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Serious Problems tracking and Rolling Vinyl with my 24" Lynx

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Plotters' started by smullen, May 2, 2005.

  1. smullen

    smullen Member

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    Aug 12, 2004
    Last night I was trying to cut a few things for a decent (for me) size job I landed (6 double sided 18x24" 1 Color Corplasts and 2 24x36" Banners) for a
    car show in a few weeks and 15 small 1.5"x24" Teamname/URL Logos for a Car Audio SPL Competition Team and I noticed that it seemed like the cutter was having trouble rolling the vinyl off the rolls...


    I messed with it about, but I only made it worse...

    Looking into it more, it seems like the two lower rollers that the roll of vinyl sits on are having some issues...

    If I take the roll of vinyl off and roll each of the 2 rollers, they seem to roll OK, one better than the other, but seemingly OK...

    However, when I put a roll of vinyl back on it seems like there is a drag somewhere and I hear a slight dragging sound or noise... It deffintly feels like somethigns not right...

    I took both the rollers off and I use a bit of spray lube on the bearings of the worse one and it really did not seem to help at all...

    Also, I checked allignement of the things the vinyl rolls sit in..


    So at this point, I'm pretty much not able to cut any signs...

    I don't really know what to do...

    I bought the cutter from Signwarehouse.com and we have all read the posts on getting support.

    I looked though the signwarehouse catalog and I don't even see replacement rollers for this or any other plotter, by any name. I see Media Flanges (things that actually go on the ends of roll of vinyl) and the adjustable slider that the Media Flanges sit in on the rollers, but not the rollers themselfs...

    I can imagine they aren't cheap either... The thing that bugs me is my plotter has not been used that much. I'm just a small time opperation, not even enough to say part time...


    If it was a tire, the little rubber nubs would not even be worn off yet...
     
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  2. Scott Reynolds

    Scott Reynolds Active Member

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    You dont have to let the cutter pull the vinyl off the rollers. You can set up the cutter and then roll off what you are going to need then cut. Its not a fix, but it will get you by till you can get your rollers fix/replaced. If you dont have a catch basket, make one or make sure the floor is super clean. Hope this helps.
     
  3. Imakesigns

    Imakesigns Member

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    I never let my Lynx pull the vinyl off the rollers. Try to roll the amount off first. Especially since you are making 24" x signs, it should be really easy. I have seen other vinyl tables that have rolls for media release. That may be an option if no replacements are available.
     
  4. smullen

    smullen Member

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    Aug 12, 2004
    Just an update on this...

    I was able to feed it a bit at a time, like suggested above (THANKS for those!!!!)and cut a few things, but what a pain in the but....

    Up ontill yesterday, it feed off the roll (10 Yard Oracal 851) just fine... NO probs...

    Anyway... I sent my sales rep at sign wharehouse an e-mail at about 9:30am mytime with pretty much my original post telling of my issue and asking if those peices could be replaced under warrenty or if not, how much they'ed cost to order...

    I got a voicemail about noonish that said, she would open a ticket with ""Tech Support"" and they should contact me in 24 Hours....

    I'm sure glad I don't run a full blow shop like a lot of you or I'd be screwed right now waiting on them...

    I'll call them about 8:30 or 9:00am in the morning if I get a chance from my Primary Job and see what kinda run around I get.... What sucks is I won't be able to be at home in front of the plotter in case they have a useful tip to try and they close before I get home...

    I'll update this as it develops...
     
  5. smullen

    smullen Member

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    Aug 12, 2004
    Another Update...

    Well, A Signwarehouse "Tech"" finally called me back... Yesterday about 3:00pm...

    I described my issue again with the rollers on the back, He said it could be the rollers or me not loading the vinyl right but they would send me out new ones ""Under Warrenty""...

    I have to cover shipping as thats the policy, they do not cover shipping on Warrenty items...

    So, I should get those Friday at the earliest, but possibly Monday.

    Also, he suggested something simmilar to what I have read here in not letting the vinyl roll off the roll, but advancing it with the buttons then retracting it and let it hang down in the back and not go back on the roll... Then cutting the image.


