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  • Graphtec 8600 Could it handle cutting 170mic PET floor media?

  • Myles Brewer

    Member
    May 26, 2020 at 10:16 am

    Hi All,
    Does anyone out there have experience of cutting thicker materials like this with this plotter?
    I’ve just bought myself a 2nd hand one to finally stand down my near antique (must be nearly 25yrs old now!! :praiseyou: ) CE1000-60

    I have some of the new Drytac Polar 170 PET which I got in recently to do floor graphics. My old workhorse sadly doesn’t have the ooomphh to cut it & I’ve not yet taken delivery of the new girl yet so wondered if anyone knows if it does & if so do you use the standard blades & what sort of force settings?

    Am soooo looking forward to being able to print & cut finally rather than either cutting by hand or having to cut print vinyl down to fit the small plotter & then do manual alignment!!! what a pita!! :bangshead:

    Thanks
    Myles

  • David Hammond

    Member
    May 26, 2020 at 10:47 pm

    If it’s the FC8600 I’m sure it will.

    We cut some 440mic PVC on our older FC8000, we now have the 8600 and it’s a belting bit of kit.

    170mic isn’t much thicker than a 80mic laminate and film.

    Up the pressure at guess maybe around 20, perhaps 24, can’t remember what we cut laminated film on. It should be fine..worst case two passes. We use standard blue smart knives from Edward Mahias for everything.

    Not sure if your old CE did, but you can do a test cut that cuts current pressure, +1 & -1 pressures.

  • Simon Worrall

    Member
    May 27, 2020 at 3:47 am

    Easily.
    It also perforation cuts through the backing sheet if you want to do that. ie you can program a pattern that will cut through the vinyl layer, and then push through the backing layer leaving small tags every few mm to keep it in place, leaving you with tear-out stickers that customers can keep on a roll.
    I have even used it to cut through a layer of app tape as well.

  • David Hammond

    Member
    May 27, 2020 at 5:53 am

    Simon what do you find the best pattern for perf cutting?

    For smaller stuff we use a solid cut and use a 440mic carrier sheet.

    Always have mixed results with perf cuts.

  • Myles Brewer

    Member
    May 27, 2020 at 10:07 am

    Thanks Simon/David,
    That’s great news. I had a feeling it would & can’t wait to get my hands on it now, it will be light years ahead of my old trusty steed in so many ways I think.

    I had it at max 28 force & it wouldn’t go through the PET. You’re right that it’s not that thick as such it’s just a tougher material. I didn’t actually try a 2nd pass, mainly as the CE’s main issue is accuracy & I think it would struggle to hit the exact same mark a 2nd time

    I was looking forward to trying out the perf cut option too, a great idea if you can get it to work.

    Yes David, the old one uses the very same smart knives which I was amazed at to be honest. I’m not sure I’ll mothball it totally for a while till I at least get used to the new one & it’ll always be a handy standby should there be any issues with the 8600!!

    I’d seriously doubt the 8600 will still be going strong in 20 years time!! 😆 😆 I’d love to know how many metres have gone through the CE & it’s never had a single issue, bar changing cutting strip & pinch rollers. If the 8600 is half as reliable I’ll be happy.

    My biggest issue is where to put it! It looks like it’s going in the guest room at the moment! :yikes: Herself is not impressed with yet another large mechanical device in our home! :awkward:

  • Simon Worrall

    Member
    May 28, 2020 at 3:28 am
    quote David Hammond:

    Simon what do you find the best pattern for perf cutting?

    For smaller stuff we use a solid cut and use a 440mic carrier sheet.

    Always have mixed results with perf cuts.

    You need to do the top cut at the normal weight for your vinyl, and then double that number to plunge through the backing paper – perhaps double it and a bit more.

    The blade needs to travel about 9.5mm through the backing paper, and back up about 0.5mm for the tags.

    The better quality the backing paper, the better it works.

    Some papers are so cheap and nasty they come apart at the tags while cutting and you have to abort the job.
    I am not familiar with ‘smart knives’, but I suspect they might interfere with the process because you need to extend the knife.

