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Everything posted by slice&dice

  1. slice&dice

    A New Venture

    Walt, that is a sharp knife blade, even though it's tiny, you can cut your skin! There's even a WARNING label right on the front of the machine. Keep an eye on little pieces of vinyl getting stuck inside the holder, you can push down on that 'button' at the top of the blade holder to clear, or take the whole unit apart. Taking out the blade and using a drop or two of sewing machine oil into the bearing is a good idea, too. Lower that Force to 80 or 100 and see what you get. Like Skeetz says, you gotta dial in your particular unit to hit the sweet spot.
  2. slice&dice

    Emulator for Master VC2000 24"

    GoodKarma, PM sent. Desay Master driver in SBE should get your machine to respond.
  3. slice&dice

    A New Venture

    Don't mess with the pressure rollers -- they will leave tracks, that's normal, and when applying the vinyl they'll vanish. Adjust your FORCE using the keypad. What is it now set at? Do you have a good picker tool to weed with?
  4. slice&dice

    A New Venture

    Yeah, it's really hard to locate a good copy of the installer anymore, the whole program is Abandonware, and USCUTTER discontinued hosting their archived version. I have fixed the broken hotlink that I offered to the SBE MediaFire download, I made an error when trying to do the linking, sorry. If you desire to utilize SignBlazer for running the MH unit, just select RedSail as the model in cutter setup. (Honestly, the VinylMasterCut is a well-developed --- and supported --- robust design/cut program, so if you've got that, stick with it.) When the cut is done, I just use a pair of scissors to slice the vinyl off the roll. (I keep the blades of the scissors open slightly and run them across with the vinyl into the "v" --- takes a bit of practice, but you'll get the hang of that).
  5. slice&dice

    A New Venture

    Walt, congratulations, and welcome to our little corner of the wide world of cutting designs. Let me make one suggestion right up front. Download and install SignBlazerElements. That old program contains a very delightful LIBRARY of ready-to-cut items (Draw menu). It's a simple matter to bring those graphics into your regular cutting application (VinylMaster?) using the Export .eps & Import to functionality of both programs. Let us know where this leads you.
  6. slice&dice


    Not really a direct correlation to your problem, but on my computer (WinXP) when I need to do pixel-based image editing my go-to choice is GIMP. Rarely do I even touch raster graphics, but for the few times something comes along, the GIMP photo-editor fits the requirement. Beyond that open-source GNU Image Manipulation Program , my most used graphics third-party program is IrfanView.
  7. wildgoose brings up an interesting point -- "(haven't replaced a blade in so long that) I misplaced my stash of new ones and I started to get worried and ended up ordering some new ones, Ha-ha." Common problem, and I did the same thing, that little plastic container of blades vanished into a drawer or box somewhere. When a new set of blades arrived, I used a strip of Alien Tape and affixed the container right onto the back of the cutter end-cap.
  8. The $50.00 "CUT" version of VM is the entry-level. (The 'trial' or 'demo' version mentioned by Haumana above is offered for download to explore the features and interface, but is cutting-disabled). You asked about choosing between SCALP and VM, and I gave you an answer (my opinion). Illustrator is a fine design program, to be sure. Just as Inkscape can also be utilized for vector graphics, it's up to you regarding what application to work within while putting together cuttable files. If all you need is a functional way to get that cutter to work/communicate, then SCALP is sufficient (once you sort out the COM issue). I'm not a graphic designer. My work consists of text-based signage, single color lettering primarily, for banners, vehicle door magnets, window decals, job-site signs, simple things like that. My primary way to get my work accomplished is through an old software (that used to be provided with all US CUTTER machines) called SignBlazer Elements. I dont think you have a 'driver' problem, you likely have a COM selection problem.
  9. The tape on that cutting strip should be removed -- it is just 'protective' covering and is not supposed to be left on when operating. The cutting strip surface should be just the white nylon, smooth. Take that cutting strip, remove it entirely, flip it around 180* and reattach (with some double-sided tape underneath). The scratched portion will now be to the far left, which is usually beyond the area you'll be cutting within, from the right side. (and if you are routinely cutting large designs that reach that far over, then order a replacement strip). As for the COM port, yeah, USCUTTER should be able to connect remotely to your computer and get that sorted. If it were my unit, I would be running it with VinylMaster anyway, not SCALP, but that's your call. Going from Illustrator and importing to cutting software is an extra step that you can avoid by just knocking out your work in VM to begin with, it's very similar interface to Adobe and isn't that difficult to learn the ins and outs of it.
  10. You'll have to keep banging away at windows configurations with the aim of getting the correct PORT to be identified for your cutter (not a printer). This happens to be the #1 issue with cutters, they are a bit wonky with windows, and not true "plug & play" because you have to figure out which Com is being assigned.
  11. Stick to VinylMaster. It's a superior program, and performs like a champ.
  12. slice&dice

    Let’s see those small shops!

