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Advice on which plotter software is best?

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Post Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:30 pm

Advice on which plotter software is best?

Hi All,

I could really do with some advice on what plotter software is best for cutting vinyl. I have recently bought a SummaCut D140 and was supplied with a copy of Winplot which I am finding lacking especially on multicolour designs. I have used a version of SignLab 7 before and found it a lot easier to master but it is an old version I picked up a few years ago and I think it is a cracked version and have been having problems loading and when sending to plot it keeps crashing.

I would really appreciate some input on what software you guys use and advantages and disadvantages. I have noticed that a lot of people on hear seem to use and Signlab and Coral Draw is there a reason for this? At the moment I am using Creative Suite CS3 and Quark.

Thanks
Colin
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Post Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:37 pm

Colin
for cut vinyl, Signlab is, in my opinion, the best and easiest to use, it has all the tools to make cutting easier.
If you buy just the cut vinyl version its not that expensive.
You can do all the design you need, and with proper shadows, welding and cutting layers etc, from one package, and signlab supports most, if not all plotters.

Peter
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Post Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:25 pm

Hi Peter,

Would you go for the Signlab 9 X Grade or Signlab 9 Vinyl Pro X not sure what the difference is? (apart from a few hundred pounds!!)

And thank you again for all the advice you have given me so far guess I owe you a drink at some point.

Colin
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Post Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:03 am

I'm with Peter on this for vinyl I use Signlab V9 and have always used Signlab for cutting.
I am probably known here as a Corel guy and for text intensive stuff (menus)and print setup (litho) I still think Corel has the edge but for cutting the job will always go into SL. I do use Winplot and Cutting Master but SL is head and shoulders easier, more flexible and generally better. SL also has tools such as shadow and bleed on the weld that does set it above Corel, this may or may not change in the future.
I cannot comment on Flexi or the others as I've not used them at any length, my ideal signmaking software package is Signlab AND Corel Draw, with those two you are covered.
Alan D
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Post Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:24 am

Colin, you can see a comparison chart here.....

http://www.cadlink.com/products/signLab ... _compr.php


Pattern fills, gradient fills & plug ins etc are the main difference between Vinyl & Vinyl Pro. Mostly stuff that is useful for designing for output too a large format printer.
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Post Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:46 am

Thanks Alan I think signlab is going to be the choice for me to.

Thanks Brian not sure if the chart helped or has confused me more. Does this mean I can use designs produced in signlab vinyl or vinyl pro to either just cut vinyl and also use designs to print and and then contour cut as well.

Thanks
Colin
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Post Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:59 am

i know signlab is proberly 1 of the most used software packages but i find Vinyl Master Pro so much easier and quicker to use, im proberly 1 of the minority that use VMP but it is good, you used to be able to download a demo which was fully working apart from you couldnt save your work etc i dont know if you can still d/load it from there site, and also its less than £200 retail and i have seen it as low as £99 with dongle so price wise its pennies compared to the likes of signlab/flexi etc.
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Post Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:02 am

Hi Alan thanks but I have just bought Signlab.

Colin
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Post Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:31 am

Brian

I was always of the belief that Signlab was expensive so never entertained it. I use Coreldraw and Signtools. When I see the new boys on here that have just bought a plotter and are using Signlab I always think they are using a pirate version as it costs well over a £1000

How much is it for the entry version and the vinyl version please? Just the RRP, not particular deals or anything.
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Post Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:35 am

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Post Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:41 am

Doh! Thanks Peter :oops:
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Post Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:47 pm

When I see the new boys on here that have just bought a plotter and are using Signlab I always think they are using a pirate version as it costs well over a £1000


David I might be a new boy when it comes to sign making but have been producing exhibition displays & retail pos for many years now. The plotter & solvent machine is a new venture for us (diversifying :D ) I have always been interested in sign making and am really looking forward to trying to learn as much as possible. I bought an old plotter and a version of Signlab 7 a few years ago which I have now found out to be a cracked version which has given me all sorts of problems importing ect to the extent that I had no confidence in producing a good job quality job so have not pursued this area of our business. Having the correct software to give me the etc that I can now take on work without all the hassles I have had in the past. The cost for Signlab 9 basic vinyl cut cost £450 from Impact. (worth it just to have confidence & backup.

Colin
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Post Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:28 pm

Signlab comes in many flavours and the base vinyl version coupled with Corel will just about see you covered. Not sure if the SL base version has the different weld functions, if it has at £450 ish its a bargain. If you use it everyday it will pay for itself many times over.
Alan D
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Post Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:10 pm

Colin, you won't regret your purchase. I have been using Signlab since it came on 6 floppy disks!
Vinyl package does have some worthwhile extra features; colour welds and 1100 fonts & Corel font support being a couple.
I still think Power Weed is one of the best features in Signlab as it makes weeding tricky graphics & text a breeze.
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Post Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:33 pm

David-Foster- wrote:Brian

I was always of the belief that Signlab was expensive so never entertained it. I use Coreldraw and Signtools. When I see the new boys on here that have just bought a plotter and are using Signlab I always think they are using a pirate version as it costs well over a £1000

How much is it for the entry version and the vinyl version please? Just the RRP, not particular deals or anything.


David, the Vinyl version is £450+vat if you are eligible to buy it as a crossgrade which is what Colin did. Older versions used to be quite basic, since version 8.0 it has been far more comprehensive.
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Post Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:33 pm

Colin

i too have been a signlab fan since it started - cant go wrong

Brian whats the difference from 8 to 9 and how much??


Colin - Plymouth
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Post Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:02 pm

Colin Hibbitt wrote:Colin

i too have been a signlab fan since it started - cant go wrong

Brian whats the difference from 8 to 9 and how much??


Colin - Plymouth


https://www.uksignboards.com/viewtopic.p ... 211#394211
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Post Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:02 pm

It's £225 from Vinyl Pro 8.0 which I think you have? Try typing Signlab 9 into youtube, there are quite a few videos showing the new features on there.

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