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Software for Graphics pro but cutting newbie

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by proalias, May 13, 2007.

  1. proalias

    proalias New Member

    May 13, 2007
    Hi guys,

    A while back, I bought a PCut 630 cut plotter on eBay (for some ridiculously cheap price). Anyway, I'm using it to cut flex heat transfer for ironing on to t-shirts. I must say, despite being pretty low-end and taking some work to get going, the PCut is a pretty nice bit of kit for the price - I know it's not pro gear, but I'm basically at the hobby level and couldn't justify spending the money for a pro level cutter. I still am amazed by the whole cutting process - I think it's amazing the speed the design gets cut out and how cool the end results look.

    Anyway - my problem is that I have some general issues with software. I didn't get any software with it, apart from some vary basic Serial/USB
    drivers. So I've been looking around for some decent software to use with it.

    Now, I'm a professional graphics guy - (I usually do web stuff) so I'm familiar with vector art and all the design side, and I understand the limits of the medium. However, I'm generally pretty unaware of how the software ecosystem for plot cutters looks. I had kind of expected it to work basically like a printer - e.g. just do the design in illustrator, select print, and send it to the plotter. However, I have discovered that it's a lot more complicated than that.

    I've seen loads of different tools, and I'm finding it difficult the determine which ones are any good. To be honest, they *all* look pretty amateurish to me, as I'm used to the likes of photoshop and illustrator, and really would be happy with something that just integrated with my vector editing program (Illustrator) and acted like a printer driver. I'm not a fan of Corel Draw, although I've got it going to try out Signtools, (which I'm not really blown away by either).

    Anyway - I don't need lettering, any fancy text effects, drawing tools, autotrace - bascially anything that's already done in Illustrator I don't want, I just want to take my finished design in illustrator, and send it to print, maybe with some plot specific calibration options supplied.

    Is there an industry standard type program that is used by the pros? And if so, will it work with a low end machine like the PCut 630? I'm hoping that I can get a decent setup going on, and I just need to get the software fit right.

    Thanks in advance guys,

    p.s. I am fully aware that the PCut is a low end piece of crap, so please don't respond just to tell me that!
  2. Ken

    Ken Major Contributor

    Feb 7, 2005
    I don't use it but I hear that CoCut should fill the gap for you.
    My PCut came with WinPC Sign( letter12) and I find it capable enough.
  3. proalias

    proalias New Member

    May 13, 2007
    Cool - that looks like exactly what I'm after. Just one thing - do you know whether it works with the latest version of Illustrator? (CS3 - website only mentions CS2 but it is quite new...)
  4. Flame

    Flame Major Contributor

    Apr 26, 2006
    The new CoCut should work fine with your software.

    There is WORLDS beyond just clicking a "cut" button. Trust me.

    Try CoCut out though, it's one of the easier ones to learn and it works quite well.
  5. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

    Jun 24, 2003
    they will give you a 30 day trial,, it is fully functional.. you will love it..

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