• Vinyl Cutters

    Posted by John & Dawn Roddick on December 7, 2002 at 8:54 pm

    The cutter we currently have is a Houston DMP66C which we bought second hand this year. I am lead to believe that it is very old, although has not been worked very hard. What is the approx. lifespan of a cutter with “light” usage?

    Does anyone have any opinions/recommendations on what could be it’s replacement? So far we have had no problems with it so probably won’t replace it until we have to – unless an opportunity arises which we can’t let pass us by.

    Dawn

    Liam Caulfield replied 18 years, 9 months ago 7 Members · 15 Replies
  • 15 Replies
  • Robert Lambie Robert Lambie

    Member
    December 7, 2002 at 9:02 pm

    i favour graphtec john… brilliant machines (hot)

    we have used roland and spandex models for the last 17 years at our company…

    we have a 24″ roland.. has been pushed very hard all its life… and thats about 9 years now… still going strong although a motor was replaced a few years ago…
    old models of most machines should outlive the new versions of same machines… in a nutshell the old models were made better…

  • John Childs

    Member
    December 7, 2002 at 11:04 pm

    I had an Aristo AG50 which I bought twelve years ago. It put out an awful lot of work and made me an incredible amount of money before being put out to grass two years ago.

    I only replaced it because things had moved on and I needed something wider and faster. Even now, I’ve given it to a friend of mine who is still putting it to useful work.

    We are currently using a wide Roland for friction stuff and a Summagraphics T1010+ for either friction or sprocketed vinyl. Both do the job but the Summagraphics has better software.

  • Henry Barker

    Member
    December 7, 2002 at 11:43 pm

    I have 2 older Gerber plotters and bought a SummaSign Pro T series cutter with OPOs a couple of years ago, its also built in a heavy duty fashion, doesn’t feel all plasticky like so many machines, is running daily and trouble free.

    I also looked at the Graphtec full width machine before buying the Summa, and liked it, it was quite abit cheaper but lacked the tangential head and OPOs, and I wanted a T machine for cutting rubber sandblast resist.

    The market is full of good stuff today, Mutoh is another, I guess you have to see who will best serve you in your area, and find a machine to suit your needs.

  • Tim Shaw

    Member
    December 8, 2002 at 4:41 pm

    We have Summa D1300, ecellent machine especially for long tracking runs.

    A Mutoh 1300, really good for lots of intricate stuff that needs cutting fast, I try to use the Summa for the longer, less intricate stuff.

    We also have a Graphtec and I absolutly HATE it, once we found out the knife holder/,blade needs oiling quite regularly it has started performing much better.
    The one really major flaw with the Graphtec is it’s inability to cut give the maximum cutting width from any piece of material, due to be very bad spacing of the rollers.

  • Martin Pearson

    Member
    December 8, 2002 at 5:42 pm

    Tim, I have a graphtec plotter and have never had any problems with cutting odd sized pieces of vinyl. As I havent been in the business very long I dont have any experience with any other type of plotter so cant make comparisons, but the graphtec has been great as far as I am concerned, a lot of it will probably come down to what sort of support you are going to get locally as Henry says.
    What part of the Holder/knife are you suppose to oil Tim ? Its not something I do but if you are suppose to I’d better start. We use the Edward Mathis blades in our machine does this make a difference ?

  • Robert Lambie Robert Lambie

    Member
    December 8, 2002 at 6:33 pm

    martin i dont think you will need to keep your knife holder well oiled as the edward mathias ones come in a sealed bearing unit.

    quote :

    We also have a Graphtec and I absolutly HATE it, once we found out the knife holder/,blade needs oiling quite regularly it has started performing much better.

    it is important though to clean any machine tim around the holder etc and the running gantry oiled etc… just like a car i guess… it may run but will grind to a halt at some point due to wear, tear and crud build-up!

    quote :

    The one really major flaw with the Graphtec is it’s inability to cut give the maximum cutting width from any piece of material, due to be very bad spacing of the rollers.

    tim i dont know what you mean by “major flaw”… i have a 54″ wide graphtec and the smallest size of vinyl i can let run through it is only 4″ wide… now thats good in my books… it would go smaller but cant because the two outside pinches come to meet the one in the middle… and that is about 1.5 inches wide… something every machine of its size has..”3rd pinch”

  • Tim Shaw

    Member
    December 8, 2002 at 9:19 pm

    The graphtec we have is a 610 machine.

    We had the Graphtec engineer on site, I explianed what i meant by getting the maximum cut from any piece of material, he laughed in my face when I explained what the problem was.

    Two days later he phone me to apologise.

    The flaw, if i can explain it clearly is this…

    If you put in a width of material say 500 mm you should have a maximum cutting width of approx 465-475mm. 300 mm should give about 265-275mm.

    On certain widths of material on the graphtec is is impossible to get any where near the maximum width. As an example a 200 mm piece of vinyl will only allow you to cut at a maximum of 135mm.

