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coolinshot

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Post Wed Aug 11, 2004 12:50 pm

PLUNGE

Hi all - We are thinking of taking the plunge and buying a Roland VERSACAMM SP300 - We already have a wide format solvent inkjet printer which is pretty much going non-stop. The only problem is that it doesn't cut.
We've seen the samples from Roland and they look pretty good - but they're not likely to send something out that doesn't.
One question I have for any one out there who is currently using one is - can you print and cut DIRECTLY from:
a) Signlab
b) Illustrator
c) Photoshop
d) Coreldraw
e) Quark xpress

I appreciate any comments and advice on this
Col
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Chris Wool

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Post Wed Aug 11, 2004 3:35 pm

hi print & cut is controled by the supplied rip it requires to have a eps file with the cut line difined by a special name - later signlabs i believe can drive it directly ? have not got a clue about quckers. so from photoshop it would have to go into illistor or coral to have the cut path vector assigned. then out as a eps to the rip - the supplied colourrip is superb

chris
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Rodney Gold

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Post Wed Aug 11, 2004 7:39 pm

If you already have the printer , why not just get a cutter that recognizes optical marks printed on the material. Very much the same as the versacam , it can eithr print , print and cut or print and cut later by reading printed registration marks. You can use your existing machine to print and then load it into the cutter after. summa etc make cutters that do that AFAIK.
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Robert Lambie

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Post Wed Aug 11, 2004 7:49 pm

beat me to it rodney :P
thats what i was gonna say.. :lol1: you can buy a 1500 top end graphtec or summa cutter that sees registration marks to contour cut, even after lamination. pretty simple excercise and only cost about £5000
so you have a cracking new cutter 1500 wide and can still do the contour cutting from your existing machine. :P
or you could pay the extra £4000 and have a slower print/cutter that needs a new stock of inks, software etc to run it.. :roll:

what type of solvent printer do you mate?
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Chris Wool

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Post Wed Aug 11, 2004 8:03 pm

RODNEY & ROBERT
i have seen these other print & cut stuff and it ant a patch on whot we are now used too roland seem to have it nailed.

chris
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Robert Lambie

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Post Wed Aug 11, 2004 8:19 pm

in fairness i have not compared chris, but have you seen any of the cutters perform using this function? the reason i ask is, i have the top end graphtec 1500 cutter and i heard that it has the ability to have the auto-alignment using registration marks, just recently. i was told that there is the option to have this with the machine, but i didnt request it so i didnt get :-? anyway, they went onto telling me how accurate theirs is, and have yet to find another cutter that is more accurate then theirs.. i said what about the summa, i was told that the graphtec was more accurate, so much so, some folk had returned their summa to purchase the graphtec.
i know all this may just be blah blah blah.. but they did sound convincing.
i agree that an all in one machine print/cut is the best package, but is it worth shelling out £9500 just so you can contour cut your prints?
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Chris Wool

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Post Wed Aug 11, 2004 9:13 pm

i compared by samples sent to me and they were good but col says that his other machine is busy most of the time so in my own way tried to answer the question lets face it if you take the vinyl out of one machine and put it in another we are asking for trouble ant we . when i first got the soljet it was rubbish at cutting after lamination after ver2 rip its fantastic i now chuck vinyl in it with confidence and expect it to do multi cuts over a sq mt within .5 mm. when i queried the samples sent to me i was told that was as good as it gets but it wernt good enough in my book. but horses for courses if it works for you its spot on.

chris
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Robert Lambie

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Post Wed Aug 11, 2004 10:03 pm

i couldnt agree more mate.. if you remove it from one machine then thats were the problems start. or so i would have thought..
i never even heard of the re-alignment until a few months ago, thats why i started to enquire once i heard the graphtec could do it too..
henry baker was saying how well the summa can re-align a while back and his thoughts were echoed by some others. so when i enquired and was told that the graphtec supposedly does a more accurate contour cut i was pretty surprised to say the least.
i know colin mentioned his printer was chocka but once its finished its finished.. its into another machine for contour cut, while it can get onto the next job if need be. at the end of the day, his versacamm prints may need laminated, so he has to take it out, laminate, re-align and cut.
i hear what you say about the roland being very accurate, & again i agree.. im using the grenadeir and not had any probs. :wink:
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Rodney Gold

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Post Thu Aug 12, 2004 5:18 am

I actually find print and re-load for a cut more accurate than print and cut straight away. Things like media stretch , creep etc are compensated for .
In terms of time , cutting 1000 small decals can take ages and that eats into valuable printing time. I often queue cutting till the end of the day etc.
Apart from which , cutting on a bleed of a dark print when the print is very fresh will always result in te decal edges curling (sometimes only manifests itself hours later)
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Alan Drury

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Post Thu Aug 12, 2004 9:11 am

From what I understand even full solvent printed items can require laminating in some instances, so if this is the case - printing then laminating and then putting into another machine for contour cutting is the only option. I have a Summa with OPUS and although I have never really got to grips with it, when the installing engineer went through the procedure accuracy was apsolutely spot on. Buying a cutter seems a far cheaper way round it.
Alan
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coolinshot

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Post Fri Aug 13, 2004 1:50 pm

Robert Lambie wrote:at the end of the day, his versacamm prints may need laminated, so he has to take it out, laminate, re-align and cut.
:wink:


