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Anybody with Signlab 7 Experience?

Discussion in 'Signlab' started by zipper, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. zipper

    zipper New Member

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    Apr 10, 2004
    We use Omega 2.02 in our business with Edge 2. We read in a trade magazine about Signlab program that it has a lot of nice features that we don't have with the Omega program. We have been thinking of adding Signlab to our operation. However, we have these questions:

    1. When we tile output to the Edge, the graphics on the top tile does not match up exactly to the graphics on the bottom tile. Will I get a better results with Signlab?

    2. Omega program allows you to network with multiple computer stations. This means I can access Job file from any computer station (with Omega program on it) and send the finished Job file to the Edge or any plotter from any of the computer station. Signlab program in the past did not have this capability. Does Signlab 7 have this feature?

    3. Is Signlab 7 problem-free? Would you recommend that Signlab e6 would be a safer program to buy now? I can buy a used Signlab e6 cheaper than if I bought the new version. I can upgrade to a revised Signlab 7 later when all the bugs have been identified and worked out.

    4. Does anyone know how to use the OPOS feature on the Summa plotter with the Signlab program? I bought Summa T1400 with the OPOS and the Cold-Cut program. We can make the OPOS work with our Omega program, but it takes about 20 steps going back and forth between Omega, Adobe Illustrator, Cold-Cut Pro programs and the Summa Plotter. The contour cutting with the OPOS is very impressive, but it is so tedious that nobody here wants to use it. Several months ago Signlab had me contact their regional west coast manager to help me with the above question. Since he couldn't help me, he went as far as contacting someone with Signlab in UK and he just heard that it works, but he personally did not know how to make it work. I saw a demonstration at a sign show where I played with Signlab e6 and on one of the screens there was a selection box for using the OPOS. Is this feature improved in the Signlab 7 program? Summa could not help me either.

    Note: Has anyone heard if Gerber might add the OPOS capability in their program in the near future. :smile:
     
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  2. Bob Gilliland

    Bob Gilliland Member

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    May 23, 2003
    Depends if your misalignment is a result of software or hardware. I’m not aware (doesn’t mean its not) of any software issue inside Omega 2.x that would casue an alignment issue, so I immediately go to a physical mindset of hardware. Would you mind expanding a little on your line up issue.

    If it is hardware based, and depending on the actual hardware issue, no, SL will not make this better.

    Yes, SL Print & Cut or Print & Cut Server offer this ability. It also goes much farther then just allowing remote print and cutting. You now have job management and job variables all from within the Print & Cut Manager. Lots of power in this area that Gerber does not currently offer.

    No SL is not problem free. Then again, neither is Omega, Flexi, or Windows for that matter. SL 7 is, unarguably, the most stable and reliable piece of software CADlink has produced and released in a very, very long time. Yes, there were and still remains some very minor issue (just like the other software mentioned), but as a “whole”, this thing has been rock solid from the word “Go”. This has allowed CADlink to focus much of their energies on new features for the next release (and beyond) all the while issuing service packs for the current release that much quicker. Yes, the product is very good, very stable and should not be a concern providing your environment is not running old computers or operating systems.

    I would STRONGLY discourage you from getting version 6.1 then upgrading to 7. IMNSHO, it will be better served by moving directly to 7 and bypassing 6.1 all together.

    Can’t speak from direct personal interface, but if your “Printer Cutter Alignment” (target) preference or default is set to “OPUS”, then it “should” be a matter of just issuing the “cut” command. I will attempt to get 100% confirmation on this, but yes, OPUS received some additional attention since its initial introduction back in one of the service releases of e6.1.

    Please note, if you are not already aware, that the Edge/Edge 2 will only print 11.8”, and due to the OPUS registration marks, your usable “panel” size will be reduced when using an Edge/Edge 2 device with OPUS registration marks. Again, don’t know from personal experience, but I think the overall loss will be 1” (.5” on bottom and equal amount on top) so your usable panel now becomes 10.8”. Take into account overlaps and your actual usable panel size may be just over ten and half inches. Not always detrimental, however, thought it worth mentioning.


    Would like to confirm or deny for you, unfortunately, I’m unable to due that at this time. Perhaps in near future I will be able to post a direct reply on the subject matter.

    :thumb: If you can cost justify it, yes, get the software and use both. There are some items and features Omega makes easier then SL, however, as a designer, SL offers much more then Omega and also allows for greater productivity if you harness the full power of the program. Hope others that have the program, or even better yet, those that do use both, chip in here with their comments and observations.
     
  3. zipper

    zipper New Member

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    Apr 10, 2004
    Bob, I appreciate your comments. Regarding the tile alignment problem, I'm talking about the normal misalignment you get with the Edge machine. It seems we can expect much more accurate alignment with Scotchprint process than with the Edge produced graphics. If we assign 100% to Scotchprint alignment, we're talking about a 97% alignment with the Edge. I don't see it as an unique problem with our Omega or our Edge. However, I don't know if the 3% misalignment is due to the Edge machine or the Omega program itself.