    As for oiling the knife holder etc. our Summagraphics is nearly 7 years old and apart from changing the blade, and a rubber roller grip, the machine as not a cause for one drop of oil. Same for the Mutoh, just the occasional roller/gripper cleaning procedure.

    The other major gripe of the GRaphtec is the stone age bearing which carry the rollers for the vinyl support. A totally pathetic set up compared to the Mutoh and Summa machines.

  • Robert Lambie Robert Lambie

    Member
    December 8, 2002 at 10:19 pm

    well until i check tommorrow i cant quote on what you say about width…
    but i do know ive never had a problem with this and nor has anyone that runs the machines ever said that this is the case. as far as i know… its 54″ wide and cuts approx 53″ wide…
    ill let you know…

    quote :

    As for oiling the knife holder etc. our Summagraphics is nearly 7 years old and apart from changing the blade, and a rubber roller grip, the machine as not a cause for one drop of oil. Same for the Mutoh, just the occasional roller/gripper cleaning procedure.

    i didnt say its not possible that you cant get away without oiling it.. i meant i would advise it anyway. the blade holder is just a blade holder…
    clean it and oil it every few months… hardly calls for it being a bad machine. i have 3 rolands various sizes… we oil and clean them also…

    quote :

    The other major gripe of the GRaphtec is the stone age bearing which carry the rollers for the vinyl support. A totally pathetic set up compared to the Mutoh and Summa machines.

    well i think the alighnment set-upthat graphtec has is brill…. the rollers?
    now really… where does that play a part that could be underlined as “major” 😆
    the machine prefeeds itself…. the rollers hold the vinyl… it uncoils then the machine pulls it back… end of rollers duty…. maybe not hitech stuff but does it need to be?
    the graphtec rollers setup is much better than that of any roland machines we have. and much more robust…

  • WP_Graphics

    Member
    December 8, 2002 at 10:41 pm

    Tim,

    Have you tried altering the margin’s in your cutting program?? sounds like they are set quite high… I’ve one of the very first graphtec’s (FC2100-50) which is a 500mm cutter and I can cut 475mm max..

    Gav

  • Robert Lambie Robert Lambie

    Member
    December 8, 2002 at 10:50 pm

    good point gav… 😉
    it maybe the page setup you have wrong

  • Martin Pearson

    Member
    December 8, 2002 at 11:14 pm

    Perhaps with your machine being older than mine Tim the set-up is different, I have a graphtec FC 4100 and the first roller is about 6″ wide, the second roller is about 3″ further along. As with Roberts machine the narrowest vinyl it will plot is 4″. I hate throwing stuff out and use all sorts of vinyl offcuts and have never had a problem. As I say maybe it is something graphtec have now put right.

  • Tim Shaw

    Member
    December 9, 2002 at 11:19 am

    ON CERTAIN WIDTHS of material, on the graphtec it is impossible to get anywhere near the maximum width. As an EXAMPLE a 200 mm piece of vinyl MAY only allow you to cut at a maximum of 135mm. Because of the roller spacing.

    I understand page margins, this is not the problem.

    As I have said the Graphtec engineer phoned me to apologise and admitted there was a problem with the spacing of the grippers.

    The knife holder problems, the poor vinyl support / roller bearings, the machine reseingt to chinese on start-up, the gripper spacing, have all mounted up, to put me off Graphtec machines.

    We have had Mimaki, Mutoh Tangential and drag knife machines, Summagraphics Tangential and Drag knife machines, two 750HS gerber plotters, a gerber 15 plus, I have used Houston machines and Camm 1 plotters and the only machine we have had any gripes with is the Graphtec.

    I am not saying it is a bad machine, as a lot of you guys are using them, I am saying the machine we have as been a nuisance and a time waster. When it is perfoming it perfoms well.

  • Liam Caulfield

    Member
    February 20, 2004 at 9:39 am

    Wee! I just picked up an old cutter from a friend last night, he didnt know what make it was cos it was buried in his garage and he hadn’t seen it for a while. Well I found out it’s a Graphtec FC2100-50. Did a quick search and this thread popped up, well now its time to dig out my old mac 8100/100 so I can actually use the connections for the cutter. Erm…well help I suppose is the next question, I have a Flexisign disc with it also.
    Any tips and hints and stuff would be greatly appreciated.

    Oh and what would you pay for one of these? We havent arranged a price yet as neither of us know how much its worth.

    We must sound like a right pair.

    Hold my hand

  • John Childs

    Member
    February 20, 2004 at 2:47 pm

    orangedog,

    Give me a call if you have problems getting the two to work together. I might be able to help.

    07860 754141

  • Liam Caulfield

    Member
    February 20, 2004 at 3:19 pm

    Thanks very much for the offer, thats great!:D Im hoping it won’t be a nightmare but you know how these things end up.

    I’ll let you know how I get on.