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  • Corel Draw v Flexi v Onyx 22

    Posted by Paul Hughes on March 28, 2024 at 8:35 pm

    I’ve only been in the sign business for 4 years and I’ve used Flexi 19/21 since day one. However, I’m beginning to contemplate moving away from subscription and purchase standalone Corel Draw and Onyx RIP. I’m inviting opinions for and against my direction of travel, so please anyone with an opinion, please share them with me. I currently operate a single HP330 latex and Graphtec CE7000-130 so which version of Onyx will be sufficient for my needs? Many thanks, Paul

    David Hammond replied 2 weeks, 1 day ago 3 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • David Hammond

    March 28, 2024 at 9:08 pm

    I have a 335 and FC8600, run through Onyx. Having used Versaworks and Signlab VPM previously, it’s the best RIP software I have used and certainly production based.

    • Paul Hughes

      March 28, 2024 at 9:39 pm

      David, thanks for your thoughts. What version of Onyx would you suggest would meet my needs ie single HP printer, single Graphtec cutter. Thanks Paul

      • David Hammond

        March 29, 2024 at 7:02 am

        I’m using PosterShop 22, although not on a monthly subscription.

        What I like:
        Quick sets – I have preset settings for things like PVC banners, that adds eyelet marks, hemming marks, trim marks. Granted something VPM did, but Versaworks didn’t.

        I have the same for Print and Cut, where it just adds the registration marks – Something I could do in VPM, and I could do in Versaworks but only with a Roland Cutter.

        I have 1 customer who orders 1000’s of stickers from me, but they could be random amounts, 50x 1, 25 x1. So imposing them up in illustrator isn’t really an option. I drag them into Onxy, tell it how many, and it nests them all together.

        The user interface is cleaner, and more user friendly, from the off it feels much more commercial.

        It works perfectly with our HP, it syncs media between the printer and the rip.

        Some other really nice features I like, but don’t use all that often.

        Tile mapping. You can tile a wall graphic, then export a PDF map of the tiles. Hand that to the installer and label up each drop, they know the size of each drop, which drop is which, what overlaps you’ve given.

        Job cards/notes, you can add job notes, numbers, etc and have them printed as a “job card”, so if you’re boxing up orders to ship out slap the job ticket on the box so you know which is which.

        Archive – You can archive jobs, I have used this when I’ve done a fleet of vehicles, I can then pull the archived job into Onyx and print it, using the EXACT same settings as the original order.

        In the cutting studio you can delete paths, as there’s nothing more annoying than printing a job, then realising there’s a stray cut path, or double cut path… click the path, press delete and it’s gone.

        Scheduled printing – Something I’ve not used, but can see why in more productive environments it would work well. You can tell Onxy when the print the jobs – Mine is set to operator, but if I was printing mostly PVC banners, I can load the roll of banner, add my artwork through the quickset (so no further input from me), and the Onyx will either, wait until a set time before it starts printing, or once a % of the media is filled with files. So thoughout the day you can add more and more orders, and Onxy will nest away, minimsing waste, then start printing. I’m not sure if you can set up ‘hot folders’ so you can just save files into a folder and Onyx does the rest.

        One thing that does irritate me is the preview:

        If I’m printing a Print & Cut Job, sometimes I don’t want to print everything at once, using the same reg marks and cutting it as one ‘cut file’. My reason being that if something goes wrong laminating, I’ve ruined the whole job, where as if it’s grouped in smaller bits, it’s only a section I need to reprint.

        Onyx will do this, I just add the bits I want to print, nest them together, and send it to print, but whilst that is printing I want to add the next elements to print, I can add it but the preview shows the printing job, so I can’t see how the next bits are going to nest until it’s finished printing/processing the first.

        It sounds trivial, but does bug me, I might be printing panel infills that don’t need cutting, then want to nest some logo’s or text that needs to be cut, and can’t preview that until it’s finished doing it’s thing. You can use the job editor, but I’ve not had much success with that.

  • Robert Lambie

    March 29, 2024 at 12:01 am

    I have been using Signlab for 25+ years.
    It is by far the best and easiest signmaking software I have used in my 33 years in signmaking.
    Due to already working with Photoshop, I never really got into using Signlab for raster images or printing directly from it because that never became available until Signlab v6 came about. I started from Signlab v4, and I think we are on Signlab v10 now.
    However, the fact that you can Design, Cut, Print, Router and much more all within one dedicated software specifically created for the sign industry around 30 years ago, speaks volumes.

    It is also a Modular software. so you only use the modules that you require.

    We moved through a series of printers, wax ribbon, thermal, solvent, roll-fed UV, flatbed UV and latex, so we have used various RIP-style software, but on purchasing the UV flatbed it came with ONXY 11 and found it pretty easy to use so have kept with that since. However, recently we lost our Onyx DVD with the software on it and found ONYX very unhelpful and pretty much forced us to their pay monthly software, which in some ways I find limited, although it does have a slightly nicer interface, i don’t like being forced to do anything, especially after paying around £2000 for the original ONYX.

    Back to Signlab, it comes with a free timelapse full version of the software. I would suggest trying that, but watch some of the many tutorial videos because you don’t want to waste time learning the software whilst it’s on a timer.

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