe it was alignment in the software for the image not matching now that I think of it.

OK, there is a thing called "Absolute Position" within the software, you need to UNCHECK that in the Cutting Manager, and do not use this function. (You might need it someday, but mostly no).

 

 

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