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Software Help Free Vinyl Cutting Software??

Discussion in 'General Software' started by x2chris7x, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. x2chris7x

    x2chris7x Active Member

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    Does anyone know of any free software that we can use to send files to our plotter for cutting? Doesn't need to be anything fancy... We won't use it for design, just to send the files to the plotter...
     
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  2. Joe House

    Joe House Active Member

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    That would depend on the plotter you're using and the design software you're using.
     
  3. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    There are ways to work around that depending on the OS one is running.

    I can get Inkscape to "print" to my cutters and there isn't a driver for Linux from this cutters, but I can use a RAW printer output and it'll cut just fine.

    There are extensions for Inkscape that are cutter specific that add more automated functionality to Inkscape for cutting. There is a stable version for Inkscape on Linux, the Mac and Windows versions are in beta and you'll actually have to go through the project and communicate with them to get the binary extensions if you don't want to compile the source. You also have things like CoCut as well, but that would cost.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  4. x2chris7x

    x2chris7x Active Member

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    We're using a Vinyl Express Q160 plotter... PC is running Windows 10...
     
  5. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    If you have the Windows driver already installed, see if the cutter shows up in your "printer" list. Then see if you can "print" from whatever your design software of choice is (Ai, DRAW, Inkscape etc). That would probably be the cheapest way to get it running if that works. If that doesn't work, can always see if there is a plugin for your respective design software that will take over that functionality. That may or may not cost you, it just depends.

    Now, the downside to cutting directly from your design software, there are quite a lot of automated tasks that you'll have to manually do. A lot of plugins will probably have the more necessary tasks automated, but that is the biggest issue with cutting directly from your design program. It cuts in order of layer hierarchy, if there is no plugin/program to say otherwise.
     
  6. x2chris7x

    x2chris7x Active Member

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    I was kinda leaning towards something that would be "stand alone" not necessarily wanting to use our design software to send from...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Well, I'm only aware of 1 free open source project that is both an extension, but also a stand alone program and that's InkCut. It does support some Vinyl Express plotters, may have to see if it supports whatever vinyl express is a rebrand of. Might be able to get it to work that way.

    Downside is that it is beta for Windows and to get a ready made binary, you'll have to contact the project itself and probably get on as a tester. Or, if you can compile code (much easier on Linux, but if you are so inclined) could get it to work that way. There may be others out there, but that's the only one that I'm aware of that's free, without using Inkscape to cut directly from.

    Just out of curiosity, why the stipulation of not using your design program?
     
  8. Pippin Decals

    Pippin Decals Active Member

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    Go here and try the Scalps 5 pro Demo.It has your cutter listed.
     
  9. ewded

    ewded Member

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    VinylMaster Cut has your plotter and it's almost free ($59)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. x2chris7x

    x2chris7x Active Member

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    Thanks so much for the info guys!! I have some research to do, and according to Flexi I have 10.15 days lol
     
  11. jriley

    jriley Member

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    What kind of plotter? If it's a Graphtec, they offer Graphtec Studio for free (it's basic, but it get's the job done).
     
  12. Doug Allan

    Doug Allan Member

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    That's great news... just what i came to this thread hoping to find.

    I'm putting a new belt in my 15 year old Graphtec CE-1000 cutter, & hoping to have it operational again soon, instead of having to use my 63" Mimaki cutter for every little letter I need. I'd rather get the Graphtec going and sell the wide format cutter since I'm outsourcing all my printing these days.

    I use Flexi, but may try to sell that with the cutter and laminator if i can get a decent price, & then for my minimal vinyl cutting needs, something like Graphtec Studio sounds like just the thing!

    Joe House... good to see you still helping out around here... can you tell me if Denco or others would have such a thing as 'free" software. or is it more of a direct through Graphtec only kind of thing?

    hmmm... who was that cool graphtec dude helping out on the boards back in the day... William or something.. nah, I'm drawing a blank now...
     
  13. Joe House

    Joe House Active Member

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    Aloha Doug! I try to help when I can. As for free software, I don't think it would be compatible with the CE-1000. It comes with the newest plotters and only has drivers for them. Graphtec's website doesn't even show the CE-1000 on their legacy plotter list any more. Since Denco doesn't really manufacture anything, we just offer what our vendors do.
    I haven't looked into what Wild West posted about, but I've played with inkscape a little. I've just never tried to output directly from it. And I've never heard of Ink Cut before this thread.
    Are you still using Omega? you should be able to output with the HPGL generic driver in there.
     
  14. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    If you are using Windows or Mac, you'll have to contact the project directly get on their beta program, or compile the source from GitHub. On Linux (what I use), it's stable for Inkscape. You do have CoCut that will work for Inkscape, but that is only available for Windows as far as I know.

    You should be able to cut directly from on Windows/Mac sans InkCut using the drivers that your cutter OEM supplies (just like you would with Ai or DRAW), just select the plotter as a "printer". That does have it's pros and cons though. While there are no drivers for Linux, Linux does have a lot of robust "printer" protocols that plotters/cutters do recognize and that's how I was able to cut from Inkscape before I knew of InkCut.

    While I do still prefer Ai (just not the direction Adobe was going), I've been leaning to Inkscape more and more and I'm apart of several projects to bring in more functionality to that program via extensions.
     
  15. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    Instead of going through this obstacle course just submit and actually buy something that works. If you add up the time you have and are going to spend in search of something free you could have purchased something a bit more elegant and get on with whatever passes for your life.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  16. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    I think the OP is still suffering the burn of Flexi shutting off, or fixin to shut off, the server for his version of 8.6 that he got. That's probably why. I'm speculating, but that's what I'm figuring.

    On some things though (not all the time), the free versions are actually quite more robust then just the slightly more elegant paid ones. Not all the time mind you, but sometimes they are. It all depends, not all are created equal (free or otherwise).
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. x2chris7x

    x2chris7x Active Member

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    Alright, so I downloaded the basic version of VinylMaster Cut today... Seems to work well. Not a huge difference in the look/layout of the software from Flexi, which is a plus, and it only cost $60. We design in Illustrator, so we're only using it to send files to the cutter, I think it works perfect for that... No way was I even gonna entertain the idea of the Flexi cloud monthly payments considering we only used Flexi to send files to the plotter, no designing...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Maritimer

    Maritimer Member

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  19. Maritimer

    Maritimer Member

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    are you still happy with vinyl mastercut? i have the ssme older ce1000-60 and was looking at this software or a basic flexi starter package
     
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