    Also, I asked what is the largest reliable/accurate cut you can get on this plotter using a 24" roll and he said it should do a 23" cut...

    The largest I have go it to do without going into error is a 20" maybe lke 21.5"...

    The blade only cuts in between the movable pinch rollers and if I move them out any further, the vinyl does not track well and pulls crooked... If I move them in (making a smaller cut area) it seems to control the vinyl better...

    I don't meant to be arrogant or a know it all at all, because I am new to this and am very eager to learn, but I don't know to many ways to load the vinyl "Wrong".

    So, this makes me wonder, is it the plotters tracking ability or my loading and adjusting ability???

    I'd rather it be me, because its cheaper for me to learn how to do it better, than to better hardware; which might do the same if it was me the whole time and not the plotter... :)

    I'll play around and try adjusting the widths a bit more and see if I can get a least a 22" cut and I'll post if the new rollers help at all.
     
  6. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    There are some things to know that will help you get better results.

    1. Resistance to vinyl movement on the X-axis is of primary concern. Things like unwinding the roll eliminate almost all resistance to vinyl movement.

    2. Your pinch rollers will work better at the edges than they will nearer the center. Kind of like having a wider lower center of gravity.

    3. Accurate straight feeding is based on a lot of factors such as having your vinyl in straight and the roll lined up on the square to where it passes under the pinch rollers. I've found a good way to accomplish this is to lightly tug on the vinyl as it passes out of the plotter and while feeding the vinyl at the same time. Just kind of makes everything fall into position easily.

    4. The other major factor, assuming your equipment is clean and in good repair, is blade drag. When you friction feed, the accuracy is based on everything being lined up and balanced. When the blade touches down it causes an imbalance and, therefore, uneven feeding. The further out from the center, the greater the imbalance. The duller the blade and/or the greater the downforce ... the greater the imbalance.

    I mean no slight or disrespect with this next comment. Just stating the reality. These issues you're experiencing are part of a trade off that has been made in selecting and deciding what you are willing to pay for your cutting equipment. Your plotter cost less than a higher quality friction fed plotter such as a Graphtec or Summa. And it cost a lot less than a tractor feed. I personally spent a bit under $9,000 for my Gerber Envision 375 in 1998. It is a 15" tractor feed that is incredibly fast and accurate and has caused me zero problems in the seven years so far that I've run it.
     
  7. smullen

    smullen Member

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    Aug 12, 2004
    Thank you greatly for the tips Fred...

    No offence was taken on your last comments and I agree...

    When I started thinking about getting into this, Signwarehouse was the only place Iknew of to get plotters.

    So I talked to the (Evil) sales guy a few times and then I got up the nerve to order a low-end plotter and some supplies...

    At the time, I did not think I could afford any better of a unit, didn't know where to get one from anyway and mostly I did not know any better either...

    In retrospect, I wish I would have saved up and got a Roland or maybe a Graphtech or something better...

    Business is going slow right now, but I'd really like to buy a better 24" or maybe even a 30" in the next year... I'd really like to be able to print color and cut, but I don't see that happening...

    Whatever I go to buy, Luckily I'll have this place as a resource...
     
  8. markz

    markz Member

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    Jan 2, 2005
    Signwarehouse sent our Panther back, no note , refund, credit-nothing, after similar headaches like the one you posted. About $1,500. box in corner of shop-we bought a SSK/ Graphtec unit,works great. The experience & advice from sign sites are where i should have started BEFORE purchasing. Evil salesperson, aren't most of them ? good luck MZ
     
  9. Imakesigns

    Imakesigns Member

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    Jan 9, 2005
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    I think I have figured out your problem. If you are using the stand, loosen all the screws on the BOTTOM of the machine and try to parallel that to the rollers. If you put the machine on and just tighten the screws, it won't be parallel. Hope this helps.
     
  10. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    Now you all know why its better to buy a higher end machine. This is a common problem with these cutters. In fact there was a board where all they did was post for fixes and tweaks for these same problems.

    --Tech
     
  11. smullen

    smullen Member

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    Aug 12, 2004
    Thanks for the obvious... Do you happen to have the link to the stuff you mentioned??? That would be helpful..
     
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