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  • Advice choosing a new cutter & suitable software

  • David Stevenson

    June 11, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    Hi, can anyone advise me regarding vinyl cutters? We’ve currently a Roland GR640 which has serious tracking problems (has had from the start) and several other annoying features. Ideally we’d like something that could deal with long printed graphics to be contour cut, cutting & perfing thousands of stickers at a time, and doesn’t need a baby sitter all the time. We’d also need a RIP to go with it capable of running a couple of Rolands (XR640 & VF2-640). Any thoughts?

    Thanks as always,


  • Jamie Wood

    June 12, 2021 at 8:01 am

    We were in a similar position last year, and ended up getting a Graphtec FC9000. It does everything you’re looking for, unattended contour cutting, and perf in the same operation. It’s also very accurate with tracking, and can be bought with an optional take-up for long runs. We use the Cutting Master plug-in with Illustrator, so you don’t necessarily need a new RIP, but you can use it with barcodes on Onyx or Caldera. If you’re definitely going to get a new RIP, my preference would be Onyx, as I prefer the workflow to Caldera. Both give very good results, but are more complex than VersaWorks. Caldera can be run on Linux or Mac, Onyx is PC only.

  • Robert Lambie

    June 13, 2021 at 12:01 am

    Several years ago I chose the top of the range, Summa cutter, with the additional £1000 take-up system for roll-to-roll print and contour cutting. Purchased from Perfect Colours and I had no end of trouble with it. I have no doubt the machine could do what it was supposed to do and in my opinion, we had a faulty machine. But Perfect Colours did not want to know. Even though they themselves couldn’t get it successfully contour cutting accurately up the width of the gantry, never mind cutting a metre or so into the roll. They never even got to show us it working using the take-up system, because the technicians they sent didn’t know how to work it. Several months later, countless wasted prints and they reluctantly agreed to take it back and give a full refund.
    We already had Graphtec cutters but we were never happy with the contour cutting accuracy over a few metres, which made me want to opt for the summa.

    Having read Jamie’s reply, I am wondering if I should stick with Graphtec!
    @Jamie-Wood do you have a latex printer?

    The reason i ask is Latex printers can distort print output slightly dependant on the media being used. You can calibrate the machine to compensate for this, but thought i would ask anyway.

    We have ONXY 11 and recent ONYX-GO, also Signlab 10.

    • Jamie Wood

      June 13, 2021 at 8:44 am

      We’re using Epson SC S86000’s at the moment.

  • Dan Evans

    June 13, 2021 at 9:36 am

    I too have the FC9000.

    I’ve also had the summa s2 tangential cutter and in my opinion the summa is head and shoulders above the Graphtec build wise.

    Why did I pick the Graphtec then?

    Convenience! And to be fair I don’t think theres much in it but the cutting master plugin is far better than Summa’s go.

    I can cut straight from illustrator without having to transfer to the Pc. This is a great help when I make those silly little errors and i need a quick fix.

    I’m a little lost in regards to the barcode though. Onyx add the barcode automatically but I can only seem to cut one at a time. If I add the barcodes in illustrator and use cutting master, I can tell it to keep looking for the barcodes after each job.

    This may well be a user issue but I can’t figure it out.

    I also have had a few issues and personally I don’t feel like Graphtec take much notice.

    My screen randomly goes blank sometimes, I have to restart the machine to get it back.

    If I use onyx to cut from cut server and then use cutting master, my step size changes. I suppose I could get around this by setting up another user on the cutter, I believe you can have two users but not worked out how yet.

    Sometimes by buttons are unresponsive and maybe a few other issues but all rectified with turning the machine off and on.

    I also

    Have issues reading barcodes, I’m not sure if this is a user error as I’ve not long had the machine but I always get timed out. Maybe someone can help but If I run some jobs through which are all the same, when I send it to the cutter and hold,do I have to change repeat to I.e 40?

    Also, if I have 20 of one job and then 5 of second job then another 5 of the first job again, it won’t scan. If I look at cutting master it says done.

    Is it a case that I have to run the job all in one go without jobs in between? I’m not sure

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