Welcome To Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals

Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals is the LARGEST online community & discussion forum for professional sign-makers and graphic designers.


  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

cutting after printing

Discussion in 'CNC Routers & Engravers' started by buzzgraphics, Nov 6, 2019.

  1. buzzgraphics

    buzzgraphics Member

    Feb 1, 2007
    Hey guys, I'm new to the flatbed world and looking at adding a cnc router to finish cut to wood. The units I've been looking at simply read gcode. Coming from the vinyl world, we print corner bomb site marks on a printcut job, the cutter reads the marks (either manually or automatically, depending on your setup) and adjusts its cut code to fit those designated marks. Is there a way to do this on a cnc as well? I understand that theres auto read systems available, but it also seems like i should be able to use the tool to set the four corners of the job and then have it adjust and cut. As it stands it looks like everything is based around the having the substrate set perfectly straight to the platen (or whatever you guys call the cutting platform) and zeroing out the starting point. thats great as long as everything was printed square to begin with, which I don't trust to happen consistently.

    anybody worked this out yet? thanks.
  2. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

    Sep 28, 2017
    Ok, this can be done, but you are going to be doing a lot of extra work to get there on every setup. I have a retrofitted router, running linuxcnc, that just reads g-code. It's possible to run the tool to the registration marks, record the coordinates, take them back to whatever graphic software you're using, place the corners of the graphic at the coordinates previously recorded, then export/create the gcode.
    But it doesn't nearly compare to a zund reading reg marks. For my work, I'll route the shape, print the graphic, then align the two afterwards. What sort of print/cut work would you be looking to do?
  3. FireSprint.com

    FireSprint.com Trade Only Screen & Digital Sign Printing

    Without optical registration marks, this is pretty much what you'll have to do. We don't work with much wood, but we custom cut just about every other sign substrate using optical registration on our Zund. Any size, any shape, any quantity.
  4. alevit53

    alevit53 Member

    Apr 20, 2016
    Middletown, NJ
    We do it by printing a mark off the image that is the "0,0" and then print another mark off the print in the opposite corner and note that position.
    We have a laser pointer that mounts in the spindle. Bring the CNC to 0,0, set the work piece, bring the cnc to the opposite mark, set the piece.
    check twice and cut. Most times we overprint by 1/8" to make up for any inaccuracies.
  5. Superior_Adam

    Superior_Adam Member

    Dec 13, 2017
    Wichita, Kansas
    I woudl just get a machine that will read registration marks. Any other way seems like more work than needs to be done. We have a Zund and it is awesome. In the 3 years it has been off maybe a 16th inch a few times.
  6. bowtievega

    bowtievega Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Gilbert, AZ
    Our first CNC machine was a very basic AXYZ with no tool changer or camera system. It was our first step into the CNC world lol. We ran that machine for 12 years i think? We were cutting printed aluminum composite for probably the last 4 or 5 years, either printed by a vendor at first then by us once we bought a flatbed. We cut that material with a 1/4" bit so we printed two 1/4" diameter circles just outside the print area along the long axis of the material. We would align the first circle with the bit and made that our '0,0' origin then ran the bit down the machine along just the x-axis to the other circle and rotated the sheet to align with the 2nd circle as well. Double check the points were aligned with the X axis of the a machine and that squares up the graphics to the machine and gives you start point. Not really much slower then what we have now (Multicam with camera) once you get then hang of it but obviously not as consistent. Sometimes we would split up files into half sheets if there was a bunch of shapes that needed to be cut perfectly, reduce your error over distance. That was the machine we had at the time and needed to make it work and we did. Honestly that CNC was the best tool we ever purchased, made us alot of money and opened up our business to doing things we couldn't do without it lol. With that being said when we purchased our first CNC it was before we were even considering digitally printing these signs. When we replaced it, a camera system was one of the big reasons for doing so with the high volume we are currently doing so i don't think it makes sense to purchase something without a optical registration camera.