  • David Hammond

    Member
    May 28, 2020 at 4:22 am

    Cheers Simon, I’ll do some experimenting with it. Previously when we did perf cuts we pre cut the path, then cut again with the perf cut your way sounds quicker and easier.

    Smart knives dont have an adjustable blade, they’re a fixed depth, just drop them in and away you go.

    Myles, both our FC’s have been great, had to have the solenoid replaced on our 8600, that was in warranty and the engineer was mythed, having never seen one fail before.

    Does your older plotter have conditions?

    You can preset conditions(speed, pressure, etc) for different media.

  • Myles Brewer

    Member
    May 28, 2020 at 5:18 pm
    quote David Hammond:

    Cheers Simon, I’ll do some experimenting with it. Previously when we did perf cuts we pre cut the path, then cut again with the perf cut your way sounds quicker and easier.

    Smart knives dont have an adjustable blade, they’re a fixed depth, just drop them in and away you go.

    Myles, both our FC’s have been great, had to have the solenoid replaced on our 8600, that was in warranty and the engineer was mythed, having never seen one fail before.

    Does your older plotter have conditions?

    You can preset conditions(speed, pressure, etc) for different media.

    Yes David, there are conditions but only two, one for a pen & the other for the blade so it’s pretty limited. But obviously within the blade settings you can adjust speed, force etc.

    The 8600 just arrived this morning so just need to give it a quick look over. I did notice the blades actually are different from the CE but it has 4 spare so no worries there.

    Out of interest do you or anyone else out there run it on Windows 10? I’m still on 7 Pro 64bit but will eventually have to update & I didn’t see Win 10 mentioned anywhere in the spec but wonder if that may be that 10 wasn’t out when the spec for the 8600 was originally written?

  • David Hammond

    Member
    May 28, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    Yes we are using windows 10.

    We use illustrator and cutting master 4 plugin.

  • Simon Worrall

    Member
    June 6, 2020 at 12:37 pm

    Thought you might like to see perf cutting in action.

  • Myles Brewer

    Member
    June 6, 2020 at 4:55 pm

    Crickey Simon!! Think I’d have had a heart attack if I’d have done that & heard that noise!!! Is it meant to do that??
    I have mine here & all set up now & appears to be working great although the general noises it makes are a little disconcerting compared to the older one! Mainly when the blade is up & the pen carriage tracks any larger distance across the plotter. It tends to make a fairly loud groaning type noise!!

    Having read through the user manual a bit now, I’m wondering what the difference is between a perf cut & pouncing? Looks like you can get a pouncing tool but presume it does the same as a regular blade?
    I, like David only have the smart knives so not sure they are ideal for perf cutting as it’s a set depth blade.

  • Simon Worrall

    Member
    June 6, 2020 at 8:49 pm

    Hehehe! Yes its loud. But it can do it all day long.

    I have the pounce thingy as well. The price of this small item will blow you away! The pounce just makes holes.

    *Important note: there are two positions for the blade, you need to put it in the outer position so it plunges into the trough and NOT into the cutting strip.

    And I suspect the smart blades wont perf cut properly.

  • Myles Brewer

    Member
    June 6, 2020 at 10:55 pm

    That’s ok then so long as its meant to sound like that!
    Yeah seems like any of the accessories are mental prices! I was looking at the media flanges that help keep it running straight on long runs & they’re £260!!!

    I think I have an original knife somewhere for the old machine actually so might see if I can find it & give it a go

  • David Hammond

    Member
    June 7, 2020 at 8:10 am

    Sounds a lot better than when we tried perf cutting, plus yours is a lot quicker.

    I need to spend some time experimenting with it.

    Our plotter groans too, I’m sure an engineer mentioned about it being the motor, if you increase or decrease the speed, it should stop it.

  • David Hammond

    Member
    June 11, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    Simon I owe you a beer! Just cutting 50 400mm floor stickers, perf cutting them a treat, much better finish that our usual method. :thumbsup:

    Even my dads impressed :smiles:

    $this->BBvideo_pass(‘$8’, ‘$4’, ‘$7’)

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