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Cutting Master 2 & Corel Draw X3

Discussion in 'Graphtec' started by knightentees, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. knightentees

    knightentees New Member

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    Hello, I'm trying to contour cut a bitmap but having no success. All of the tutorials I find only show how to cut text. Any one have any suggestions?

    Thanks,
     
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  2. Jackpine

    Jackpine Major Contributor

    Without printing it from a printer with a RIP that prints Graphtec registration marks, you can't. If it is already printed, use an xacto knife.
     
  3. knightentees

    knightentees New Member

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    Cutting Master 2 is Graphtec's plugin for Corel Draw. It does print the registration marks. I just can't get it to cut.
     
  4. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    earth
    Exactly what plotter are you using? It's not all that hard to do but it's not all that obvious either. How you do it depends on exactly what hardware and software you have.
     
  5. knightentees

    knightentees New Member

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    I'm using a Graphtec CE-3000 MKII
     
  6. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    Does it feature Graphtec's ARMS registration sensing feature? If it does it will simplify things just a bit.

    To do contour cutting without invoking magic either your software must manage the contour cutting or the plotter must have some sort of registration mark sensing. Since you're using Corel and I haven't explored all of the ins and outs of Cutting Master 2, I don't think it supports the notion of print and cut.

    I do know that your plotter has to be in GPGL mode rather than HPGL mode for Cutting Master 2 to work. The big question remains, do you have the ARMS tackle on your plotter?
     
  7. knightentees

    knightentees New Member

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    Yes, it has an optica eye.
     
  8. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    Alrighty then, assuming you've installed the Cuttin Master proerly and created a setup for your plotter...

    Set up the image to be printed in Corel.

    Create a new layer, optional but easier to explain.

    In that layer create the path around the image that will be the contour.

    In that layer draw a rectangle around the image and its contour path. Leave maybe 1/2" or so margin between this bounding rectangle and the image. Make the rectangle a rational number of inches, preferably an integer, wide and high. This is a bit of a trick they don't tell you in the documentation.

    Make sure the bounding rectangle is the top object in the layer and is selected.

    Invoke the Corel application launcher, the little rocket ship icon, and select 'Registration Marks'. Select 'Graphtec Type 2 Automatic'. Select the 'Convert Rectangle' option and press 'OK'. The bounding rectangle of known dimensions will be replaced by 4 registration marks.

    Print the layer with the actual image by whatever process you use. Make sure the registration marks print with it. Leave at least 3"-4" of media at the end of the print and 1"-2" at the beginning. Leave sufficient side margins or 1"-2" as well.

    Load the print in the plotter in exactly the same orientation as it was printed. Load it as square as humanly possible.

    In Corel hide the layer with the print image and invoke the application launcher. Select Cut/Plot. The cut/plot dialog is displayed. Set up whatever parameters you fancy and send the job to the plotter.

    A dialog will display telling you to position the blade over the first registration mark, that would be the lower right one. Do what the dialog tells you. The plotter should then read the marks and take off cutting the contour paths.

    If somehow the plotter doesn't successfully read the marks, you can save the day and do it manually. That's a topic for a different conversation.
     
  9. knightentees

    knightentees New Member

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    Ok, I'm getting a "Markread error" message on my plotter. When I hit the enter button, it starts cutting the image as shown on my monitor, but not in the right spot on the paper. I can't figure out why it's doing that.
     
  10. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    Ah, time for that other topic.

    Set your plotter up for registration marks the same size or slightly smaller than those you printed, Specify 4 type 2 marks. I'm not sure how you go about this on your machine but it's in there somewhere.

    Load the print into the plotter, as square as humanly possible.

    Invoke the plotter's Auto Register function.

    It should take off and read the 4 marks. At least mine will. If it scores another error doing this, then start again and select the Manual option for reading the marks and follow the plotter's instructions.

    Remember that bounding rectangle you created to set up the registration marks in Corel? This is why you made in an integer number of inches wide and high. When the plotter reads the 4th mark it should pause and display what it read for the X and Y length and prompt you to adjust these readings to the actual size. Which you know because you know how large the rectangle was.

    In Corel, if you tucked away a copy of the bounding rectangle you used to make the registration marks, bring it to the same layer as the contour cut. If you didn't then right click on the registration marks on the Object Manager and make them editable. The grab the 8 paths that make up the reg marks and drag then to the same layer as the contour path.

    Send the job to the cut/plot utility. Make sure you have 0 margins, no weed margin, no nothing.

    Send the job to the plotter. The plotter will cut the contour and either the bounding rectangle or the reg marks. Annoying but trivial.
     
