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Post Fri May 09, 2003 6:25 pm

Plotter Help

Hi all, I have a Graphtec friction fed plotter which I am happy with most of the time, it only becomes a problem when I have a long graphic to cut. You are suppose to be able to plot about 10mtrs accuratly with the machine but I struggle at anything over about 4 mtrs. I know it must be how I am aligning the vinyl in the machine but an having trouble figuring out what I am doing wrong.
What is the best way to align the vinyl in a friction fed machine so it tracks properly without wandering off to one side when plotting longer lengths of vinyl?
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Post Fri May 09, 2003 6:36 pm

Ah typical case of the signmaker believing the bumph in the advertising :lol: how far in from the edge of the vinyl are your gripper wheels, if they are anything less than a couple of inches you've no chance, also run out plenty of vinyl at the back as the weight of the roll being pulled by the machine will affect how it tracks.
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Post Fri May 09, 2003 6:49 pm

Hi Martin

Do You Need To Track 10 Mtrs Unless its a graphic if its text just cut it in sections of 4 mtrs.

The actual loading of a machine has lot of little knacks put once you find them it is possible to track 10 mtrs or more my best so far is 37 mtrs on a mutoh 1300 using 610 vinyl and all 3 pinch wheels which makes a big difference as i hane never achived more than 15 on my sc650 which only has 2.
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Post Fri May 09, 2003 7:28 pm

I have a roland which are not the best for tracking but I can cut long lenghts if I :- Cut the required length of vinyl plus about 8 inches spare off the roll so there is no drag at all.

It takes patience to get it right alot of patience but it can be done.

One trick is when you have load the vinyl into the machine and it runs true, cut the front off square by the machine and the next time you load the remaining vinyl palce it square with the front of the machine and its a good starting point for being square. Brian :lol:
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Post Fri May 09, 2003 7:35 pm

is your cutter on a stand martin or desk top?
years ago we were stung by a sales guy selling us the cutter at discount without a stand, told us there is no need. when actualy there is...

just thought mate! :roll: :wink:
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Post Fri May 09, 2003 9:10 pm

Advertising. :D Whatever the manufacturers claim - divide by two.

About six years ago I got rid of a six month old Graphtec FC2100 610 cutter because it wouldn't go more that three or four metres. I found I couldn't concentrate on another job because I was listenening and waiting for it to wander off.

Having said that, in recent years I have bought a Roland 1220 wide and it isn't too bad at all. I think more modern machines are better than the old ones used to be.

Nevertheless, although we do a lot of work on the Roland, our favourite is still our Summagraphics T1010+. If size or volume is your criteria there ain't no substitute for sprockets.
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Post Fri May 09, 2003 9:26 pm

I always buy my rolls sprocketed so then you can line up the sprockets on a straight piece of the machine to get very good tracking results.

It works for me! :D
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Post Sat May 10, 2003 9:54 am

When loading the vinyl into my Roland, I pull roughly half the length of the vinyl I intend to cut through the plotter and square it up at this point. Then set the plotter to edge and let it feed through to the start of the roll. If at this point it’s tracked off say a quarter inch to the left you know that, in theory, it should only be off by a quarter to the right at the end of the cut. If it’s totally out of line when it reaches the start, then lift the pinch rollers and try again.

I’m still convinced that simple changes in the atmosphere can affect the vinyl. If for instance the humidity goes up and the roll of vinyl is stood on its end, then the extra moisture in the atmosphere may expand the liner more on the exposed edge of the roll than the edge it stands on, causing the vinyl to become bent along its length. The amount of expansion needed along one edge, apposed to the other, to cause this could be minuscule.

Does any of that make sense, or am I in Saturday’s cuckoo land. Answers on a postcard to ……. :-?
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Post Sat May 10, 2003 10:00 am

Thanks for the advice peeps, obviously I need to practice a bit more. Robert the machine is on a stand it wouldn't fit on the desk, well it would at a push !!
I have been letting the vinyl pull off the roll as the machine cuts, I will try unrolling the correct amount of vinyl before I start plotting to see how I get on and put the pinch rollers a little further in for large graphics.
Bob, if I have been cutting text thats exactly what I have been doing cheers, did an 11mtr facia yesterday all text cut it in 3 sections !!
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Post Sat May 10, 2003 10:55 am

I have a very old plotter (15 years or so), but it works great.
It doesn't have any type of tacking so its all done by me..
I have run 20m in the past, but it took a little time to set up.
What i do is pull half vinyl through the plotter, line it up by eye against the spockets,
then run it back (if the vinyl not run off) then run the full length out and back again.
Take a couple of minutes but works every time.
I have only damaged a couple of blades, but that's were its been tight with the vinyl.
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Post Sat May 10, 2003 3:05 pm

Hi, Martin,

My plotter is a 7 year old Ioline Classic 24, friction feed. I rarely have to cut more than an eight foot length, but even with that, alignment can be a problem.

First fix was to acquire two additional pinch rollers---- the vinyl would occasionally "belly" up in the middle, and a rip would occur. Extra pinch rollers solved that.

Second fix was to avoid unpunched vinyl, and to use the sprocket holes on the edge to align---just pick matching holes on each side.

Third item---run off enough vinyl so the roll doesn't slam into the back of the plotter. Sometimes this can cause the plotter to stop altogether. If you are cutting a long run, you may be able to pause the plotter long enough to unroll more vinyl, and then start up again.

Hope this is of some help.
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Post Sat May 10, 2003 5:19 pm

Thanks Alan and Bill, I shall be trying some of the suggestions next time I have a long length to plot.
Alan I don't know if it's because it's Saturday but I haven't got a clue what you were talking about !!! Sorry.
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Post Sat May 10, 2003 7:37 pm

Sorry for the confusion Martin I’m better with pictures than words.

So here’s more confusion.

This is a picture of a piece of loo roll that’s been moistened along one edge (how it got moist is irrelevant). :o
The point is it lays on the table in a curve.

Image

Now imagine a length of vinyl that has one edge with higher moisture content than the other, and try feeding that through a plotter. :(
Varying temperatures of cause could course a similar affect.

This emphasises the importance of keeping vinyl in a stable environment, something not always possible for many of us. I try to make sure that the vinyl I’m going to be cutting comes out of the garage and into the office (read; back bedroom) the day before.

If by now you’re convinced that I’m completely round the whatsit. Then I’d forget it if I were you, before I drag you round that bend with me. (:) :cry:
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Post Sat May 10, 2003 8:50 pm

Cheers Alan I think Iv'e got it now, I have to use loo roll more often and I should keep my vinyl with the horses.
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Post Sat May 10, 2003 9:35 pm

Cheers Alan I think Iv'e got it now, I have to use loo roll more often and I should keep my vinyl with the horses.



Nice round this bend isn’t it :lol: :lol: :lol:

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