vxtacy

Pixmax PME720/1

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I’m new to vinyl cutters so please excuse any misunderstandings but I’ve recently purchased a vinyl cutter that’s not cutting straight lines even in the test cutting and I would please like some help if anyone would be willing, I’d be so grateful,

jay

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first thing I can tell the offset is way off - next question is are you pulling slack from the roll so the plotter doesn't have to straining and slip to pull it off the roll?

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The process is more than a single step.

1. Set the blade exposure (often called the blade depth but is different than the cutting pressure) There are often instructions that are WRONG that say use half the thickness of a credit card. That is way too much and can cause you to ruin a good blade tip. To set this correctly remove the blade holder from your machine and, by hand, drag it across a piece of scrap vinyl with some force. Not super hard but enough to definitely cut. You should only be cutting through the vinyl and maybe half way into the paper backing. If you can cut all the way through then you have too much sticking out. When you get this set correctly you know that it is impossible to cut clear though. Typical cheap vinyl is 3 mil thick and high end vinyl is 2 mil thick so if you set this on 3 mil vinyl (cheap stuff) you will be good for both as well as most HTV. Occasionally you may find material that is thicker and you'll have to reset it but otherwise for normal day to day work you won't need to make adjustments to this again. 

2. Set your speed and down force to relatively slow and light settings. I recommend about 1/4 or 1/3 of the max speed. If your machine can cut at 400 set it at 100 to start with. You can always speed it up later. For pressure you will want to start off light and do small increments until you find the pressure that will cut all the way through. When you get the pressure set just right you should be cutting cleanly through the vinyl and scratching the paper carrier but not be able to feel the cut from the back side. If you cut a little too deep you will find the backing paper sometimes coming up with the vinyl. 

3. Set your blade offset whatever the owners manual said was the recommended amount. You will have to tweak this but they will usually tell you what to start at. Typically .25-.35mm is common. 

4. If your software has a test cut option use it or you can create a test by making a small 1" square and cut it. If your cuts look like the one you posted you have too much offset. 

5. There is a thing called overcut that sometimes needs to be used if the ends of your start and end points don't meet. Most of the time you won't need this. If you do it theoretically would be somewhere around the same value as your offset or less. 

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8 hours ago, Dakotagrafx said:

first thing I can tell the offset is way off - next question is are you pulling slack from the roll so the plotter doesn't have to straining and slip to pull it off the roll?

Thanks for posting! 
 

What should the offset be? I’ve tried 0.01 to 0.30

and I’ve pulled some slack and tried as well as putting already cut vinyl in and both do the same thing with rounding it off

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9 hours ago, Wildgoose said:

The process is more than a single step.

1. Set the blade exposure (often called the blade depth but is different than the cutting pressure) There are often instructions that are WRONG that say use half the thickness of a credit card. That is way too much and can cause you to ruin a good blade tip. To set this correctly remove the blade holder from your machine and, by hand, drag it across a piece of scrap vinyl with some force. Not super hard but enough to definitely cut. You should only be cutting through the vinyl and maybe half way into the paper backing. If you can cut all the way through then you have too much sticking out. When you get this set correctly you know that it is impossible to cut clear though. Typical cheap vinyl is 3 mil thick and high end vinyl is 2 mil thick so if you set this on 3 mil vinyl (cheap stuff) you will be good for both as well as most HTV. Occasionally you may find material that is thicker and you'll have to reset it but otherwise for normal day to day work you won't need to make adjustments to this again. 

2. Set your speed and down force to relatively slow and light settings. I recommend about 1/4 or 1/3 of the max speed. If your machine can cut at 400 set it at 100 to start with. You can always speed it up later. For pressure you will want to start off light and do small increments until you find the pressure that will cut all the way through. When you get the pressure set just right you should be cutting cleanly through the vinyl and scratching the paper carrier but not be able to feel the cut from the back side. If you cut a little too deep you will find the backing paper sometimes coming up with the vinyl. 

3. Set your blade offset whatever the owners manual said was the recommended amount. You will have to tweak this but they will usually tell you what to start at. Typically .25-.35mm is common. 

4. If your software has a test cut option use it or you can create a test by making a small 1" square and cut it. If your cuts look like the one you posted you have too much offset. 

