my invisible text

Wobbly lines appearing when cutting. Help required please?


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Post Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:18 am

Wobbly lines appearing when cutting. Help required please?

About 3 months ago I noticed a slight wobble on some cuts, but ignored it, now its go got so bad I cant cut anything...

I also noticed cutting depth varied, so it was cutting a long line in like a dotted cut as thought the kife was jumping up and down, but its very very regular, so my first though coming from an electronics background was the power wasnt smooth and had ripple, so the psu had its capacitors changed. no better....

I have ripped this machine apart screw by screw and rebuilt it.... nothing to find, and exact same...

Does thids look anything anyone else has seen before, its a redsail cutter, and its cheap, but its built like a tank theres no slop in anything

Last edited by Leslie Briddon on Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:45 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:23 am

probably find the knife holder is seizing up not alowing the knife to move free enough.

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Post Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:54 am

Chris Wool wrote:probably find the knife holder is seizing up not alowing the knife to move free enough.

do you mean spin? or up down?

I will get the wd40......

this is how i cut the lines/text, if i can embed this image properly, pardon me for being less than knowledgeable with some of this...

But basically i convert all my fonts in the design to lines/points as i have in the past had fonts look ok that are not when scaled etc, so if i convert them to lines i can play with then to finetune spacing / size customize them

So the letter I is just a line, with 3 90'deg turns and a start/end point, it should have no wobbles...


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Post Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:51 am

well I posted in there fb page and a you tech support person tried to use basic translated english to help me, but nothing cam of that, so she has asked me to make a video, and email it, and she will pass that on to someon in production(?) to watch.

I was warned about quality of cheap Chinese sourced cutters, but theres no technology in these things really, its two motors and a knife up.down, very 1970's, which is why i'm ashamed i cant get to the bottom of this!

at least as I said its built like a tank, everything is really simple and thick steel or aluminium, only plastic is the end covers, even the bottom cover is zinc plated so it wont rust. I may one day even buy one of their laser cutters and cnc setups the toughness of this has been so impressive

now only if it would cut like it used to.....

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Post Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:55 am

It's worth trying a bit of WD40 in the blade holder. Sometimes this is caused if the blade can't rotate properly, and gets stuck at the wrong angle.

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Post Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:17 pm

It could be the cutting strip if it is very worn.

We had the same problem on an old Roland, it was the holder, switching to Harry's holders and blades sorted it.

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Post Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:08 pm

Not sure what software you are using but you shouldn't have to convert text to curves to be able to resize, alter kerning, tracking etc etc.
The up & down pecking you mentioned could be down to to many nodes, a lot of that would be down to what type of curves you converted it to & what file format you saved or exported it as if the work was done in another program to the one you use for cutting.
Blade holder as Chris suggested would be the first place I would look, as well as being free to rotate & move up & down freely check it doesn't wobble from side to side at all

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Post Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:21 am

It's difficult to get a scale of things but the 'wobbles' on the lines look too big just be the blade holder at fault

The material seems to have a definite thickness too it...what is it?

Is the material slipping at all in the grippers?

Are you using the correct blade type for the material?

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Post Wed Nov 19, 2014 11:33 am

Ok i'll go through all the points in one post :)

The material is riterama ? I bought a few rolls in various colours off ebay last year when i got the cutter and have bought a few since to add more colour choices etc

the blade from the start was the default 45' blade as supplied with the machine in a pack of 5

about 8 month old i saw a wobbly line, and being a noob just thought it was a dull blade, so i played with the pressure setting and it seemed to fix it so i thought it was just one of those things.

month 9, came back, but so slight i ignored it, I was cutting comedy stickers and political bumper fodder not art pieces and no one noticed at all, but i knew it was there and it irked me...

month 10 no cutting at all, oin holiday

month 11, it was worse so cut nothing..

month 12 got some work to do went to cut it, cant send any out as its terrible...

month 13 is where we are now, and i cut as a payinghobby not a full time job so i'm maybe 70m total cut? i have had to replace my 30m roll of yellow etc, only ro;; i have had to replace, i'm not high volume here!

