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Contour Cutting

Discussion in 'Graphtec' started by SignaramaFL, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. SignaramaFL

    SignaramaFL Member

    Feb 7, 2011
    Hi guys, I am new to the sign making industry. I have been in the industry for 6 months, 3 months having a mentor. I am having issues with contour cutting. I print out what I need to, laminate it and when I put it in my cutter (Graphtec FC7000) I am having issues with the crop marks. I dont seem to have an issue if its under 4', but once I get longer than that it seems to not pull the vinyl far enough forward to read the back crop mark. Any help would be great!!!

  2. CentralSigns

    CentralSigns Very Active Member

    Jan 23, 2010
    Golden BC
    Can't help you with that, but welcome to Signs 101!!
  3. Sign-Man Signs

    Sign-Man Signs Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    Been my experience that anything over 5 or six inches with a registration reader usually is imposable to get correct. We use a Graphtec Ce-5000 with the ARMS system and have always had trouble with it lining up with the registration marks. My next printer will be a print and cut just for that reason. Since the cutter is friction drive, hence the problem on largers prints. Hope that helps.
  4. Bradster941

    Bradster941 Very Active Member

    Sep 5, 2005
    You need to leave at least a foot of material after the rear crop marks or else the rear material sensor will be exposed thus stopping the machine.
  5. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

    Oct 19, 2009
  6. Jackpine

    Jackpine Major Contributor

    I use a CE3000Mk2 and have had very little trouble lining up the registration marks. I use Graphtec 4 reg marks, type 1 crop marks all 4 corners. I square the front edge of the material then line it up to the front of the cutter to assure it is square to the cutter. Allow 3 to 4 inches on the front and back to cover the sensors. Low indirect light helps to enhance the sensor light for a higher contrast.
  7. MilanoGuru

    MilanoGuru Member

    Mar 31, 2009
    We have a Graphtec 54" and for the life of me I haven't ever been successful with lining up the registration marks. I end up putting a huge bleed of black or white to comp for the cut. So we just got a XC540 and it has been a blessing.
  8. d fleming

    d fleming Very Active Member

    Nov 28, 2007
    Middleburg, Florida
    My FC7000 series with signlab registers and contour cuts small and large pieces no problem. 4" or so extra front and back to get over light sensor, type 1 crop marks all 4 corners.
  9. SignaramaFL

    SignaramaFL Member

    Feb 7, 2011
    thanks for all the replies! And yes i do have the type 1 marks in all four corners, i have about 4-5" on both sides as well. I'm not sure why its not pulling it, but from the sounds of it I'm not the only one that has issues which makes me feel better lol.
  10. bob

    bob Major Contributor

    Nov 4, 2005
    A couple of things to check...

    First, is the physical length of the image within about 1/2 of the size of the registration mark of the logical length of the image? In other words, is your printer printing short or long? If so then you need to adjust the feed compensation on the printer.

    Second, are you leaving at least 4" of media beyond the top registration marks? If not then tape another piece of media to the print to make it at least 4" taller.

    Third, what software are you using? If Flexi then pre-version 8.nn the automatic registration marks were too small and registering anything more than 3'-4' was problematic. With Flexi version 8.nn and better the size of the marks was increased and the search area widened. 4' should not be a problem.

    Fourth, when all else fails put your own registration marks on the image and use the plotter's built in auto and/or manual registration feature. How to do this has been described many times on this sand pile and a search should turn them up. Prior to Flexi 8.nn I almost always used my own registration marks and the plotter's built in sensing. Unlike the automatic sensing out of your software, this always works. Always.
  11. SignaramaFL

    SignaramaFL Member

    Feb 7, 2011
    Wow very helpful thank you!!! And yes I am leaving around 4-5" on both ends. And I am using Flexi V. 7.6.2 I'll try the making my own crop marks. Again thanks
  12. Tony B

    Tony B New Member

    Feb 17, 2011
    Try to leave laminate off the registration marks That has seemed to help in some instances. And, yes you need like 6 inches after the back marks for it to read properly.
  13. Tel

    Tel Member

    Apr 29, 2009
    Northern Ireland
    We use a CE5000 and find it sensitive to light. What we do is leave the extra at all edges as mentioned and then bring the blade to 1/2 inch below the first registration mark and then use the origin plot, we find it doesn't pick up the second registration mark properly unless we do this. Also when we laminate with gloss laminate we use a scotch pad and rough the registration marks and pathways between them, this works for us.
  14. kffernandez

    kffernandez Member

    Jun 26, 2010
    this might not be the answer you're looking for [i don't have your cutter]... but personally, i find it a lot easier and faster to just manually enter the points on my SC-540.

    what i'd do is (1) jam a paper on the front panel sensor [in order to take a look at the blade more closely], (2) then i'd extend the blade a bit so that i know where it's actually pointing, (3) go enter each point based on your manual, and (4) do the cutting.

    i pretty much save an average of 1-2mins for each set - compared to a perfect automatic reading of the registration marks. now, compare that to a troublesome automatic read... which could go as high up a 30mins or even an hour!
  15. Bill Modzel

    Bill Modzel Active Member

    I find my FC7000-100 amazingly accurate and it picks up the registration marks very well UNLESS, you vinyl is loaded with a skew or your outer pinch wheels are tool close to the registration marks.
    It's kind of archaic but when I load my stock I jam a thumbnail in each registration mark and jimmy the stock around until my thumbnails drop into the grove at the front of the stainless steel bed. I have found this to be the easiest and most accurate way to square the stock to the plotter.

    I have just run a job that has 20 4"x10" images that I've set up as a 27" x 42" sheet. I print these in 5 sheet groups on my HP9000s and cut them with Cutting Master out of Illy CS3. 90% of the time this set up will read and cut all 5 sheets unattended.

    I have had "0" issues with the 7000 not pricking up the registration marks because of gloss stock or gloss laminate or even laminated reflective stock and I have three mini flood lights lighting up that work area.

    If I have a "cut to color" image I have found that a 2pt stroke on the cutting line is more than enough to avoid any clipped color. The accuracy of the cuts have been amazing.

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