    This space used to be a guest bedroom, and we had a bed in there for visitors, but a few years back my son went and got hitched to a lovely lass, and they live with their 3 children in their own place. His old room is now the spare accommodations set-up, and this basement level has become the sign factory. When the children come over, the first thing they want is grandpa to make them some "stickers" and it's my pleasure. I let them choose an animal from the SignBlazer clipart Library, and select a color from the vinyl rack. That vinyl rack is actually quite empty, with only red, black, white, blue and a bit of Kelly green, with a few feet of grey and beige leftover from something I had worked on years ago (not too much call for grey and beige when making signs, so those scrap pieces just sit there). This rack is the standard of the industry.
  13. slice&dice

    Typomania (typography)

    Probably should post this into the "Off Topic" section, but since it involves fonts (and typography) I'll go ahead with it here. Fascinating article about a festival gathering of typographic artists in Siberia. The story reports about Hebrew fonts, which are a special universe unto themselves. For anyone who has an interest knowing about fonts and the graphic elements of fonts, I think you'll like reading this. Peace.
  14. slice&dice

    Let’s see those small shops!

    Well, it's been a few years since I closed my last retail storefront, and now I've kinda retired (nearing 70, getting too old to be climbing ladders and doing sign installs). However, since requests for simple jobs keep coming (DOT #'s, banners, yard signs, etc.) I maintain the cutting studio in my spare room downstairs, and keep slicin' & dicin' away. Having a 4'x8' tabletop is just enough to work on.
  15. slice&dice

    Cannot Save or Export File

  16. slice&dice

    Let’s see those small shops!

    In most cases, to turn a hobby into a business you don't need to be LLC. Generally, the process of setting up a legal and officially-registered retail shop (even from your home) involves the following steps: 1. Register with the Assessment and Taxation Dep't. and get them to verify your "DBA" ('doing business as' = fictitious name) is not already being used by somebody. You can choose to be a Sole Proprietor, rather than a Corporate entity. Highly advise you first apply for a FEIN. Use that instead of your SS# 2. After you are given the "L" number at the Assessment office, take that over to the Sales and Use Tax people, and they will issue you a CRN identifier (Central Registration Number) that allows you to collect State Sales Taxes on your invoices, and file with the state monthly (most states offer online remittances). This certification is sometimes referred to as SUT and in my state, it's 6% 3. When filing Federal Income Taxes, you will be asked to provide a PBC number (Principal Business Code) and I have been using 541400, Specialized Design Services. 4. In order to claim the utility room portion of your residence as a business deduction on Federal taxes, you'll have to calculate at $5 per square foot, with a maximum of 300 square feet. ($1500) and file using Schedule C. 5. Keep books. I've never done my books with a computer program (like QuickBooks) and instead just used a ledger that I bought at Office Depot. You can also buy invoices from them (and order a personalized ink stamper there, too). Good luck, let us know how you progress with it.
  17. Yes, I see that comparison chart shows the vectorize only for the two higher levels. Strange, because we have that feature now in all versions. Best thing is to contact Future Corp. directly and see what they have to say.
  18. slice&dice

    Seiki 870T Password

    So, just to make sure I understand you, there is a keypad request for a two-digit password when you try to access the settings function (switching from Print to SerialUSB/VirtualCOM). You went through all 100 possibilities and the machine did not accept any of them? Your seller has never replied back, and left you with a machine that's not working right? You can't make any Danish Kroner money because you are unable to get this cutter to run properly, and have blown (the equivalent in DKK) $335 dollars on it, and are stuck. I would like to know, what are you expecting anyone here on this Forum to do at this point? What's your plan of action?
  19. A robust 'vector engine' is included with all versions of VinylMaster. In fact, although I don't use VM as the default design/cut application with my USCUTTER machine (SC2) there have been plenty of instances when I needed a raster graphic to be converted into paths, and VM does it really well. (Inkscape also provides a convert-to-path function, but the one in VM is just so easy and clean, it's my go-to when SignBlazer chokes on the vectorize effort). Where did you see information that the v5 upgrade has eliminated the vectorization scheme? I find it hard to believe that critical element would be removed from VM, even at the 'CUT' (lowest) level program.
  20. slice&dice

    New stage. Reflective

    Semper Fi
  21. slice&dice

    Heat transfer reflective vinyl

    How much do you need?
  22. Sounds like a windows issue.
  23. slice&dice

    Seiki 870T Password

    OK, so you're in the Netherlands (DKK is Dutch Kroner) and got a $335 unit that the seller is not assisting you with any support. How's breaking that password thing coming along? Getting a new machine that functions perfectly would not be considered 'blowing' money on it. Here in the USA, we call that an 'investment' that allows a small business to charge money for the cutter output every day, and get a return on that 'investment' and even make a profit. How much money have you put in your pocket so far with this thing? Do you intend to earn Kroner by using it? After my asking you twice, you've still ignored a basic question -- is that a two digit password? Yes? No? Maybe?
  24. slice&dice

    Seiki 870T Password

    Thomas, how did you get from "It cuts fine from EasyCut just not in the right scale as I send" to it now thinking there's a printer involved? What happened when you went through the 100 possible two-digit passwords? Why did you change computers? Although you're not a millionaire, how did you arrive at a conclusion that $500 for a brand new cutter is beyond your reach, financially? How much did you pay for this 'crap' ?
  25. slice&dice

    Seiki 870T Password