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Cutting rigid substrates?

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by API, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. API

    API Member

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    We are in the early stages kicking the tires on flatbed presses. My operator overheard a conversation between our owner and I and is having doubts about being able to cut these using a 60" guitine cutter. He informed me that if we purchase a flatbed we will have to purchase a different cutter as well. I then took one of the samples of .020 styrene and cut it no problem. Just planning on cutting rectangles and squares on styrene, coroplast and foamcore. Guitine should be good right? How often do you have to sharpen blades? We have been cutting paper billboards for many years now but not sure about rigid substrates.
     
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  2. ChicagoGraphics

    ChicagoGraphics Major Contributor

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    The blades really don't go dull quickly when cutting corroplast, but when cutting corroplast I would put a 2x4 across the top so when the hold down bar comes down it won't leave any marks or dent the corroplast. I use to cut all our coro on a Diebold, them things would cut anything.
     
  3. petepaz

    petepaz Major Contributor

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    we got an 80" titan cutter for the stuff we can't cut in out shears
    i was cutting 3mm dibond in 5-6 passes. 3mm sintra in 1-2 passes
     
  4. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    Some printer's ink will allow you to cut, while others will not.

    When printing to the edge of certain substrates, the ink is so hardened by the UV lamps, the cut might give you a bad edge and the ink will be flaky at that point. For us, black and very very dark colors tend to sometimes flake a little. We can control it for the most part, but it hurts production time. Or, if you can wait a day or so before cutting.
     
  5. API

    API Member

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    Sep 13, 2012
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    That is what I thought. The 2x4 and the bleed edge tricks are very helpful!! Like I said before, we are looking to transition away from the down and dirty billboard and old habits are hard to break. What about dibond? Any tricks there? Tried cutting a sample piece and it worked but rolled the edges a little. Also read that it could compromese the core?
     
  6. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    Yes and no. Certain materials no matter how hard you try, you just can't keep them perfectly square if you're doing a lot of them over and over and over. If we can talk them [the customer] into having grippers as mentioned in another thread, no problems at all. Or, if the color bleed isn't too dark.

    We have noticed, if we're doing one sign for a customer or a few, we'll pre-cut and run them through one at a time and then flip them for the other side. If we had a good CNC, then there would be no problems whatsoever. That's what we're working on next. :wink:
     
  7. FireSprint

    FireSprint Very Active Member

    We cut a ton of coro & polystyrene on our guillotine cutter. I'm not sure that there's a better way to cut that stuff in bulk. Some brands of coro are a little firmer and therefore cut more square. We have found Matraplast cuts better than Coroplast for example. Styrene, HDPE and Polyboard cut like butter.

    As far as sharpening the blade, there are different schools of thought here I suppose. We have our blade sharpened every month or two, and we use the machine for around 20 cuts a day I would say. There's a great service here in town called Loveless Machine Grinding and they come out, change the blade, take the dull one back and sharpen it. Then bring back a newly sharpened blade for under $60 (we have a 34" cutter).

    We sharpen our blade probably more often than most would need to because it allows for nicer cuts when we're cutting hot coro right off the dryer.
     
  8. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    Yes Fire, but cutting screen printed pieces vs. flatbed bleeds is an altogether different story. Screen printed substrates will cut fine on anything that cuts.... even a circular saw, but not so when UV dried ink is going under the knife, so to speak.
     
  9. FireSprint

    FireSprint Very Active Member

    Good point.

    We don't do alot of full bleed work, so I wasn't really thinking in terms of that.

    If the OP is cutting substrate without ink under the knife, in rectangles, then the guillotine cutter is the way to go.
     
  10. CS-SignSupply

    CS-SignSupply Very Active Member

    During our latest install of the Flora UV flatbed, the customer was printing full bleed coro and cutting with the typical coro cutter and utility knife, no issues. We also printed on 2" thick Foamcore and cut with larger straight edge knife, no issues.

    Their screenprint "sheeter" was out of service due to a sensor malfunction but there were going to try it to see how it worked out.

    Once they receive their MultiCam router (mid to late December), we will have more to share on any cutting limitations we find on the UV inks we offer.
     
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