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Suggestions Looking to Ditch Flexi..cut monthly costs

Discussion in 'Labels and Decals' started by samhayne, Apr 15, 2021.

  1. samhayne

    samhayne New Member

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    I have a Roland Versacamm 300i print/cut. I use Flexi designer ($30 monthly) to add my cut lines, export my files and then rip and print/cut with the Roland Versaworks software. I also use Photoshop ($10 a month). I'd love to replace Flexi with ANYTHING else. I find it buggy and non - intuitive and don't design in it much because I struggle with it. I had high hopes that version 21 would be an upgrade but still runs like crap on my 64 bit machine.

    Has anyone used Affinity to add cut lines to stickers? Is it possible? I have downloaded the trial and will work with it today. Would be nice to work in a vector based program and be able to add cut lines like Flexi without the high cost and annoyances. Roland has a stand alone product CutStudio that's included with their vinyl cutter and it can be purchased for $70. Not sure if this could be used to add my cut lines but I would still need a vector program for working with art.
     
  2. balstestrat

    balstestrat Active Member

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    You have only photoshop, no illustrator included?
     
  3. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    CutStudio isn't worth it. It came with my plotters and it was far more efficient for me to just work out of my graphics program.

    Now, it will be more of a manually process. I don't think Design has a plugin system, so it's not like you can get CoCut and then automate that workflow within Design (or come up with your own automation as well). The drawback is that I think the only version that really allows for a variety of options with cutlines is the Pro version and that's up there in price as well (but as far as I remember, it is a one off purchase). If you aren't using it to drive your machines, it may be too much. Nice thing is that it also works with Inkscape, but it may be easier to just bump up your subscription to Ai as well. The only real downside is since Ai is rolling, your plugin may also have to be rolling to keep up with the rapid release of Ai versions.
     
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  4. samhayne

    samhayne New Member

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    I am not proficient in AI so I haven't opted for the full Adobe subscription. Considered it however, adding cut lines in AI is more complex than with Flexi.
     
  5. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    It is more manual. May want to look into CoCut and see about that. CoCut is the one that comes right off the top of my mind. It is also designed to be what drives your machines, so that may be too much for what you are wanting. It does support various programs, not just Ai. It does have a 30 Day trial if I remember correctly. May just want to download Inkscape, grab the trial and see if it will work or not for you.

    InkCut (exclusively for Inkscape) is another one, but the drivers are only for plotters, not for print/cut. As such, may have to get a little creative with how you generate cut lines for print/cut projects.

    Otherwise, it's doing everything manually or if you use a graphics program that allows for scripting/plugins, may be able to come up with something yourself, if can't find what you are looking for elsewhere (if so inclined and able, not everyone is).
     
  6. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    Look in the classifieds. Someone is selling their permanent Flexi Pro license. Honestly that's the way to go. Buy it and be done with subscriptions. If my old computer wouldn't have died I'd still be using Flexi Pro 8.6. Just like anything there is a learning curve but you will get used to using it.
     
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  7. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Was VMing not an option? Could have still been using that older copy, unless you needed the latest drivers?
     
  8. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    Yeah I could have done that but my new Mutoh came with Flexi so I just paid the bump for a fully unlocked version and loaded on a new PC. I've run lots of RIP's but for me Flexi is about the simplest one out there. Worlds ahead of Rasterlink, or Onyx but that's just my opinion. YMMV
     
  9. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    $40/mo. and you're looking to cut costs????? You'd have to learn new software and trial and error... is your time worth anything?
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. samhayne

    samhayne New Member

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    I see what you're saying but this isn't my regular job just a hobby / side business I'm trying to do. Sometimes I go weeks without using the software. In additional I have other monthly costs for my site hosting so every bit adds up. I'd be willing to pay the fee if I actually used it more but, I find it cumbersome and am looking for a better vector program anyhow.
     
  11. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    $40 a month is hard to beat.

    If ALL you do is add cutlines... vinylmaster seems to be the best. I've tried illustrator..corel, flexi, even the new Onyx Truefit... Vinyl master has made the best, most consistant cut lines for printed photos / pictures.

    You need LTR for making cutcontours... which is $180. https://vinylmaster.software/price-list They also do pay to own where you own it after XX months... so its not too bad.
     
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  12. Val47

    Val47 Boudica@Nite

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    You could add your cut lines in photoshop, not ideal, illustrator would be better. Inkscapes is respectable vector graphics software and it's free. That's what they use at my kids school. Perfect for a hobbyist.
     
