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Registration Marks

Discussion in 'Graphtec' started by Doot, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. Doot

    Doot Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    Just wondering, sometimes when I print a graphic that is longer than like 6 ft the plotter has a hard time picking up the registration marks and I often get mark scan errors. Sometimes I can tweak it a little by watching where the laser eye moves two and then re sizing the cut file so that it will reach the mark. It works but the cuts are a little off due to the resizing of the contour.
    So my question: is there any way to manually tell the plotter where each registration mark is instead of letting it try to find them with the laser?
    I am sure there is, just don't know how to do it.
    I am cutting on a graphtec fc7000-130.

    Thanks Guys...
  2. wildside

    wildside Very Active Member

    Aug 28, 2005
    lining the vinyl up properly in the machine is key.

    we use a graphtec 5100-150, and we will put the print in, pull the carriage over to make sure the blade is on the line, then push it over to the other side and make sure the blade hits the same spot on the other front mark

    if so, drop the rollers and ready to go,

    we have run a 24 foot print with registration marks and came out fine, other than i lost some hair and the rest turned another shade of grey, but it worked
  3. bob

    bob Major Contributor

    Nov 4, 2005
    There are two ways to do manual registration marks.

    The first is simply to use the manual bomb sight marks and use the build-in light pen to manually locate the four corners. This is only as accurate as your eyeball. Some people see better than others.

    The second way is complicated to explain but easy to do, once you get the hang of it. Basically you print your own registration marks at the corners of a rectangle of known size that completely bounds your image.

    Print the image and the registration marks.

    Load the print into the plotter and invoke the 'Auto Reg' function. This will locate all four marks. If this should fail you can select 'Manual' mode and move the sensor to each mark manually.

    Either way, the plotter will pause after the fourth mark is detected and display what it determined to be the X and Y dimensions of the rectangle described by the registration marks. At this point you correct the plotter's measurements to coincide with the dimensions of the rectangle of known size with which you started.

    Now you send just the contour line and the registration marks** to the plotter. Make sure that your panel margins, weed borders, etc are set to zero. Very important.

    **You can avoid cutting the registration marks if you send the bounding rectangle instead.

    I do this all of the time and it works just fine. All of this would be unnecessary if Flexi [that's what I'm using] would simply publish the dimensions of the rectangle described by the registration marks that it placed on the print. Then you could try the full automatic method and, if that fails, you could save your print by using the manual method.
  4. omgsideburns

    omgsideburns Very Active Member

    Apr 15, 2008
    I put my fingernails on the crop marks and move my vinyl up to the vacuum platens edge, this usually gets me spot on. Also make sure your crop marks are clean, make sure you leave enough gap between the outer pinch rollers and the crop marks (1-2 inches is usually sufficient). This is using the Auto-Reg
  5. ahollow

    ahollow Active Member

    Dec 25, 2004
    One other thought for longer prints: make sure your printer is printing the actual length you think it is. Most RIP's have a compensation factor, so you'll need to do some test prints and adjust the compensation. I know Flexi has it.

    Also, amke sure you have the latest firmware for your Graphtec. Once I upgraded the firmware, all sorts of little problems went away.
  6. MacDaddy

    MacDaddy Member

    Mar 29, 2008
    Yup, do a Manual Alignment

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