5. There is a thing called overcut that sometimes needs to be used if the ends of your start and end points don't meet. Most of the time you won't need this. If you do it theoretically would be somewhere around the same value as your offset or less. 

Ditto.

Go back to basics, and go through this list, step-by-step, because it will help to eliminate what's happening. If you can sucessfully cross off the list as you go down, then it helps the rest of us to narrow the actual cause.

Set the blade depth properly. Slow the cut down a little (there is no set speed, and every machine model is different). Check the force of the blade, so that you're not cutting into the backing, but simply leaving a mark. Find the owner's manual and see what they recommend for the offset, and adjust the numbers up or down and see what kind of results you get.

Start there and lets what kind of results you get, and we can help you figure it out.

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6 hours ago, vxtacy said:

Thanks for posting! 
 

What should the offset be? I’ve tried 0.01 to 0.30

and I’ve pulled some slack and tried as well as putting already cut vinyl in and both do the same thing with rounding it off

wildgoose covered it pretty well in his post.  so many new people start with too much blade exposure and going too fast - take your time and dial it in using his instructions

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22 hours ago, Wildgoose said:

The process is more than a single step.

1. Set the blade exposure (often called the blade depth but is different than the cutting pressure) There are often instructions that are WRONG that say use half the thickness of a credit card. That is way too much and can cause you to ruin a good blade tip. To set this correctly remove the blade holder from your machine and, by hand, drag it across a piece of scrap vinyl with some force. Not super hard but enough to definitely cut. You should only be cutting through the vinyl and maybe half way into the paper backing. If you can cut all the way through then you have too much sticking out. When you get this set correctly you know that it is impossible to cut clear though. Typical cheap vinyl is 3 mil thick and high end vinyl is 2 mil thick so if you set this on 3 mil vinyl (cheap stuff) you will be good for both as well as most HTV. Occasionally you may find material that is thicker and you'll have to reset it but otherwise for normal day to day work you won't need to make adjustments to this again. 

2. Set your speed and down force to relatively slow and light settings. I recommend about 1/4 or 1/3 of the max speed. If your machine can cut at 400 set it at 100 to start with. You can always speed it up later. For pressure you will want to start off light and do small increments until you find the pressure that will cut all the way through. When you get the pressure set just right you should be cutting cleanly through the vinyl and scratching the paper carrier but not be able to feel the cut from the back side. If you cut a little too deep you will find the backing paper sometimes coming up with the vinyl. 

3. Set your blade offset whatever the owners manual said was the recommended amount. You will have to tweak this but they will usually tell you what to start at. Typically .25-.35mm is common. 

4. If your software has a test cut option use it or you can create a test by making a small 1" square and cut it. If your cuts look like the one you posted you have too much offset. 

5. There is a thing called overcut that sometimes needs to be used if the ends of your start and end points don't meet. Most of the time you won't need this. If you do it theoretically would be somewhere around the same value as your offset or less. 

Thank you so much for the help, 

1. blade test done and adjusted it to cut just the vinyl on top manually as well as a little bit of the vinyl and adjusted positioning on the blade holder on the machine to Cut just the vinyl 

2. Machine cuts at 800mm/s I’ve set it to 150 mm/s and a force of 70 which seems to work well currently

image.jpg

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sure looks like some deep cuts in the backing paper - maybe just me but . . .

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22 hours ago, Wildgoose said:

The process is more than a single step.

1. Set the blade exposure (often called the blade depth but is different than the cutting pressure) There are often instructions that are WRONG that say use half the thickness of a credit card. That is way too much and can cause you to ruin a good blade tip. To set this correctly remove the blade holder from your machine and, by hand, drag it across a piece of scrap vinyl with some force. Not super hard but enough to definitely cut. You should only be cutting through the vinyl and maybe half way into the paper backing. If you can cut all the way through then you have too much sticking out. When you get this set correctly you know that it is impossible to cut clear though. Typical cheap vinyl is 3 mil thick and high end vinyl is 2 mil thick so if you set this on 3 mil vinyl (cheap stuff) you will be good for both as well as most HTV. Occasionally you may find material that is thicker and you'll have to reset it but otherwise for normal day to day work you won't need to make adjustments to this again. 