I have taken the blade out and put the pen carrier in and let it draw my cuts, saves on vinyl and you can still see the fault...

Fonts? I dont have to convert the fonts to points/lines etc, but if i let it cut a letter as a font i dont know if its the software converting the font to a wobbly line or a staright one, by converting to point I can 'see' how its interpreted each letter.

on the letters with the wobble i even deleted the letter and drew it again by hand etc so i knew exactly how the letter was formed, its elimination of anything that could be a possible cause.

I know signblazer is the lowest of the low in some places/forums but it can cut a square failry well usually! (that and I dont have 200 quid to spend on a replacement software package)

ok so now the HW side of the issue....

I have got a ''tech support'' on skype from HFLaser who are 'redsail', they make laser cutters and CNC cutters, using the same motors etc as in their vinyl cutters, they know a thing or two about steppers, and they are built like tanks the old way with very little plastic, thats how i like my things made, i'm the guy who would choose a 40yr old landrover over a porsch anyday of the week.

the tech support female is ''level 1'' , seems she is a first line filter for people who may have installed the wrong driver or cant the the cables in the right holes, but she has agreed that my lines have ''fluctuations'' and is taking the photos and videos i have sent her to someone more ''shop floor''

only issue is timezones, I send her this stuff one morning and get a rpely the next, our 9am is her 5pm so we have a 1hr window each morning to try things.

I am actually impressed they are bothering to even try, its not the kind of support i have got in the past from companies some even being in the uk....

my best guess is its a PSU issue or a belt thing. the 'wobble' in the lines I think is from the head/sled/carriage wobbling left to right like the belt is too tight or too slack. maybe its the cold winter coming in thats making the aluminium bed length shrink and slackening the belt??

I have looked at the psu, it has voltages, are they correct? who knows theres nothing to say what they should be!
I have 31v, well 20-40 is usually right for steppers, I have -8 ? I'm presuming thats to lift the blade up, I have 10-12v, I'm thinking thats the head pressure voltage (and the one i thought was to blame) and 4.99v which will be the 5v cpu line.

usually in cheap product capacitors are often of poor quality and 'dry out' then dont do the job intended, this leads to the popping and taking out other parts in the psu, I have replaced the capacitors in this, fitted better quality ones, no change in fault....

All I can do is wait and see if they know what it is, otherwise i'm out of the game.

I made them a video as they(she) requested, and as you can guess when being filmed it behaved better, not perfect, just better, but i did have one sheet of paper left from the night before where it was bad thankfully..

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Post Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:36 pm

what happens when you plot it slower ?

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Post Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:01 am

not much of a difference, at anything from 100 to 600 speed setting, as someone who has worked with electronic and mechanical devices all my life i'm tearing my non existant hair out.....

Last night I even removed the stepper motors and refitted them after turning them a quarter turn in case it was a bearing on the stepper...

for 2 days now the tech support woman in china has tried to send me their software, artcut 2005, I 'have' to use that to prove to them its not something with my software, today it did transfer in the time allowed so she has emailed it she says, i cant see it arriving as its 38mb and i think google will reject all above 25mb

Oh I also tried changing the tension on the carriage belt, it causes a change, but does not remove the fault

Once again this machine proves to be 100% consistent, consistently wrong...

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Post Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:11 pm

Have you looked at the grippers as Glen suggested? Hard to tell from what you have posted but from what I can see all the problems seem to be on the one axis. Do the rollers hold the media properly & does it feed backward & forward OK. If you are at a point of removing steppers then have you tried switching them over
Sounds like support don't know what the problem is or need more time to figure it out.

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Post Sat Nov 22, 2014 11:08 pm

Hi Les, I know you've probably checked just about everything. The only thing i can think about is the Carriage itself. Have you took it apart and looked for any cracks or anything loose inside that maybe causing it to wobble?

Hope you find the answer

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