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  13. Dasdesignguy

    Dasdesignguy Production Manager/Field Service Tech

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    Lately the more I use Mimaki's FineCut the more I like it. When I finally figured how the way you create your cut files directly correlates with how the software sorts the cut files it made much more sense. By no means is it perfect but in my opinion it optimizes the way you can create, control and preview your cuts before sending anything to plot. Not to mention pay once and it is yours forever, just don't loose your serial #.
     
  14. samhayne

    samhayne New Member

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    Thanks. I'll look into this.
     
  15. Stacey K

    Stacey K I like making signs

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    I have LXI 10, no subscription. I'll run it until I can't anymore. Like RJSSigns says...look to buy it on Ebay or something.
     
  16. Solventinkjet

    Solventinkjet DIY Printer Fixing Guide

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    Take a look in the settings of FineCut for a check box simply called, "Sort." If you turn it on, it will override the order you designed in and optimize it for quicker cuts!
     
  17. Dasdesignguy

    Dasdesignguy Production Manager/Field Service Tech

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    Oh yeah, I understand that, but the issue I had was the way both the customer and I were building our cut lines/layouts. The software takes into account the order in which you build cut files, the layers and even the way you create your registration marks. If you have a layout with a kiss cut and a through cut, the way you build them makes all the difference in the world. I had a customer ask me why his plotter would zip all the way from the left to the right after cutting the first horizontal row, why didn't it just move up to the cut above and start cutting the next row from left to right and then right to left. That's what I mean when I say it all depends on how you build the cut files you have to basically help the software. That is what I meant when I said it wasn't perfect, a little more manual control over how the files react would be nice. Honestly, I spent way too much time figuring that one out but the customer was happy at the end of the day and that's all that really matters. :)
     
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  18. samhayne

    samhayne New Member

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    I was told this by someone else as well. He actually did a demo for me and it looked much easier than what i've been doing with Flexi. I'm going to look into this more. If I can start using Affinity and vinylmaster the cost will be WAY cheaper in the long run. Plus Flexi gets on my nerves, the new 64 bit version 21 has all the same bugs that 19 had and since i'm using their cheaper version, I don't have production manager.

    I've found multiple people that will sell me a cracked / pirate versions of Flexi 19 but they still want 2-300$ which seems like pretty good scam being that most of these guys didn't patch the license requirement / crack themselves and are reselling the software multiple times for a fair bit of change. I'd be curious to know if anyone has done this and if it worked out? If I bought it, I'd have to figure out production manager without having any support which is one more reason i've lost interest.
     
  19. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    Sure... the cracked software may work. But is it worth losing your business over? Especially in the US where copyrights can bankrupt you... It's not worth it.

    If you cant afford the $50 a month Flexi costs... I dont think you could afford the legal bills of using pirated software. A lot of which have call homes... I imagine the people selling the software arent the brightest, so at best your software isnt protected and you end up getting caught using it... at worst it has a virus in it and they can do whatever they want with your PC.

    Vinylmaster has a trial. Download it and try it... The expensive version can be a rip as well. The cheap version has a designer in it... but you wont get photoshop level out of it. I'd say get affinity and vinylmaster if you like it, and continue to use the software that came with your printer for ripping.

    If you really need to... buy adobe CS6 used for $220 on ebay. You'll continue to have photoshop / illustrator to design in.... and wont risk your business/livelihood trying to save a few bucks.
     
  20. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Also have to keep in mind, even if the core functionality still works, there may be ancillary functionality that does not. Going from binary to source back to binary again, not everything makes it through and even if the "crack" was done perfectly, the coding could be as such couldn't strip the DRM without affecting some functionality (not without really knowing what was going on in the software). Now, as it if it is functionality that "you" would care about, that is something else entirely.


    Ironically, I would speculate that those selling aren't the same ones that are actually doing the cracking. So it would be irrelevant as to if the seller is up to snuff on things. It's if the person that actually did the process is up on their knowledge base.

    May want to do older then CS6 (I think even older then 5.5 as I think that was the first version to require account info) as that is usually tied to an Adobe account and according to the Adobe EULA, have to go through a process for transfer of ownership (which most people do not). Now, I'm sure that they are ways around that, but then again, that's what cracked software is, a way around something.

    Subscription software, in the long run, ends up costing the end user more, it certainly doesn't cost you as much as getting caught with cracked software. And to be honest, there are other legit options that will get you up and running (with various levels (or no) automation) that it really isn't worth it. But then again, this is coming from someone that is wildly risk adverse with regard to such things.
     
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