2. Set your speed and down force to relatively slow and light settings. I recommend about 1/4 or 1/3 of the max speed. If your machine can cut at 400 set it at 100 to start with. You can always speed it up later. For pressure you will want to start off light and do small increments until you find the pressure that will cut all the way through. When you get the pressure set just right you should be cutting cleanly through the vinyl and scratching the paper carrier but not be able to feel the cut from the back side. If you cut a little too deep you will find the backing paper sometimes coming up with the vinyl. 

3. Set your blade offset whatever the owners manual said was the recommended amount. You will have to tweak this but they will usually tell you what to start at. Typically .25-.35mm is common. 

4. If your software has a test cut option use it or you can create a test by making a small 1" square and cut it. If your cuts look like the one you posted you have too much offset. 

5. There is a thing called overcut that sometimes needs to be used if the ends of your start and end points don't meet. Most of the time you won't need this. If you do it theoretically would be somewhere around the same value as your offset or less. 

3. These are the test cuts at 0.25 and 0.35, neither are squaring off as much as I expected it to, at 0.35 the corner caught a little bit when weeding 

82D5DF19-ECC4-4077-AD01-907C07E4EBDC.jpeg

this last one is 0.13 offset20EA5E82-F676-47AC-9D5F-3C911C2643BF.thumb.jpeg.ca6e0d4e5531dcd31840fa1bdf773b50.jpeg

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I would have expected to see more of a difference - what cutting software are you using (some have offset in them that will override the plotter) what degree blade are you using?

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4 minutes ago, Dakotagrafx said:

sure looks like some deep cuts in the backing paper - maybe just me but . . .

Think I used a bit too much force by my hands I’m afraid:’)

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2 minutes ago, Dakotagrafx said:

I would have expected to see more of a difference - what cutting software are you using (some have offset in them that will override the plotter) what degree blade are you using?

That’s what I expected as the jagged edge effect didn’t occur as I’d expected from seeing how the difference should be, I’m using signcut pro 2 and blade wise 

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8 minutes ago, Dakotagrafx said:

I would have expected to see more of a difference - what cutting software are you using (some have offset in them that will override the plotter) what degree blade are you using?

Signcut support have sent me a link to this about offset 

image.jpg

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wildgoose is our signcut expert - hopefully he will show up

 

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5 minutes ago, Dakotagrafx said:

wildgoose is our signcut expert - hopefully he will show up

 

I hope so too! You guys have been so much more informative than the manual I received with the cutter 1000%

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So not knowing much about the pixmax cutter. On the cutter itself can you get to a screen that lets you adjust the blade offset or is it totally up to the software? I use the older version of SignCut but it will have the same options. In the cut tab (in my version it is a pair of scissors...see pic) you will have an option to either use the machine settings for force and speed or the software settings. SignCut drivers determine a lot of what you see on this and other pages so things may look and be different for you but if you can check that part whether you need to decide the blade offset in the software or if you can set it on the machine itself (preferred IMO) Your layout may be different. 

The good news is that SignCut has actual real people who will contact you soon and can even remote in to your computer if needed and get you running. I love SignCut. I use it in large part because I am on a mac but it will work on either platform. I design offsite in Adobe Illustrator and then just use SignCut Pro 1 to cut with. The new version you have has design tools I think but I have not tried it out. I own the lifetime dongle so I decided to leave well enough alone and not mess with something that is working for me. 

Screen Shot 2020-07-15 at 8.08.04 PM.png

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You definitely want to be very sure that you got that blade set correctly because it will cause all sorts of mayhem if it's out too far. When cutting you should just barely be able to see some light between the blade holder and the vinyl when you bend down at eye level. The holder should almost touch the vinyl when in there cutting but not quite. If there is much more than a teeny tiny bit of clearance then you can have weird issues plague you that affect the cut quality. From your pictures at .25 and .35 it still looks like you need a little more like maybe .40 or something. You usually want to push it past the middle until it starts to show tails like in that picture and then you can determine the very middle and be as spot on as possible. Like looking for the high limit and the low limit and then settle in the middle. If you run a quality blade you may find that you need to tweak that a little bit in 3 months if you wear the tip down. (assuming you do a lot of cutting) Most of us who do it professionally can get 6-8 months out of a quality blade before needing to change them out. Sometimes I change them just to be sure and keep the old still good one for cutting something nasty like glitter HTV.

