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Question Alternative to Flexi for Windows

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Dale D, Nov 5, 2020.

  1. Dale D

    Dale D Member

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    I am looking for a similar product that can handle vectors. Im tired of 3-10 min of a blue swirl when doing anything with a "decent " vector. Sai , use the excuse that its because their software is still only 32 bit and will not give any idea when they will offer a 64 bit version. Im currently on their subscription on a Windows 10 machine.
     
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  2. Jester1167

    Jester1167 Premium Subscriber

    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
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  3. Snydo

    Snydo Active Member

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    What kind of PC are you running Flexi on? Just because it's a 64-bit machine doesn't make it necessarily fast.
     
  4. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Keep in mind when running 32 bit applications on a 64 bit machine, min specs actually double. So consider that as well and sometimes programs see GPU RAM as well and include that in it's system assessment.

    Not actually knowing what "decent" vector is, it's hard to tell and adding to that with what your system's resources are as well.
     
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  5. eahicks

    eahicks Magna Cum Laude - School of Hard Knocks

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    Vector? Do you mean raster? Flexi is all vector unless you import a raster image. And to me Flexi is the best at editing/creating/handling vectors. I think you are confused.
     
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  6. Dale D

    Dale D Member

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    So, as to the PC im using... I'm running windows 10 on a custom built 64 bit on a I7 9700k with 32GB memory of DDR4 SDRAM. And all of my customer files are stored on a separate FreeNas machine. My PC is definitely not the issue. I watch the recourses that max out at about 17% while Flexi is froze. I even tried to add 2 more sticks to take my RAM to 64GB, and still had the same issues.
    As far as the 32bit vs 64 bit software. It is not I who said that. I understand but am telling you what Sai tech is telling me.
    This is direct quote from Sai support while he was loged into my PC remotely," As of now we know there are issues with our software and vector files, and hopefully when we go to the 64 bit version, it will solve most of those issues" I asked when is that supposed to happen? He said he doesn't know but for now try to limit the size of vector files or separate them within AI, then bring them into Flexi 1 at a time.

    I had a 30 inch back door of a gym that I laid 2 Logos on top of the pic, and it crashed Flexi when I added an outline, and cut mark to it. I also had a PS file that had 4 variations of my own logo that when brought into Flexi would crash it. That is when he told me to separate my 4 logos and only work with 1 at a time inside Flexi until they fix the issue. He acknowledged the issue, even had me send it to the support tech, and he had the same issues with the same files.

    Dont get me wrong, I have LOVED Flexi in the past, but it is getting old.
     
  7. Dale D

    Dale D Member

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    I am not confused, No, I meant "IMPORTED vectors". To be specific, yes create a "small" vector within Flexi all is well. NO problems. It is ONLY imported vector files that we have issues with. My logo files were created within Adobe Illustrator and the the customers files I was working with, claim it was created within Adobe as well.
    Sai support told me that the 32 bit of Flexi as it stands now struggles with any large amount of nodes especially when it comes to logos created in Ai that have shading, effects, etc.
     
  8. Dale D

    Dale D Member

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  9. VonsGraphix1969

    VonsGraphix1969 New Member

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    you gotta be careful when people send you "their" files even though they are so called "vectors" as they put it..... I've run Flexi for years, i mean going back to Pre CasMate days and once in awhile i get a file that just blows my mind on how it was pieced together by a "designer".... LOL... It will lock up flexi for a min or 2 even just moving it on the screen.... Really?? Has nothing to do with Flexi, its the POS file they created and sent you... This goes along with the RTP files that designers send us... Ill open up say a 24" x 36" file, all image mind you, and its like a 1.5 GB file !!!!! Really???? WTF ??
     
  10. d fleming

    d fleming Very Active Member

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    AI has always been a problem child when importing files into sl or flexi. Pen outlines instead of actual outlines mean squat to a plotter and most "designers" that use strictly the adobe products they were taught on in school have no clue about plotting vinyl. Try a free trial version of 64 bit SL and see if that helps.
     
  11. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    Also keep in mind, with a 32 bit application, it does not matter how much ram you put in a computer, a 32 bit application cannot address more than 4GB of memory. Windows can and can even swap other stuff up to higher memory addresses to free up more for the 32 bit app that is running.

    One thing I have found that can help with really complex vectors in Flexi, if I am just moving some things around to group them for print, is to turn off show fills so it does not have to render/rerender all of the complex shadows, transparency, etc. Cannot see what it what since it is all just outlines but things move very quick then. I've determined the issue to more specifically be with transparency effects and how Flexi tries to render them while moving things around on screen. Can also the "design editor" window and simply turn those particular layers visibility off while moving things but you have to make sure to turn them back on.

    Another bug I've found is with Illustrator files with multiple artboards. We often use artboards to chop things up for certain jobs. When opening in Flexi do NOT tell it to open all artboards at once. It will do it but random parts will be missing shadows or other effects with transparency. Open the first artboard, then import the same file again and import the next artboard, repeat, repeat, etc which can be tedious if the file has dozens of artboards.
     
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  12. Attila Nagy

    Attila Nagy Member

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    You won't find anything better than Flexi for vectors.
     
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  13. S11930

    S11930 Member

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    what version of flexi are you using?
     
  14. Dale D

    Dale D Member

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    So, after 3 hrs with an Sai tech on teamviewer and on phone, he also said there is nothing I can do to my PC. It is more than what I need for Flexi. We did a clean install of Flexi, which helped a little but didnt fix the issue. He said he would forward it to the developers, but had no other fix.

    NOW, I did try the uncheck "Show Fills" and that does help a lot.. It is manageable now. From what the tech was saying was similar to your comment, Flexi struggles when having to render/rerender of the complex shadows, etc.
    Thank you....just that alone has made a BIG difference.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Dale D

    Dale D Member

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    Subscription 19 Build 3350
     
  16. balstestrat

    balstestrat Active Member

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    Between the bits
    Adobe Illustrator?
     
  17. Dale D

    Dale D Member

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    Im using the online subscription of Adobe PS and Ai.
    Ai shows Version 2021 25.0.0
     
  18. balstestrat

    balstestrat Active Member

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    Between the bits
    So isn't that alternative to Flexi..?
     
  19. Dale D

    Dale D Member

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    Yes, I can create with Adobe products, but can PS run all of my equipment? Ive never tried to send jobs from PS to my printer with cut marks and then to my plotter to cut that it would recognize.
     
  20. d fleming

    d fleming Very Active Member

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    I have zero issues with vector, bitmap, fills etc in signlab. Just saying. I have worked with flexi and between the two, for me at least, there is no comparison to ease of use.
     
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