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Cutting lines on a traction fed plotter

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by bbankston, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. bbankston

    bbankston New Member

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    Dec 18, 2013
    I've had the Summa D120 Summacut series plotter for about a year and a half now. Prior to the Summa we had a Gerber sprocket fed plotter that just wasn't cutting right anymore. I purchased the Summa thinking that it could cut everything from text, logos and lines perfectly. Well I found, to my dismay, that it will not cut vertical lines accurately at all. Does anyone know of a way to get it to cut accurately on a traction fed plotter? Does anyone have a sprocket feed plotter in the Houston area that I can rely on for cutting vertical lines for me when I need to outsource this work?

    Right now I need to cut a "blind glass" job. Blind glass is created by cutting 1/4 inch wide by 12 inch tall lines next to 3/8 inch wide lines at 12 inches tall. And then you center another piece of vinyl, cut the same way, on the back. It's called "blind glass" because you can't see looking dead on at the glass but you can see through it at an angle. The 3/8 inch lines are sandblasted while the 1/4 inch line is left clear


    Many thanks,

    Brandon
     
  2. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    if you are cutting blast mask, good luck.

    can you just use etchmark vinyl?
     
  3. bbankston

    bbankston New Member

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    Dec 18, 2013
    It's actually high performance paint mask that I use to cut. I've been using that vinyl and other types to get vertical lines but nothing is working. I can cut logos and fonts all day long just not lines.

    Our customer wants actual sandblasted lines not etch-look-alike.

    Thanks for the response, J Hill Designs.
     
  4. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    check your cutting strip.

    you should have no problem cutting lines on a traction fed
     
  5. bbankston

    bbankston New Member

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    Dec 18, 2013
    Traction fed/friction fed. Same thing right? I'm using pinch rollers. Three total and the D120 is a 48 inch plotter.
     
  6. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    yeah same thing
     
  7. MikeD

    MikeD Active Member

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    you may want to adjust pinch wheel pressure, up+down acceleration so the media feeds a little slower.
    Summa tech support can remote on to your system and help you with settings if you provide details about your media
     
  8. bbankston

    bbankston New Member

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    My cutting strip seems fine. There is no visible wear or marks on it. I've also changed my cutting speed down to 4IPS and it still won't cut the lines exactly. I've spoken with Summa and a Fellers rep. and they've both told me that there is no way I could cut vertical lines accurately with this style of plotter. The Summa technical rep. explained it to me as if the driving wheels were like a car and that you're going 30 miles an hour in drive then stopping suddenly and then going 30 miles an hour in reverse and if I keep doing that multiple times that it would never cut it accurately as the vinyl will eventually shift on me. I was thinking I could get some more help on this forum or at least find someone with a sprocket fed or flat table plotter that could cut these jobs for me.
     
  9. MikeD

    MikeD Active Member

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    what about panels?
    I'm using some S-75 plotters to cut a ton of 100" stripes across 30" media. Trying to cut the entire length and then returning the origin to cut the next stripe was difficult. When paneling was turned on the first 2' of stripes cut all across the y axis and then the media advanced another 2' and cut the next panel of stripes and repeated the process until all 100" cut. Everything turned out good. I did have to update the firmware to do that.
     
  10. bbankston

    bbankston New Member

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    Dec 18, 2013
    I've tried paneling in the past with terrible results, MikeD. You can see one panel from the next on the lines that are cut. There is a slight "dimple" that can be seen which will show up like a sore thumb once we sandblast the design.
     
  11. Kottwitz-Graphics

    Kottwitz-Graphics Very Active Member

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    So, the pieces your cutting are only 12" x 1/4" and 3/8"? How wide is the material that your attempting to cut it from? I have run vinyl up to 20' and paper (known to be really bad about not tracking straight) for 20-30' through my D-60 (which is only a 24" plotter"). I could see a problem with 4' wide material, and only having (2) pinch rollers (I don't know if there are (3)). If it's only 24" I would take a closer look at the rollers. You can give Summa Tech Support a call. They can point you in the right direction.
     
  12. bbankston

    bbankston New Member

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    Dec 18, 2013
    I've called Summa Tech support and I did end up gettting my two outside pinch rollers replaced as they were making a squeaking sound. I have three total pinch rollers, by the way. The middle one doesn't put down the same amount of pressure as the two outside ones. Replacing the pinch rollers also did not give me my desired results.
     
  13. jfiscus

    jfiscus Map Wraster

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    You said it yourself, you're never going to get the accuracy of a sprocket-fed plotter out of a friction-fed plotter.
    Either buy another or job this type of a job out.
    We have 3 friction-fed plotters here and 2 sprocket-fed plotters. Everyone here knows the difference and what to expect of each machine.
    Both can cut complete 150' rolls, but the results would be drastically different from each machine, and the two largest plotters have the WORST results.

    We cut a lot of Gerbermask here and ship it all over.
     
  14. Stanton

    Stanton Member

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    Dec 7, 2013
    Start / Stop point not matching up?

    Or, are the bars more narrow at one end than the other?


    Have you tried unrolling material so the machine doesn't have to pull on the roll?
    (if that makes any sense?)
     
  15. bbankston

    bbankston New Member

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    Dec 18, 2013
    True, but I'm only going off of what other professionals have told me and I wanted to get this forum's input. It seems as though I'll have to 3rd party it out. What would you charge, jfiscus and what's the widest you can cut on your sprocket and still stay accurate to line thickness?
     
  16. bbankston

    bbankston New Member

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    Dec 18, 2013
    Stanton,

    Start / Stop point not matching up?

    SORT OF.

    Or, are the bars more narrow at one end than the other?

    YES.

    Have you tried unrolling material so the machine doesn't have to pull on the roll?
    (if that makes any sense?)

    THE MACHINE DOES THAT FOR ME.
     
  17. Bly

    Bly Very Active Member

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    How old is your cutter? Maybe it needs a service.
    We have a friction fed Summacut D160R and it cuts long lines perfectly.
     
  18. Stanton

    Stanton Member

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    Un-spools everything it needs before it starts to cut anything,
    or as needed, every so often, during the cut job?

    Just trying to trouble shoot with you.
     
  19. woolly

    woolly Active Member

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    This should not be a problem.
    Check the pinch rollers are equal pressure some are adjustable.
    Some summas you can slow the acceleration and the pen up speed as well as the cut speed.
    Quite often cut security strips for Windows lots of 5mm strips on a Roland or graphtec and would expect a summa to as well
     
  20. bbankston

    bbankston New Member

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    Dec 18, 2013
    What's the width of your cutter? Mine will cut long lines it's just that it won't cut numerous long lines accurately. Mind you, these are lines that are 1/4 inch apart then 3/8 inch then 1/4 inch and so on... My plotter's only a year and a half old.
     
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