Welcome To Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals

Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals is the LARGEST online community & discussion forum for professional sign-makers and graphic designers.

 


  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How is your Graphtec/Vinyl Express hooked up?

Discussion in 'Graphtec' started by InnovativeKS, May 16, 2007.

  1. InnovativeKS

    InnovativeKS Member

    200
    0
    16
    Mar 26, 2007
    Kansas
    We have recently started having issues contour cutting with our Q130. We have talked to tech support at SW, and they told us it's because we have it hooked up via USB, and the cable is too long. The thing is, we've had it hooked up this way since last September, and only recently started having issues. Sometimes it won't find all the registration marks, and other times, the contour cuts get off by up to 1/8", leaving a white border. If we reboot the computer, 95% of the time, it will work flawlessly once, then continue on with the problems mentioned above.

    I will mention that the USB cable is comprised of 1 normal USB, and 1 repeater USB. Also, the plotter cuts normal files just fine. It only has problems with print/plot files.
     
    Tags:
  2. bob

    bob Major Contributor

    5,232
    299
    83
    Nov 4, 2005
    earth
    It has nothing to do with the length of your USB cable. The micro-cephalics at Sign Warehouse told you this because it was a convenient, for them, thing to tell you.

    How, exactly, are you auto-registering your prints? There's at least three major approaches to auto-registration with the Graphtec and its clones. Automatic via software, automatic via plotter firmware, and manual via plotter firmware. Which one, in detail, are you using?
     
  3. InnovativeKS

    InnovativeKS Member

    200
    0
    16
    Mar 26, 2007
    Kansas

    I am unsure of your question. The plotter is a Q130 with ARMS 3.0. Is this what you mean? We are using Flexi8Pro as our print/cut software.
     
  4. ChicagoGraphics

    ChicagoGraphics Major Contributor

    4,770
    53
    48
    Feb 27, 2007
    World
    Maybe you just need new cables
     
  5. bob

    bob Major Contributor

    5,232
    299
    83
    Nov 4, 2005
    earth
    Method 1: You add a contour object to the image via either Effects->Contour or Arrange->Contour. Flexi adds registration marks to the print and creates a pair of jobs, one to print and one to cut. You send the cut job and the software asks you to position the blade over the first mark, set the origin, and then press 'Continue'. The plotter reads the marks and off you go.

    Method 2 and 3: You add your own registration marks to your image along with a non-printing contour object. This contour object is not known as such to Flexi, only to you. Flexi does not think that this is a contour cut job. You cleverly position your registrations marks as the corners of a rectangle of known, by you, size. You print the image with your very own registration marks. and load the print into the plotter.

    Method 2s.You invoke the auto sensing feature of the plotter. It finds your marks.

    Method 3s. You invoke the manual sensing feature of the plotter. It tells you to position the blade at each of the marks in turn ans press Enter, where in it reads each mark.

    Method 2 and 3 finale. The plotter pauses after reading the last mark and displays what it detected for X and Y distances, in turn, and prompts you to enter the actual distances. Then you send the cut job, which is your contour and either the registration marks or the bounding rectangle.

    Since you seem confused that there's more than one way to do registration, I assume that you're using method #1. How many marks? What style of mark?

    Method #1 is OK for smaller prints, say less than 36" or so long. Any more than that and it seems to get easily confused and fails to sense all the marks. Moreover, the longer the print, the closer to perfectly square you have to load the print into the plotter. The plotter reads the first mark and then advances to the general area where it expects to find the next mark. If that mark isn't reasonably close to right where it thinks it should be, it fails. Thus the caveat about excessively skewed media. The real problem with method #1 it that when it fails, it's very difficult if not impossible, to recover. If the Great White Fathers there at Scanvec Amiable would see fit to publish the dimensions of the registration mark's bounding rectangle, you could recover via method 2 or 3. But they don't, so, usually, you lose.

    If the sensing goes OK but the actual cutting is off, especially if it starts out OK but develops an error towards the end of the cut. It's a plotter repeatability issue and you probably have some sort of media slippage happening. For whatever reasons.
     
  6. InnovativeKS

    InnovativeKS Member

    200
    0
    16
    Mar 26, 2007
    Kansas
    When just plotting files, it does just fine. It's only when we print and need to contour cut.

    EDIT: Just for S&G. we will try a different cable and run it directly from the computer to the plotter, which is about a 9 ft distance. I will post the results in a bit.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2007
  7. InnovativeKS

    InnovativeKS Member

    200
    0
    16
    Mar 26, 2007
    Kansas
    Method 1 is what we are using. 4 registration marks, 1 at each corner that are "L" shaped. Luckily, if it doesnt find the marks, the contour file stays stored in production manager. Like I mentioned before, if we reboot, it will usually work great once, maybe twice, then the problems start over again.

    As far as scanning the marks, it finds the first one just fine, then goes to the back of the material. It usually finds that one just fine as well. Then it comes back to the original mark, then goes across to the mark on the far left. This is usually the mark it fails to sense.
     
  8. gvgraphics

    gvgraphics Very Active Member

    2,182
    2
    0
    Mar 23, 2006
    Our graphtec is hooked via a 16' USB cable with n o issues.
     
  9. InnovativeKS

    InnovativeKS Member

    200
    0
    16
    Mar 26, 2007
    Kansas
    My personal opinion is that SW's tech support was full of it. That's why I thought I'd post the question here.
     
  10. InnovativeKS

    InnovativeKS Member

    200
    0
    16
    Mar 26, 2007
    Kansas
    well, we ran into the contour cutting problem once again, so we tried the shorter USB method, as suggested by SW's tech support.

    As expected, no change. It still has difficulty finding all contour registration marks.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2007
  11. Jackpine

    Jackpine Major Contributor

    You are nuts gvg, but that is another issue. The cabling is not the problem. I would believe it is in the software or the ARMS.
     
  12. gvgraphics

    gvgraphics Very Active Member

    2,182
    2
    0
    Mar 23, 2006
    I would have to think the same as jackpine. Sounds like the reg marks are not correct or the arms system is not able to recognize them. Try cleaning the arms sensor with a soft pad. Also select a different reg mark in your software to see if this helps at all.

    Jackpine, You are the cats ***!
     
Loading...

Share This Page

 


Loading...