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Cutter Options / benefit of your experiences

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Graeme Clark

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Post Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:09 pm

Cutter Options / benefit of your experiences

I have had a good read through all the what cutter / what plotter threads and am coming to you guys for your advice.

we are a vehicle wrap company principally so find ourselves buying product by the roll usually 1500mm due to the convenience it gives us when wrapping.

What we are looking for is a cutter to allow us to make best use of our offcuts and cut vinyl for bonnet stripes etc. We are currently outsourcing this work ( due to volume). I would love to hear your views on a good cutter to buy just to make use of our offcuts and run very small volume jobs for single colour cuts.

On the software side we run everything on Mac's and I use photoshop CS4 however have no experience in corel. I presume we have to use a corel or other product to run the cutter!!

Don't worry I am not planning to buy chinese! to quote another member on here "I would be better off burning the money!"

Budget is probably up to £800, value for money is important to us right now!

Thanks in advance ladies and gents.

B Rgds


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Owen Lees

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Post Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:15 pm

If you get a Graphtec, you can use Illustrator and their free plugin to cut the vinyl - very effectively.

I use this combination to output all my contoured graphics and overflow cut stuff when the other cutter is full up and after a bit of messing about getting it right I am well pleased with the results.

Oo
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Post Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:28 pm

Mimaki also have a free plugin for Illy called finecut.
Peter
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Owen Lees

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Post Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:33 pm

Theres two reasons not to worry about Corel Draw right there!

OO
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John Childs

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Post Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:01 pm

I'm with the boys above. If you're familiar with Photoshop, then Illustrator is the only way to go.




I don't want to start the whole Corel v Illustrator debate again here, but I reckon Illustrator is the way to go anyway.
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Graeme Harrold

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Post Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:06 pm

John Childs wrote:I'm with the boys above. If you're familiar with Photoshop, then Illustrator is the only way to go.




I don't want to start the whole Corel v Illustrator debate again here, but I reckon Illustrator is the way to go anyway.


Yup stick to what you are comfortable with. Only reason Im on Corel is Ive been using it for 16 years.... :o
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Owen Lees

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Post Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:28 pm

I was a staunch Corel user and we still use it on the PC's, but since I found 'offset path' in Illustrator I have found myself using it less and less.

However John is right - better not to start that debate :)

I do believe that FlexiSign is available on the Mac too - if you are wanting a specific application for cutting and so forth.

Oo
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John Childs

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Post Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:50 pm

Owen Lees wrote:I do believe that FlexiSign is available on the Mac too


Yes, it is. And no bargepole is long enough.

But perhaps that's just me. :D
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Ian Muir

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Post Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:23 pm

Offset path?............ is that the same as contour that has been in Corel for decades except the illustrator method doesn't seem to have the versatility that contour in Corel has..... :lol1:

Ian :lol1:
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Robert Lambie

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Post Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:29 pm

or you could buy a purpose built vinyl cutting sign package like signlab and forget all of the above. :wink:
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John Childs

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Post Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:32 pm

I said I didn't want to start this argument again. :D
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Alan Drury

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Post Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:48 am

I think it is Ian. I am an advocate for people sticking to the software they know as they will probably save time in the long run. I am particularly keen for local Illustrator users to stick to that as I know I will then have an advantage. (I am kidding here)
Alan D
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Owen Lees

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Post Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:49 am

Ian Muir wrote:Offset path?............ is that the same as contour that has been in Corel for decades except the illustrator method doesn't seem to have the versatility that contour in Corel has..... :lol1:

Ian :lol1:


Absolutely totally agree with that - but the fact that I dont have to use a virtual pc on my mac to run corel (and I am lazy) makes up for it!

Take nowt away from Corel - its very very good.

Oo
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Gordon Forbes

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Post Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:40 pm

Get signlab as Rob says you wont regret it makes life so much easier.
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Owen Lees

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Post Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:27 pm

Gordon Forbes wrote:Get signlab as Rob says you wont regret it makes life so much easier.


And bearing in mind his budget is 800 quid - totally out of the ball park.

Oo
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Post Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:01 pm

Well signlab starts at around £850 for cutting package, £600 if you cross grade from another design program, so not so far out of the ball park,
and worth considering.

Peter
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Owen Lees

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Post Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:06 pm

Peter Normington wrote:Well signlab starts at around £850 for cutting package, £600 if you cross grade from another design program, so not so far out of the ball park,
and worth considering.

