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Registration Mark Question

Discussion in 'General Software' started by Stroker Ace, Feb 10, 2006.

  1. Stroker Ace

    Stroker Ace Member

    Jan 30, 2006
    I have a Graphtec cutter that I run with ProDesign software. ProDesign is somebody's inhouse version of FlexiSign.

    When making two color outlined text items the registration marks for the separate colors don't have the same dimensions so they don't line up properly. I've tried placing my own registration marks in the main screen and I've tried the automatic registration marks option in the advanced screen of the production manager.

    Can anybody help me out?

  2. learned the hard way

    learned the hard way Active Member

    Jan 3, 2006
    I don't think many people bother with registration marks for stacking two colors of vinyl. Just lay your bottom color and peel mask. Then place your top color over it and you should be able to see through the mask and backing paper well enough to position it like you want. That's how I do it, anyway. Some people cut "peep holes" in the mask and backing of the top color so they can see the edge of the bottom color. It's usually not necessary, though. 99% of the time you can just see through the stuff well enough to get it right.
  3. Stroker Ace

    Stroker Ace Member

    Jan 30, 2006
    I have had good luck eyeballing the layers but was just wondering how to do deal with registration marks if I need to.
  4. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

    Jun 24, 2003
    Some people never have to work on places vinyl in poor light. There is a definite need for reg marks..

    I make one set of reg marks using a small square. When cutting i incldue those squares with every layer..
  5. WVB

    WVB Very Active Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    One way to do it would be like Tech said make squares on every layer say two minimum. Leave the squares on the first layer, then on the second/third etc. cover the layers with app tape (AT-60 is great for this as well as wet app)and then cut the squares out. Align the cutouts to the squares from the first layer and you should be aligned up.
  6. learned the hard way

    learned the hard way Active Member

    Jan 3, 2006
    If you find yourself in a situation where you absolutely cannot see through to line up the two colors, just trim the mask and backing of the top color very close to the graphic in three or four spots. This will allow you to see the edges of the bottom color to align them. Then just center hinge and apply.

    I really can't remember having used registration marks at all for this. If I had to use them I would probably just draw some small squares around my graphic and use them as registration marks. Just make them the same color as bottom color, cut that, then change them to same as top color and cut again.

    Edit: Sorry, I see somebody beat me to the squares idea.
  7. bob

    bob Major Contributor

    Nov 4, 2005
    The thing with registration devices is, unless your twiddling a vernier on a printing press, you want the device to be as large as possible. This makes for more accurate and easier manual registration. So make it the biggest thing on the image.

    What I do is cut a constant frame around the base image and all subsequent layers. I install the frame with the first image and then use the inside of the frame as a weed border for the subsequent images and trim the mask to this weed border. That way they'll pretty much drop right into correct position.

    When I'm all done, I remove and discard the frame from the base image.

    If I'm dealing with a substrate of accommodating size, instead of a frame on the base image, I cut all of the layers inside the same rectangle which aligns with two perpendicular edges of the substrate.

    Sounds complicated but it's not and it's a lot easier and a hell of a lot more accurate than messing around with little squares here and there. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature.

    Attached Files:

  8. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

    Sep 11, 2003
    Olympia, WA
    Bob's method is what the FastSigns franchises are taught. They call it "cutting for production". It's reliable and accurate. The vinyl that's wasted is more than paid back in error and time reduction.

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