Thanks for the advice:
I have just spoken to one of our suppliers and have been given the "advice" that the supplied RIP is "not up to much" and we would be much better off upgrading from Signlab E6, (which I hate), to version 7, of which I know nothing.
I do most of my full colour work in Illustrator and photoshop combined. Occasionally I use coreldraw.
I have files sent to me from other sign companies as illustrator or eps files "ready to print". I don't really want to spend time converting files into signlab then hoping I don't lose any cmyk colour information when I output.
I have used "print and cut" in an Accuprint RIP straight from photoshop / illustrator and corel - it is just a case of setting up a clipping path in a separate layer - is this still the case with the roland rip?

is lamination a necessity Rob?
Col
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Rodney Gold

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Post Fri Aug 13, 2004 2:38 pm

The rip supplied with the Versacam is one of the best around , a WASATCH rip , will accept AI. PS , CDR , EPS , JPEg etc and has some really great features
We have signlab , which quite frankly sucks , and use Corel for ALL our work. I have had a printer for a year and there is NOTHING I can't do in Corel and have output exceptional work with it and have NEVER had a complaint.
I get file in a zillion formats , AI , psd , art, eps , fh, jpg etc and have no hassles at all in outputting them.
The Versacam has EXACT instruction in regard to both an AI and a PS workflow , so you can use the package you are comfortable with and dont have to pay any more for anything else. (and afaik , signlab does NOTHING better than Wasatch does , signlabs RIP is an afterthought , wasatch is an industry standard RIP specific to digital printers and is free with a versacam (how much better do you get) and has far better features in regard to queing , nesting and so forth and there is no dongle required so it can reside on many design stations.
All you have to to do in any package is assign a specific spot colour to the cut line , regardless of width etc . The RIP will cut any line with that colour. (It obviously has to be a vector line)
If you are thinking of full solvent , here is a "comparison" chart of the pros/cons

SOLVENT vs ECO FRIENDLY

Poisonous to the Environment YES(s) NO (eco)
Poisonous to Operator & anyone in the general vicinity. YES (s) NO (eco)
Can print on any vinyl YES (s) YES (eco)
Rub Resistance 15%removal (s) 50% removal (eco)
Scratch Resistance 100%removal (s) 100% removal (eco)
Very High Quality NO (s) YES(eco)
Attacks Adhesive Layer YES (s) NO (eco)
Outdoor Durability 3 years (s) 3 Years (eco)
Life of Printer parts Short (s) Long (eco)
Ghost print of liner print YES (s) NO (eco)
Machine Maintenance Cost High(s) Low (eco)
Wastage of ink in purging High (s) Low (eco)
Head and pump life short(s) high (eco)
Ink cost if 3rd party Low (s) High if anything else (s+ eco)

Lamination is essential in ANY abusive situation regardless of what you use to print. Dont think a solvent , thermal or whatever is that much better than eco or anything else. Solvent and thermal are more resistant to abraision and various volatile liquids , but its a matter of degree , not imperviousness - dont even THINK of offering unlimited warrantees on unprotected prints!!! There is NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH - every technology has its issues as does ever machine.
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J. Hulme

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Post Fri Aug 13, 2004 4:12 pm

mrsticker wrote:RODNEY & ROBERT
i have seen these other print & cut stuff and it ant a patch on whot we are now used too roland seem to have it nailed.

chris


You got the versacamm Chris?
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coolinshot

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Post Fri Aug 13, 2004 4:47 pm

Rodney Gold wrote:The rip supplied with the Versacam is one of the best around .


I find it very frustrating to get so many conflicting reviews on the VersaCAMM and the Colour Rip sofware supplied.
Just had a conversation with 2 suppliers - one of whom doesn't sell the Versacamm - both of them rate the Roland Rip as pretty damn useless. One of them, (the one that DOES sell the VCamm), insists that you need Signlab ver 7 (say no more... :evil: ).

The assigning of a colour as a cut line is similar to the way Signlab's earlier RIP worked but as Signlab only dealt in RGB files it was all but useless (I seriously think they should have stuck to vinyl cutting - or is that a little unfair).

Anyway to summarise - I think we are going to purchase a cutter to use with our current printer - any advice on cutters.........?
Col

ps - have a good weekend
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Rodney Gold

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Post Fri Aug 13, 2004 5:38 pm

Ask them WHY colorip (Wasatch) is useless?
Wasatch who make colorip (its even better than Wasach's fairly pricey Softrip , but only works on a Roland) are renowned for their RIP. go look at www.wasatchinc.com
What can another RIP do better?
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James kelly

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Post Mon Aug 16, 2004 10:16 am

I have both Colorip and Signlab 7 and to be honest, the vast majority of printing is done from Colorip. Colorip gives excellent results and consistency as well as being very easy to use.

The dealers who say it is no good either don't know their a$$ from their elbow or are wanting you to fork out a couple of grand or more for another rip.
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coolinshot

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Post Mon Aug 16, 2004 11:28 am

Pretty much what I figured (about sales reps anyway) - I am now thinking along the lines of another cutter with optical alignment and crop mark recognition instead of the versacamm

Thanks All
Col
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Kevin Flowers

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Post Mon Aug 16, 2004 3:39 pm

Colin
if you have a spare hour or so, have a word with Harry at Edward Mathius he is helping me with my choice of printer and seperate cutter, you wont go wrong

Kev

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