Peter


The guy said he had 800 quid to buy a plotter and software with... hence me suggesting the FREE plugin in the first place.

So it IS miles out of the ball park unless he buys a chinese plotter (which he categorically said he wasn't)...

There.

Oo
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Graeme Clark

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Post Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:02 pm

Thanks for the deabte guys, I didn't mean to offend any of the corel users its just my pref to use Adobe due to having a full license of creative suite.

Whats your thinkings cutter wise?









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Brian Hays

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Post Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:34 am

Peter Normington wrote:Well signlab starts at around £850 for cutting package, £600 if you cross grade from another design program, so not so far out of the ball park,
and worth considering.

Peter


£350+ vat to Signlab Vinyl Pete. Has everything you need for cutting Vinyl.
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Owen Lees

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Post Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:36 pm

Graeme Clark wrote:Thanks for the deabte guys, I didn't mean to offend any of the corel users its just my pref to use Adobe due to having a full license of creative suite.

Whats your thinkings cutter wise?

mod-edit


I don't think you have offended anyone :) (Cat fight yeah!!!!)

Personally (from experience) go for a 'name' when buying a cutter - like Mimaki, Graphtec, Roland etc as they are genuinely better and more reliable for production work.

As to which one... well if your budget is what you say then I suggest your budget will dictate what you get.

One small thing though, if someone offers you a cheap JX1130 (which is a print cut machine from way back) then ignore the print part (its pants) but has a super graphtec hidden inside which we use daily (and so do a couple of others on here) and is bullet proof. They sometimes come up as people realise the print bit is a bit past it and as its a large footprint want to move to something smaller.

My 2 cents there.

Oo
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Graeme Clark

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Post Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:14 pm

Owen Lees wrote:
Graeme Clark wrote:Thanks for the deabte guys, I didn't mean to offend any of the corel users its just my pref to use Adobe due to having a full license of creative suite.

Whats your thinkings cutter wise?

mod-edit


I don't think you have offended anyone :) (Cat fight yeah!!!!)

Personally (from experience) go for a 'name' when buying a cutter - like Mimaki, Graphtec, Roland etc as they are genuinely better and more reliable for production work.

As to which one... well if your budget is what you say then I suggest your budget will dictate what you get.

One small thing though, if someone offers you a cheap JX1130 (which is a print cut machine from way back) then ignore the print part (its pants) but has a super graphtec hidden inside which we use daily (and so do a couple of others on here) and is bullet proof. They sometimes come up as people realise the print bit is a bit past it and as its a large footprint want to move to something smaller.

My 2 cents there.

Oo


Superb, thanks for that Gem Owen, I will keep it in my little black book when searching for cutters!!
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Nigel Hindley

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Post Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:14 pm

Owen, Peter do you or anyone know how difficult it would be to import cdl files into illustrator or finecut purely to cut - add to that cdr files?

does anyone have a link to any debate about signlab v illustrator and Rob why go rate sign lab so highly? I use it and love it but it seems limited compared to Corel, I know Signlab is seriously more expensive but Corel seems so much More intuitive?

Im considering anew plotter too to replace or to have in addition to my anagraph I have Signlab and could get an additional license - how easy is it to get software to cut from corel?
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Post Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:29 pm

you can export from signlab as an ai or ps file, so it should not be a problem,
as long as you specify the cut line (in signlab you click on options/signlab setup/postscriptsetup
then use the name your rip will recognise

I think I got that right...

Peter
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Owen Lees

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Post Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:50 am

Nigel Hindley wrote:Owen, Peter do you or anyone know how difficult it would be to import cdl files into illustrator or finecut purely to cut - add to that cdr files?

does anyone have a link to any debate about signlab v illustrator and Rob why go rate sign lab so highly? I use it and love it but it seems limited compared to Corel, I know Signlab is seriously more expensive but Corel seems so much More intuitive?

Im considering anew plotter too to replace or to have in addition to my anagraph I have Signlab and could get an additional license - how easy is it to get software to cut from corel?


Hi Nigel

I think Peter is your best bet here, I am not a SignLab user (despite having a borrowed ancient copy) however - as long as you can export postscript then corel can pretty much help you.

Going from Illustrator to Corel is as easy as exporting a headerless eps with all fonts converted to curves (outlines) and in V8 format.

I bow to Mr Normingtons experience.

Oo

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