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digital printed decals with all cuts ruined

Discussion in 'Digital Printing' started by gabagoo, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. gabagoo

    gabagoo Major Contributor

    Oct 10, 2006
    Vaughan, Ontario
    Not sure the title is very accurate but here is an interesting little story.

    I had a quick easy decal job for 500 3" x 2" decals with a square cut corner. These were for a reseller and he wanted an inexpensive material. I normally would run these types on a 5 year rated General Formulations vinyl which prints and cuts quite nice.
    A few months back I had decided to try a cheaper digital vinyl they had which from what I could tell just had a thinner liner. I have used it a little bit here and there but decided to use it for this job.

    I ran the job in 2 lots of 500 and afterwards needed some small decals that had a bleed cut (150) and the were about 3" x 1", so I ran them right afterwards.

    The next day I cut up all the decals.

    The customer who ordered the 500 decals came and picked them up and I give him a pretty good price so he is in charge of weeding.
    He calls me up and says the cuts are all off. I told him to bring it back so I could look at them to try and determine what the problem was. It seems the first 2 or 3 rows were ok, but then it seemed to have shifted and the cut was out by less than 1/8" but noticeable as it was close to shearing off some copy.
    I re ran his job using the Hexis vinyl (really nice stuff to print and cut with) and everything ran perfect.
    I found it strange that both sets of 500 pretty much did the same thing and figured it was a software issue or something.

    There was a second job on that roll and it did not use all that much vinyl...maybe 48" x 30" max. This would never be an issue for cutting and I never even considered looking after I weeded them. The problem with these that had a small bleed was that I have to lay them down on Gold Mylar and I start noticing that there are different amounts of white showing up around some edges where there shouldnt be any.

    I wonder if the thinner backing paper may have created an issue for the printer as the heat may have slightly stretched out the vinyl? Not sure I will ever use that particular vinyl again to run anything that needs cutting by machine.

    Your thoughts?
  2. insignia

    insignia Very Active Member

    Clean your pinch rollers really well with acetone, make sure they're gripping the vinyl well. Mylar films and films with slick or synthetic liners will have a bit more trouble tracking than regular paper liners, so clean pinch rollers are a must.

    Also calibrate your OPOS, it goes off after a while and this is exactly what it can do when it's out of calibration...
  3. gabagoo

    gabagoo Major Contributor

    Oct 10, 2006
    Vaughan, Ontario
    I would agree except that when running better vinyls the problem is not there at all, even on small items with no bleed, the cutter is dead on. I am pretty sure it is the vinyl somehow screwed up the opus readings or maybe the heat caused it to stretch out just enough to be out by a 16th.
  4. Rooster

    Rooster Very Active Member

    Feb 22, 2008
    The only time I've ever had that issue is when the vinyl is loaded into the cutter incorrectly. IE: It shifts slightly as it reads the opus marks and by the time it returns to the home point to begin cutting the vinyl has twisted slightly.

    As each vinyl will have different thicknesses and backing papers, it's really a matter of being careful and ensuring that if you see it twist or buckle as it's reading the opus marks to stop the process, clear the data in the buffer and start the loading process over again.

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