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graphtec fc7000-130 tracking

Discussion in 'Graphtec' started by uneedasign, Feb 24, 2006.

  1. uneedasign

    uneedasign Active Member

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    Jun 24, 2005
    Palm Desert CA
    Been dialing in our new Graphtec and now I want to do long runs 10 feet or more .I am having trouble keeping it straight with these long runs.Anyone been through this,and if you can tell me what would be a starting point? Thanks in advance.
     
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  2. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    earth
    Sheets or roll? Either way, running dead straight and square is usually more aesthetically pleasing than it is absolutely necessary. As long as the media stays under the feed rollers and the image fits onto the media, it really doesn't matter all that much. Within reason, as with all things.

    If you're running rolls, stick a few inches through the feed rollers and then lock the little locker widget on the right side, from the front, of the first media roller. Then gently pull the media against the locked roller and it will square itself up reasonably well. keeping tension on the media, lower the feed rollers. It's a learned touch, keep at it and it'll become second nature to you.

    With sheets, stick the sheet in and by hand run it until it's hanging there half in the back, half in the front. Then align the right edge with a handy pair of those little rectangles that are cut out of the front bezel. The smaller the gap between the media edge and the rectangle's edge the more accurately you can align things. Lower the feed rollers an press f3, Sheet. Watch the media run out against the alignment rectangles on the right. If it's unstatisfactory, do it again. Like setting up roll media, it's a learned touch.
     
  3. uneedasign

    uneedasign Active Member

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    I cannot disagree more. On my 10 year old Allen Datagraph, I could send enough jobs to burn through a 50 yard roll of vinyl and never have to re adjust. Furthermore, if you have a multiple color compound cut logo, the layers must line up. So I really don't care about how it looks when its cutting, but how straight it cuts.
     
  4. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    earth
    Not what I was talking about. There are two kinds of straight. The machine feeding the media straight and the media loaded in the machine straight.

    The first kind of straight, feeding straight, is pretty much inherent in the machine. You can keep the feed and grit rollers clean and grand, make sure you have at least equal pressure on the feed rollers, use temperate speeds, but that's only fine tuning. The machine either runs out straight or it doesn't, pretty much.

    It's the second sort of straight to which I was refering. Having the media loaded straight and true. The's the kind of straight that is functionally meaningless as long as the the media stays under the feed rollers and the image fits in the plottable area. The alignment of the image to the edge of the media only matters to the excessively anal.

    When cutting multiple color overlays, the repeatablity of the machine is critical, not how the media sits in the feed rollers. If, for example, you load red media catiwumpus to the right and cut a rectangle from it. Then load yellow media wildly skewed to the left and cut that same rectangle from the yellow. If those two rectangles are identical then the repeatability of your machine is fine and doing mutiple layer overlays in not a problem. It doesn't matter a whit if the edges of the red and yellow media line up. It's the cut rectangles that have to overlay each other regardless of how you have to skew the media to do so.
     
  5. uneedasign

    uneedasign Active Member

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    I appreciate your response, but It seems to be the machine, not the way I load it. After loading the media, I pre-feed 12' and the material gets off track 3/8", however if the machine was tracking properly, it would go back to the same point after pulling the media back in. This does not happen, it continues going to the right another 3/8". Any suggestions?
     
  6. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    earth
    Ah, a repeatability problem.

    Ok, on this plotter the feed rollers have two force settings, make sure that all of them are set to max.

    Organize the job by optimizing the cut order so you're not running the media back and forth needlessly.

    That's about all I have to offer, not being there and all.
     
  7. uneedasign

    uneedasign Active Member

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    Bob, unfortunately its not just when cutting. I am trying to put small strips of vinyl on the case of the cutter to align the vinyl quickly, and as a test, while loading the vinyl as straight as possible, then feeding the vinyl out at the control panel, and then back to the starting point, it is not ending back in the same place. I have come to the conclusion that their is something in the plotter out of adjustment. If I explained the problem correctly(sometimes my fingers ramble on and on) do you agree it is a hardware problem?
     
  8. Drip Dry

    Drip Dry Very Active Member

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    I've had the same machine for about 2 months now and am still having a problem not running straight. I found if you do get it lined up straight when loading it then it does track reasonably straight. When it does skew (say on a 10ft run) when it returns back, it skews back to the original point. If yours does not do that then I would suspect that one of the pinch rollers are not keeping enough pressure on the vinyl. There is an lever on the rear side of the pinch rollers to increase pressure on the roller
    Maybe one or both rollers are set in the light pressure position.

    Want to hear a funny story.... When I was looking for a new machine, I had a salesmen tell me the plotter aligns itself. They told me they were still amazed at no matter how crooked you put the vinyl in, the plotter would straighten it out. I know now that was a salesmen talking. I guess the joke was on me.

    Ps. I'm still very happy with the machine overall. It cuts much faster and weeds much better than the the old plotter I had. But nothing beats a sprocket machine.

    Jim
     
  9. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    earth
    As previously noted, repeatablity. Repeatability is returning to the same point from whence you started, regardless of blade up or down.

    Did you check the tension levers on all of the feed rollers? Are they all set to maximum pressure? If they aren't set to max or, worse, they all aren't set the same, you'll skew media all over the countryside.

    Especially if you're trying to feed pin-feed media with the rollers on the pin feed track and not on the actual vinyl.

    The feed mechanism is sufficiently simple that it wants to feed straight, that's the easiest thing for it to do. Is something binding or something providing drag on the media biased to one side or the other?

    I've been running an FC7000-75 for coming up on a year now and it's always been dead nuts accurate. I can feed yards of media and return right to the starting point.
     
  10. uneedasign

    uneedasign Active Member

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    I have looked at everything I can of. The levers are both on high, the roll of media is centered to the loaded vinyl on the rollers, there seems to be no binding. I have gotten it to work a little better, but I just cant believe that a new plotter cant track as well as a 10 year old one. I still think something is out of adjustment, and I will have to wait for the tech to show up next week. In the meantime, it will cut as long as about 12' or so.
    Thanks for all the help.
     
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