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Software Help Roland VS/SP/GR user. Looking for an open source alternative for VW

Discussion in 'RIP Software & Color Management' started by tag4u, Jan 1, 2020.

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  1. tag4u

    tag4u New Member

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    Hi
    I am using Roland VS and SP to print and cut contour and Roland GR for perf cutting.
    Due to a limitation of VW (and similar SW as much as I checked), I am looking for an Open Source alternative so I can try and code the behavior I need.

    The problem I have is like this. If I have a "Cut only" job on VS - it cuts (kiss cut) pretty fast. The moment I ask VW to print crop marks on such jobs - the machine will print the header crops and instead of moving the media fast till the end to print the footer marks it will slowly advance the media row by row as if it was printing, except there is nothing to print since this is essentially a Cut Only job and the whole printing was added for crop marks only (so I can move the media to GR for perf cutting later).

    I understand VW does not have the "skip white areas" option to save a LOT of time and would like to try to implement something myself upon some Open Source platform ...

    Can someone give me an idea of how I can help myself? Is it a RIP part I need to tweak? Is it some "printer management" part of the SW?

    Thanks in advance
    Oleg
     
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  2. woolly

    woolly Active Member

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    "skip white areas" if you disable full scan printing in the printer menu it will skip the scan as nothing to print but will still feed at the normal rate ? worth a look.
    years gone by we used to print to a file then alter plot files in a text editor then send to plotter with a dos command.
    how big are the sheets going from the vs to the gr.. how accurate is the a4 perfcut to be to the vs printed shapes can they be misplaced by a few mm
    as the vs is a slow cutter compared to the gr i still think the gr is the whole job but you must have your reasons i have missed
     
  3. jimdtg

    jimdtg Member

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    I don't think we have Open Source Software for this kind of work - Print and Cut.

    We have alternative software that support Roland and some of them have trial so you can try are SignLab, FlexiSIGN, EasySIGN...
     
  4. tag4u

    tag4u New Member

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    woolly, thanks !
    perfcut accuracy - I can live with a couple of mm differences. What did you have in mind? Sounds you might have a workaround :)

    I will check if a full scan is enabled but the machine does not scan, it only feeds. slowly.
    Where can I read more info about tampering with the files? Tampering with the files is one of my favorite things :). Any info will be appreciated
     
  5. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Inkcut may work for this. It won't help with the RIP of a print, but it may cut around a print otherwise. Would have to manually setup everything for cutting around an already printed object, last version that I had of it, which was 1, it's up to 2 now, but it would require downloading py and building/installing, but if the OP is thinking about coding for it, that shouldn't be a problem.

    Can be run as a plugin for Inkscape (yet another way of extending Inkscape escape) or run as a standalone program. I stopped using it as I have other ways of sending to a cutter using other protocols under Linux, but this does allow for other options that I wouldn't have using that method, so there are trade offs.

    The only open source RIP that I am aware of is only for Epson based DTG printers and that is in Alpha and hasn't been updated since 2016 and I haven't been able to find the repo for that for the source either (2016 version, found the parts from 2011).
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
  6. Solventinkjet

    Solventinkjet DIY Printer Fixing Guide

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    I'm pretty sure Rolands use the GPGL programming language. If you can create some code that turns your design file into GPGL code you should be able to send it directly to the plotter. Never understood why Roland does things this way. Every other brand of plotter I have used lets you cut directly to the plotter via a plug-in in Illustrator or Corel.

    Edit: I meant HPGL not GPGL. Thanks WildWestDesignsWildWestDesigns
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
  7. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    If you send as raw HPGL, can cute directly from Inkscape without the use of a plugin using the File -> Print function. Which is handy consider there is no native drivers for Linux for printers as it is.
     
  8. woolly

    woolly Active Member

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    couple of things
    i think the feed rate is relative the profile you use to crate the cut path so a different profile may speed things up try generic banner1 fast 360 dpi as that only has 6 passes compared to what you would normally use would have 12 or more.. i forgot to see if there was a feed calibration adjustment added to that profile it should be 0 for what you require.

    other depends how much you understand about the positioning of the cuts relative to home or origin whether you send it as a page size or selected only with a eps boarder measurement or is the eps boarder added within VW. the boarder has to be there as vw can not cut on a 0.0 x.y reference.

    so you could for test create a file that has several a4 inc graphics that will fit across the plotter just one row to start with.
    load the vs and cross cut a inch of the material so you have a reference edge that will be square to the cutting bed. cut the file cut the sheet off.
    if you dont want the a4 shapes normal cut you need a cut path box surrounding the row of a4s as a reference
    load in to the gr careful to line the edge with the bed allow the machine to do a normal set up
    create a new file from the first that only has the perfcut info in it. in this case just a few a4 perfcut shapes but not altered position from the first file.
    if the eps boarder is say 1mm then move the knife with the arrow keys til the tip of the blade is 1mm to the right as you look at it and 1mm towards you of the corner of the first normal cut a4... press the origin key send the new file with any luck it should perf down the original cut line when perfected create a new files to do more at a time.
    and yes i have done this in the past.with success.
     
  9. tag4u

    tag4u New Member

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    Thanks, everyone for the great advice!
    Going to try it all out. I think I will start with woolly's manual alignment approach as it will give me something 'quick-and-dirty' and then will explore HPGL and InkCut options for something ready for the long run (as we do occasionally have similar jobs to run).
    Will update here the progress in case someone might need something like this in the fufure
     
  10. zsa

    zsa Sticker

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    In Media Explorer make a copy of your media or create a new media, and edit the lowest quality mode and put the feed speed on maximum. 50mm/s instead of 10mm/s
    this might help for beginning.
     
  11. tag4u

    tag4u New Member

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    Updates :
    InkCut does not support my SP-300V ... :(
    Increasing media feed speed ( thanks, zsa ! ) indeed improved it a little but still too slow ...
    And I am still trying to make it work with the manual adjustment

    Meanwhile, we cut all the a4s manually, the customer is happy and more orders will come next week. This time ... different perf cut sizes ...
    So I am going to dive into HPGL now ...

    Does anyone happen to know if I can dig HPGL file/stream of a job out of VW files somehow?
     
  12. tag4u

    tag4u New Member

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    Ok. that was fast!
    I did the following :
    1. Mark the job as PrintAndCut with Crop Marks selected
    2. RIP
    3. Right-click on the job and Save it as PRT file ( which is an HPGL/PJL text file )
    4. There I spotted a HUGE blob of *b34VNULLNULLNULLNULL
    5. Removed ALL those lines
    6. Print the file by "Send Native File" from VW Printer Menu

    It WORKS !!! Actually, it worked the very first try. I couldn't believe it

    thanks all for your ideas.
    Without this thread, I wouldn't think it is possible
     
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  13. woolly

    woolly Active Member

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    Well done that man a few snippets of info and a bucket full of your ingenuity got you to the winning post.
     
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