    You strongly recommend that I consider getting Signlab 7 instead of settling for the cheaper Signlab e6. Are you saying that SL 7 is so different that learning to operate SL e6 would end up to be a waste of time?
     
  4. Dale Horn

    Dale Horn Member

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    Oct 30, 2003
    zipper,
    Ideally if Cadlink, Scanvec and Gerber all worked together to build the best Edge driving, design and production software you'd have it all. - Never going to happen but it's fun to imagine what it could be. Edge printing and contour cutting is certainly more challenging than cutting straight vinyl.

    Going directly to from e6 to SL7 is going to save you time. Moving from SL7 build 1 to build 3 SL7 helped fixed bugs that stopped us from completing jobs. The latest (build3 ver 1) preview has received some attention and will preview much faster. It's production manager is improved (but not as simple as Flexi). The bitmap fills work now (for me anyways). The integration with Photoshop is more functional. The manual is still sparse compared to Omega. As a company Cadlink has been responsive, innovative and and available to consult.

    My experience with the software has been trial and error. As the tutorials and the manuals get better it will help shorten the learning curve. I often find myself saying "Omega does this" or "Flexi does that" and then by accident find SignLab does it too - sometimes better. For cutting straight vinyl Flexi is the most efficient (and most costly). The production manager is straight forward, allows easy panelling and sizing, selection of vinyl colors and cutter parameters. SignLab is alot more akward in this area.

    As far as cutting goes it gets harder to kiss cut ( example: a ½ x 1" decal ) as the image gets smaller - there is no calibration file so it's tough to manage. It goes way when I cut bigger stuff so it may just be related to material stretching. Either way Omega is more accurate for small decals IMHO.

    Regarding Omega - alot of shops here use Omega 2.02 and Corel and Photoshop and Illustrator and Streamline. This system of multiple formats and manual stacking of layouts consumes too much time. It makes training employees harder.
    As far as calibration goes - Omega has a series of bars you can print to calibrate the Edge and the plotter.
     
  5. Bob Gilliland

    Bob Gilliland Member

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    May 23, 2003
    Nope, don’t mean to imply that at all. Actually, quite the opposite. SL7 is very similar to SL 6.1 from an interface and functionality standpoint right up until the final output procedure. Then there is a major difference, and for the positive IMHO.

    Reason for encouraging you to move directly to 7 is to avoid the short comings of 6.1. Same could be said of just about anyway software I imagine, to the rare exception. If someone was considering moving to Omega from GA, I’d strongly encourage the move directly to Omega 2.02 compared to Omega 1.56, bypassing the shortcomings 1.56 has when directly compared to 2.02. Same thing with SL in this regard.

    If cost is a factor in the equation, by all means go with the 6.1 package as it will give you exposure to all sorts of tools and features that are not available inside the Gerber product.
     
  6. ernie

    ernie Member

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    Feb 2, 2004
    We use both Omega and Signlab7. Since getting signlab we have greatly increased our use of the Edge. Most of the time I try to do everything in Signlab but sometimes we find Omega is easier.

    As for documentation Omega has a great manual that gets used a lot. Signlab's manual is skimpy but they have several training cd's that are wonderful.

    ernie
     
  7. Bill Heishman

    Bill Heishman Member

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    Jul 11, 2003
    I have used an opus cutting system with my Fargo 300s printer for years. The software I use mostly is Signlab4.95. It was pretty simple for me, the secret being having a template set up that I would open first that had the proper registration marks first. The opus driver for the plotter would have the proper values already loaded to match the template. I rarely changed the values once I had a system that worked.

    Last month I bought a Summa DC-3 and Signlab 7.1....Now the learning curve starts all over :)

    If you email me with your set-up, I may be able to help out with a template design and the proper matching values for your Summa w/opus driver.

    Bill Heishman bill (at) decals-plus (dot) com
     
  8. Driving Force

    Driving Force Member

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    Sep 6, 2004
    I am in exactly your situation. I use signlab 7.1. I also have omega. There are some things that work better from omega, but as time goes, I am using signlab more. Some specialty materials print better through Omega however.

    As far as the opos goes, I have a new summa. A project that I have been doing for some time involves gerber permagrip, and lexan laminate from GMS. this has several small holes to be cut after lamination. The cut from my envision machine is downright disgusting. You would think that it would be able to cut perfect circles, not oval shapes. At any rate, I now print them through Signlab with the opos on. It prints the targets automatically. I laminate, set it in the summa and hit cut. The summa finds all the marks and cuts PERFECT circles flawlessly and with a lot more accuracy than the envision.
    My point is, signlab will easily work with the opos system, and is pretty much automatic. you also have control over how many targets you want to use for accuracy. Print from Signlab and cut from Signlab, Its about as simple as you can get. As Bob states, go imediately to 7.1. everything works much better, and is much more tuned in for print/cut applications.
    Feel free to contact me is you have any questions about using the two together.
     
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