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What is the best cutter for JV33?

Discussion in 'Mimaki' started by stickerman12, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. stickerman12

    stickerman12 Member

    Mar 16, 2011
    Upstate South Carolina
    I recently purchase a used JV33-160 and now need to purchase a cutter to cut my prints. I use Rasterlink pro 5 as a rip, CorelDraw and Illistrator for design. I would like to be able to use the cutter for cutting unprinted vinyl but most important, I need to be able to conture cut my prints in fairly long runs - at least 12 feet. I have a limited budget of around $2700 so it will be a used cutter.

    I need advice on which brand and models (from end users please) will be the best fit. Will I need extra software to make it a seamless process for print/cut ?

    I have looked at Mimaki cg130 and Graphtec 5000. Also the computer is a i3 quad core with Windows7.

    Thanks for any help

  2. FatCat

    FatCat Very Active Member

    Feb 12, 2007
    Columbus, Ohio
    The cutter won't be that big of an issue. Mimaki cg130 and the Graphtec 5000 will work, but also so would a Graphtec 7000 or 8000 series, any Summa and any Roland Gx series. (I'm sure there are a few others, but those are the big boys.) You basically just need a cutter with an optical eye to read the registration marks printed by your printer, which is how it knows where to cut.

    I've never used Rasterlink, so I don't know what works/what doesn't with it.
  3. stickerman12

    stickerman12 Member

    Mar 16, 2011
    Upstate South Carolina
    Hey thanks FatCat. that is pretty much what I thought but which one gives you the best optical eye registration on longer runs?

    Also how is that Us Tech laminator working for you? I have looked at getting one of those
  4. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    I have both a Mimaki JV3 and a JV33 (both 63"). For years with just the JV3 we used a Mimaki CG-130FX cutter which worked great. When we got the JV33 it came bundled with a Summa S160T (bank repo's) so since the Summa has a true tangenital cutting head and wider width we sold the CG-130FX.

    Both are excellent cutters, both have optical sensors. However - both need different types of registration marks. The type of registration marks is depending on what the cutter needs and has nothing to do with the printer. Your RIP or whatever you are using to create the cut path must be able to add the correct marks for your cutter for print/cut work.

    We use Flexi pro which handles this very nicely. No idea on Rasterlink combined with whatever the cutter comes with (FineCut, etc.)....

    That being said - the Summa does have considerably better tracking over long runs but even at 12 feet it's not going to be perfect every time. No cutter will be perfect every time on print/cut jobs of that length except maybe a flatbed. There is simply too much material having to be moved back and forth. Once in a while you will get a dead on cut on something that long but more often than not on print/cut jobs over about 6 feet it is going to be off some. Best to always build in a nice 1/8 to 1/4 inch bleed outside (and hopefully some solid bleed from the main design inside the cutline as well) the cutline when running a print/cut job that long for safety.

    Or you could always hand cut. We have hand cut many very long print/cut stripe designs where we just have little room for error or being able to add bleeds. Not fun but you have to account for that when considering and quoting the job.

    That being said - the Mimaki CG-FX cutters are excellent solid well made cutters. The Summa's are tad better. I've run both for years now so that is the opinion of an actual user of both. However on print/cut jobs I'm not sure what sort of registration marks are available for non-Mimaki cutters using Rasterlink.

    By the way - welcome to S101. I'me just down the road from you in Columbia. Actually visit Gaffney about once a year - my wife was born up there and she has some family up there. :)
  5. k.a.s.

    k.a.s. Very Active Member

    Aug 8, 2003
    NE ohio
    I have a JV-33 with a CG-130 cutter, I also use rasterlink and fine cut. The whole thing works very well, the plotter has done everything I need it to. I will say that it does not track real great after about 8' but most thing your cutting arent that long. I also have a Graphtec that is going on 15 years old and it has been an incredible workhourse, so I would trust their products as well.

  6. chrisphilipps

    chrisphilipps Merchant Member

    Jun 5, 2009
    Wharton, NJ
    Since you need such a long cut length I would not recommend the Graphtec CE5000. That plotter is more along the lines of an entry level plotter that Graphtec put the RMS sensor in. It will work ok on most small contour jobs but you will have issues with 12' runs. The Mimaki CG130 will probably be better for what you are looking to do. I am not familiar with how Raster link would handle contour cutting but I know that Mimaki has a plug in for Illustrator and CorelDraw called Fine Cut that will allow you to contour cut.
  7. stickerman12

    stickerman12 Member

    Mar 16, 2011
    Upstate South Carolina
    Hey thanks to everyone for taking their time to give me some detailed insight for me to make my choice. It's great to have a place like this to ask questions and share ideas. To think that 15 or so years ago this was not even possible.

    Sightline next time you are up this way and have time, stop in and see us:thankyou:

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