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Cutting Laminated Decals

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by OlsonSigns601, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. OlsonSigns601

    OlsonSigns601 Member

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    I've got a Vinyl Express Q42 and we print on Oracal 3165RA then Laminate it with Oragard 210. Next I have to pop in the 60 degree blade to get a decent cut. I keep the Pressure at 28 and make 1 pass.

    Just wondering if there is a way to do the cut without having to mess with putting in a different blade or making more than 1 pass?
     
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  2. 401Graphics

    401Graphics Very Active Member

    I have a Q54 and use a standard 45 degree blade and only one pass. (thats with using any oracal vinyl and 210 lam). Pressure is set around 25.
     
  3. cdiesel

    cdiesel Very Active Member

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    Use 3651 for print/cut decals with more intricate cuts.
     
  4. Speedsterbeast

    Speedsterbeast Active Member

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    Not sure what measurement you are referring to in your numbers, but if it is grams of downforce, my guess is you are way too low.
    I run a different machine (Roland) but when cutting 210 lam on 3551 I use 160 grams of downforce with a 60 degree blade.
     
  5. omgsideburns

    omgsideburns Very Active Member

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    I don't know about your machine, but I tend to bump the downforce up about 25% when I'm cutting laminated items. Everything else stays the same.
     
  6. ShoNuff

    ShoNuff The Doer of Things

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    We use the graphtec 8000 and our force levels for laminated calendared decals are usually between the 25 and 30 mark. Sometimes the blade seems to get a little gummy - so I tend to do a force test on piece excess before advancing to my cuts. It takes a little extra time but is worth it in the long run. Worst things ever are just barely crackin the surface of the lam or cutting dead through backing paper and all.. So I treat the machine like a lady... with caution. haha
     
  7. edgette

    edgette Member

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    I agree with Les. I use an 8000 as well and periodically check my downforce settings. Have you noticed if speed plays a factor when using a 45 degree blade when you get less than adequate cuts?
     
  8. petepaz

    petepaz Major Contributor

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    can you do a test cut? i think if you use more pressure you can go with the 45 blade.
    we use roland print cut systems (vp & xc) and only use the 45 blade. oracal 3651 & 3164 w/ 210 lam 160-180g depending on how old the blade. and when ever i use a material i never cut before i just do a test cut or two to get the correct pressure
     
  9. ShoNuff

    ShoNuff The Doer of Things

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    +1 - totally forgot to mention speed. Some thicker media's need a slower speed for more favorable cut result. Also, I know you were asking what to do instead of changing the blade - I like to clean mine before each use as the adhesion periodically gums up causing the pivot of the blade to get slowed or stuck. The change of the blade is also preferred on thicker materials that the 45 isnt designed to handle - ie. 3M IJ680CR engineering grade reflective vinyl. Check to see what your blade's thickness limit is on the 45. I was told that upping the force on a blade that isn't designed to cut over a certain thickness wont do much else beside eat up your blade and plotter's motor.

    I dont ever suggest making more than one pass - but that is using the graphtec. Not sure how your plotter and cutting software work.
     
  10. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    They're most likely referring to a Graphtec machine. On most modern Graphtec machines the down force is a number between 0 and 50 [I think]. The number does not correspond to any actual measurement in grams or anything else. I know this because I had a lengthy conversation with one of Graphtec's engineering staff and he admitted that it was pretty much an arbitrary number.

    As far as cutting laminated media there's no need to use anything other than a 45 degree blade. On my machine, a Graphtec FC-7000, I use a down force of 28, run the blade out a notch or two, cut a test rectangle/triangle or two to make sure of things, and then cut. Never a problem.

    If problems should arise using that setup I would most likely place the blame on a dull blade.
     
  11. Graphics2u

    Graphics2u Very Active Member

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    You should be able to cut that with no problems with 45 degree blade. I have noticed the RA adhesives are a little tougher to cut, not sure why.

    I have a Mutoh Cutter and use 220 grams downforce for that material and lam.
     
  12. OlsonSigns601

    OlsonSigns601 Member

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    I was hoping everyone would say the 60 degree blade was the way to go however I guess I having a bigger issue.

    We cut 651 with the pressure set to 28 on the Vinyl Express Q42 all day long and it weeds great.
    But when we cut anything laminated its like it only scratches the surface.

    I guess I'll mess with the pressure again and see if I can get it.

    Thanks for responding.
     
  13. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    Assuming that a Q42 is a Graphtec rebranded by Sign Warehouse and further assuming that the blade you're using is sharp...

    A pressure of 28 is too much for 651 but you allude to it cutting properly. If that's the case and you're not cutting into the backing then you have pretty much exactly the thickness of the media for a blade exposure and you're dragging the blade holder over the media. If that's the case then it wouldn't matter how much pressure you used, it would cut acceptably.

    From all of these assumptions and the sparse data you provide
    it would appear that you need to run the blade out a bit and back off on the pressure. In theory you should be able to have the blade way out and if the pressure is set correctly the plotter should cut correctly and not drive the bale into and perhaps through the backing. In theory. In real life you need to balance blade exposure and force.

    You should use be using a force of around 18-20 cutting 651 with a good blade. For that sort of media laminated you should be at around 28-30 with proper blade exposure. How long has it been since you changed or even checked the tip of the blade currently in your plotter?
     
  14. OlsonSigns601

    OlsonSigns601 Member

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    Thanks Bob.

    You're physic!

    You've basically described my plotter down to the USB Wire.

    Got any lotto number for me?

    I was about to go home but I think I'll do what you suggested.

    Post back in a few...
     
  15. OlsonSigns601

    OlsonSigns601 Member

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    Blade was replaced about a month ago with a brand new one.

    Ran the blade out and put the pressure down to 18 and did a cut. It cut but not very good.

    Replaced the blade and cut again. Weeded perfectly.

    I think constantly cutting at 28 was wearing down the blade and the Teflon stripe which I just replaced today.

    I'll try something Laminated tomorrow but for now I think I'm in business.

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!
     
  16. DizzyMarkus

    DizzyMarkus Active Member

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    I must be the only one lol using Roland and I do 2 pass' @ 105 with 45 degree weeds perfectly

    Markus
     
  17. Jack Knight1979

    Jack Knight1979 Very Active Member

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    On laminated vinyl we do about 220 gram force. I cut on a Roland gx 500.
    On most other materials we cut at 90-120 gram force.
     
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