  11. Bogie

    Bogie Very Active Member

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    Bob, why the type 2 marks?

    BTW, I'm having the same problem... I can get the thing to find the first mark, then it goes hunting... Out of state... Same problem with type 1 and type 2 reg marks. Tried the box thing too...

    I've squared up the vinyl, double-checking by running back/forth...

    I'm wondering... Would larger registration marks help? Or maybe my printer's not printing them thick enough? Thin enough?

    Argh... Gotta good customer who I'd _really_ like to hand some samples of his logo on a coupla stickers tomorrow...

    I'm gonna go to bed.
     
  12. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    My preference for type 2 marks in mostly prejudice but since these marks enclose the image it can give you another inch plus or minus of image area.

    The manual marks I use are made of a pair of rectangles .011 inches by .5 inches as per some long forgotten document downloaded from Graphtec. I have the mark size on my plotter set to slightly less than .5 inches. The automatic marks generated by the Rip and Print are whatever they are. I seldom use them. Mostly I go the manual route, it seldom fails and if it does, you can save it by using the manual positioning on the plotter.

    There's also a Graphtec firmware update, which one I can't recall, that is touted as making the search area larger when using the auto registration driven by the software.

    It's also important that the paths between the marks not have anything but white in them. Anything, even a stray cat hair or dust mote can attract the attention of the ARMS and it will fail.
     
  13. Bogie

    Bogie Very Active Member

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    Problem is that the ARMS is blowing right past/OVER the second mark...
     
  14. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    Make sure your marks are properly sized.

    If you're using your own manual marks then instead of selecting 'Auto Reg', select 'Manual' on the plotter and follow the instructions on the plotter's display.

    If you're using automatic registration via the software and it fails to find the marks, basically, you lose.
     
  15. jiarby

    jiarby Major Contributor

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    Very timely...

    Using Corel X3 also, and a Mutoh Printer...
    I have a CE5000-60 and have printed a 6' sheet of bumper stickers that I need to contour cut. The Graphtec reads the 1st mark, but then rolls right over the second mark by 4" and then starts hunting for it.


    Tried it a dozen times... makes me want to call Stouse.

    Any assistance to get the thing to read the reg marks is much appreciated.
    This is very frustrating
     
  16. Bogie

    Bogie Very Active Member

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    Yeah, that's pretty much what I'm getting... If you call 'em, could you share? I gotta run out on a job...
     
  17. signage

    signage Major Contributor

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    Check the distance between the registration marks in software against the print, are they the same distance?
     
  18. Bogie

    Bogie Very Active Member

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    I'm gonna set up some bloody SQUARE dealies, and see if it can do that... I will say that the x/y stuff in the plotter controller is muy freakazoidal... Heck - give it to me in Spanish or Chinese - don't make me decipher bad pictures for your interface...
     
  19. jiarby

    jiarby Major Contributor

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    Well,
    I have been on the phone with Graphtec, and they believe that "pilot error" is to blame.

    Signage has it on the nose... Marks on the print are not located where Corel thinks they are. Somewhere in the process of printing from Corel to Onyx the print shrunk. The answer is to print/cut BOTH from the RIP using the Onyx Cut Server so that it is cutting the same file that it printed.

    In my case we were printing from Corel to Onyx. Then laminating, and loading the print into the CE5000. Then open the COREL file to send the cut job. If it stays at 100% size (print job to cut job) then all is well, but somewhere in Onyx the job shrunk a couple inches.

    Grrrrr to the Onyx weenies. These are going to be expensive bumper stickers... I guess that is why experience is so valuable; it costs alot to get.

    re... Stouse.
    They want 75¢/each for QTY:250 3.5"x11" bumper stickers. Black on white. I printed them on plain old 651. If I can get them cut then I make a profit. If not then I eat what we have printed and order Stouse and hope to break even. Only charged $1/each, customer also ordered a couple dozen 5'x5' banners at full freight. Guess I'll make it up there.
     
  20. gvgraphics

    gvgraphics Very Active Member

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    Here might be an issue you all are having. If you are using flexi you have to add a separate setup in the production manager. You have to add a FC7000-100 to your set up. This will allow the ce3000mk2 to read the reg marks correctly.

    Use the ce3000mk2 setup for cut vinyl, but when you contour cut you have to select the fc7000 cutter for it to work correctly.

    Hope this will help some!

    Here is the link to contour cut with a ce3000mk2 and flexi 7.6:
    http://www.signwarehouse.com/suppor..._a=viewarticle&kbarticleid=314&nav=0,42,44,61
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2007
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