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New and seeking insight

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by steeltech, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. steeltech

    steeltech Member

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    Jul 16, 2012
    Ive introduced myself in a previous post. Before I pose my questions I should build upon where I just came from and where I plan to go -

    Again, my name is Chris. I began working for a local sign company in february. I came into this business as green as can be. Luckily I had several years of design practice with photoshop and Corel Draw. I learned how to operate basic functions to output digital prints and operate a plotter. Ive worked with vinyl, digital prints and banner. Ive made signs from PVC, Coroplast and 040 and 080 Aluminum. Ive used a foot shear, a grommit press, a corner rounder and a xenetech rotary engraver (which I wont be offering anyway). So Ive taken my love of art, my creativity and my willingness to build upon what Ive learned and Im jumping into owning my own business. Im intrigued by the unknown, the uncertainty and Im excited to start my own company. Im also cautious, and I have respect for the business. I dont approach this as someone who feels Im superior in skill and knowledge. Im a good artist, and Im a harsh critic of my own work. I want customers to be the judge.

    PrintingThe printer was a Mimaki Jv3-160SP. My choice of design was the shops' Corel X3 software. From there, I would copy and paste my work into Flexi Pro v7.6.1. Once I was stationed in Flexi, the only functions I would use were correcting the colors, resizing, adding contour outlines and registration marks and outputting to print. The functions of the Printer itself were very simple (Remote, Roll, etc).

    Plotting The plotter was a Mimaki CG-130 FX. I would design in Corel and Copy to Flexi, where I would do limited editing before outputting to plot.

    Seeking some clarity - Im starting my own business. Ive purchased a Procutter Servo 4800 plotter that is compatible with Flexi and Corel (I will be using Corel X6). This machine is new and compatible with windows 7. My Printer, however, comes with rasterlink pro II & III. It is also equipped with a Firewire cable. My new PC does not have Firewire ports. I was instructed to Purchase an upgrade for $500 to rasterLink pro5 to pair my wide format printer with my PC. I was also instructed to add a PCI card with firewire ports to complete the connections. I see no way around having to add the firewire ports. However, Im wondering if I can use Flexi Pro 10 and completely bypass the upgrade for the rasterlink. The reason, I plan on printing DPs with crop marks from flexi. From there, I plan to send the print to my plotter through the same Flexi "manager" and use the ARMS laser to plot. I will need one program to do it all, at least I think that I do. This is how I was taught. Does anyone have a solution for me to have a clean, smooth setup? It would be nice to know I could design, print and plot from one program, and if that program could be Corel I would be happy. I feel like Im picking out shoes from the closet and I keep grabbing a flip-flop and one of my chucks. If anyone knows the models and the setups I am interested in your opinions/expertise.

    Is rasterlinkPro a design software capable of setting up like Flexi, and allowing me to print, add contour cuts, and output to a plotter?

    Is Flexi the correct program to do all of my functions, thus making the rasterlink software unnecessary, while relegating Corel to be used solely for design?

    Will the new Corel X6 (which Ive never used before and havent received yet) be an option. My Corel 8, 12 and X3 never had the tabs for printing or plotting.

    I really wish I knew more but Im going forward anyway because I have to try. I'll never know and I'll never improve if I dont attempt. I also know its okay to ask for help.

    Thank You.
    Chris
     
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  2. matrue

    matrue Member

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    Jul 13, 2012
    Good luck and I'm sure this website will help you grow. I will check with my preflight department and get back to you on your questions.

    Welcome!
     
  3. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    Skip rasterlink pro. Flexi will run the Mimaki every bit as well and easier workflow for print/cut. Yes, you need a FireWire card for the computer, make sure the card uses a TI (Texas instruments) chip.
     
  4. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    You don't say as to whether or not you'll be cutting the unbilical cord with your employer, but either way, make sure you have a solid business plan in place.

    A good business plan starts with the customer and works backward from there.

    It's very easy to get caught up in the daily operation of a business that you totally miss the important "inner workings" that make the whole thing possible.

    In all honesty, the early years are going to be survival mode until you "earn your stripes". The thrill can be intoxicating, but the lonelieness of being the "boss" can get you down if you don't make provisions such as attending workshops, seminars and the like.

    Welcome aboard, I hope you enjoy the ride.


    JB
     
  5. steeltech

    steeltech Member

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    I quit 7 days ago. Sounds terrible, but It absolutely had to be done. The Cord has been CUT! Ive been working inside my new location for three weeks getting it into shape, buying machines, materials, tools and software. Speaking of software, I have rasterlink pro II & III, which Im told is useless unless I upgrade to Pro5. I really want Flexi but the price tag is insane. Do I really have no other options other than forking over a few thousand dollars? There has to be something affordable, and legal? Maybe Im wrong, though. I wonder if someone sells genuine Flexi, v7 or v8 with dongle and paperwork for cheap. Im just not finding it. I really only do functions like resizing, saving, printing, plotting, contour and contour cut. Oh wait, I also use ZOOM, thats probably a thousand dollars for that tool alone. I apologize, Im just frustrated over more than this software dilemma.
     
  6. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    what was the reason they stated that you NEED to upgrade to pro 5?
     
  7. steeltech

    steeltech Member

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    upgrade to pro 5

    My computer is windows 7, not xp. Even if I wanted to upgrade, how will I be able to print, contour cut and send jobs to plotter? Isnt rasterlink a Print ONLY? Thats why its useless to me. Thats the setup Ive chosen, because thats the only setup I was taught. My printer does not have a contour cut, so I add registration, then send through my plotter using the manager from flexi. My computer still needs a firewire card, whcih I purchased and its on the way, then Ill be able to plug the printer to the PC. Im patient, but things have kinda been falling apart. I got the printer for a fair price, but the quest for software and a stable system that works in unison is wearing me out.
     
  8. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    You might be able to find a used copy of FlexiSign Pro 8.5 (or 8.6) for well under a grand if you are patient and look around. You really need 8.5 (updates to 8.6v2 at no cost) or higher for true proper support under Windows 7, particularly 64 bit Windows 7. Also if you do get Flexi, make sure it is Pro to do what you want. The starter versions will not serve your purpose.
     
  9. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    I don't know why, but I've got a headache, now.................:covereyes:

    Think I pulled a muscle in my head............. :Oops:
     
  10. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    Gino have a :bushmill:you'll feel better tomorrow.:Big Laugh
     
  11. pjsigndoc

    pjsigndoc New Member

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    I am building a private parking sign with a dark green background and I want to cut private parking in the middle of it and take those letters out. how would I do a knockout of those letters.
     
  12. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    With the Knockout tool in Flexi....
     
  13. pjsigndoc

    pjsigndoc New Member

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    my plotter is not seeing the private parking sign ontop of the green how would i compound those two together so the plotter sees it
     
  14. pjsigndoc

    pjsigndoc New Member

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    Jul 18, 2012
    where is that tool on flexi?
     
  15. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    pjs........ to get the best results, start a thread of your own instead of being buried in this one.
     
  16. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    look at the wireframe, cut it and then just weed the letters out....
     
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