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just wait until you upgrade your blades to Clean Cut 60* blades, it'll need a little more tweaking, but it'll be worth it.

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15 hours ago, vxtacy said:

Thank you so much for the help, 

1. blade test done and adjusted it to cut just the vinyl on top manually as well as a little bit of the vinyl and adjusted positioning on the blade holder on the machine to Cut just the vinyl 

2. Machine cuts at 800mm/s I’ve set it to 150 mm/s and a force of 70 which seems to work well currently

image.jpg

That really looks like you're cutting into the backing paper. If so that means you still have too much blade exposed. No matter how much pressure you apply on a hard surface you should not be able to cut the backing if the blade is set correctly.

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11 hours ago, Wildgoose said:

So not knowing much about the pixmax cutter. On the cutter itself can you get to a screen that lets you adjust the blade offset or is it totally up to the software? I use the older version of SignCut but it will have the same options. In the cut tab (in my version it is a pair of scissors...see pic) you will have an option to either use the machine settings for force and speed or the software settings. SignCut drivers determine a lot of what you see on this and other pages so things may look and be different for you but if you can check that part whether you need to decide the blade offset in the software or if you can set it on the machine itself (preferred IMO) Your layout may be different. 

The good news is that SignCut has actual real people who will contact you soon and can even remote in to your computer if needed and get you running. I love SignCut. I use it in large part because I am on a mac but it will work on either platform. I design offsite in Adobe Illustrator and then just use SignCut Pro 1 to cut with. The new version you have has design tools I think but I have not tried it out. I own the lifetime dongle so I decided to leave well enough alone and not mess with something that is working for me. 

Screen Shot 2020-07-15 at 8.08.04 PM.png

Hello wildgoose! Thank you for coming back to help! The machine setting I’ve included down below, I believe it’s only on the software I’m able to set the offset 

90E2D711-F894-44D6-BCFF-0518E16F2236.jpeg

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11 hours ago, Wildgoose said:

So not knowing much about the pixmax cutter. On the cutter itself can you get to a screen that lets you adjust the blade offset or is it totally up to the software? I use the older version of SignCut but it will have the same options. In the cut tab (in my version it is a pair of scissors...see pic) you will have an option to either use the machine settings for force and speed or the software settings. SignCut drivers determine a lot of what you see on this and other pages so things may look and be different for you but if you can check that part whether you need to decide the blade offset in the software or if you can set it on the machine itself (preferred IMO) Your layout may be different. 

The good news is that SignCut has actual real people who will contact you soon and can even remote in to your computer if needed and get you running. I love SignCut. I use it in large part because I am on a mac but it will work on either platform. I design offsite in Adobe Illustrator and then just use SignCut Pro 1 to cut with. The new version you have has design tools I think but I have not tried it out. I own the lifetime dongle so I decided to leave well enough alone and not mess with something that is working for me. 

Screen Shot 2020-07-15 at 8.08.04 PM.png

i'm just on a livechat with the support currently! these are what i see on my software, and of course! that makes perfect sense, i'm currently a student and i've always used illustrator as its an amazing software and i dont think i'd wanna use the signcut software to make the designs unless absolutely necessary

Desktop Screenshot 2020.07.16 - 14.56.48.02.png

Desktop Screenshot 2020.07.16 - 14.57.07.59.png

Desktop Screenshot 2020.07.16 - 14.57.09.45.png

Desktop Screenshot 2020.07.16 - 14.57.10.85.png

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In your last picture t shows the software set at .3 offset, but is the software or the plotter itself actually setting the offset being used? 

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1 hour ago, vxtacy said:

i'm just on a livechat with the support currently! these are what i see on my software, and of course! that makes perfect sense, i'm currently a student and i've always used illustrator as its an amazing software and i dont think i'd wanna use the signcut software to make the designs unless absolutely necessary

Desktop Screenshot 2020.07.16 - 14.56.48.02.png

Desktop Screenshot 2020.07.16 - 14.57.07.59.png

Desktop Screenshot 2020.07.16 - 14.57.09.45.png

Desktop Screenshot 2020.07.16 - 14.57.10.85.png

cutt.thumb.jpg.ea7e2dbe3f01604144500044540da84b.jpg0.03 to 1mm

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