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  • The best weeding pattern?

     Gordon Smithard updated 6 months ago 7 Members · 15 Posts
  • Simon Worrall

    July 21, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    The perfect weeding pattern?

    Hi everyone.

    I find this to be the best weeding pattern I have ever used.

    The cut line down the middle between the letters divides the weeding box in half, and you can pull the top and bottom away from the word itself and the letters have much less of a tendency to follow the waste up off the backing sheet, which is a real problem with some vinyls. It seems you can never get the cutting pressure exactly right.

    I saw it a long time ago as a plug in for one of the proprietory sign making programs, I cant remember which one, and I have been trying to reproduce it in Illustrator ever since, I just can seem to get Illustrator to automatically get rid of the cut line through the middle of the letters. I still have to do this by clicking and deleting each segment.

    For this reason I only use this method when its going to be a real time saving, ie loads of the same sentence repeated.

    Here is the sequence I use to get this pattern:

    1. Outline the text

    2. Draw a horizontal line through the middle of the text

    3. Select all : pathfinder; outline. This divides everything into segments.

    4. INDIVIDUALLY Delete the line segments where it cuts through any part of each letter. (ugh!)

    5. Draw a weeding box round everything.

    Does anybody know of a better way to achieve this? The actual weeding is sooo much easier and quicker, specially with very small letters. But setting it up takes away much of that advantage.

    Thanks muchly.

  • Robert Lambie

    July 21, 2021 at 10:45 pm

    I “think” I know what you mean, in Signlab it is called Easyweed.

    you can take any text or graphic and just drag as many cut lines as you want into the path of the vector and it turns into a cut line for you to make easy weeding.

    you can have one line or a hundred lines to divide it up. is this what you mean mate?

  • Simon Worrall

    July 21, 2021 at 11:18 pm

    Yeah thats the one Rob!

    Without forking out thousands for Signlab, how can this be done in Illustrator?

  • Simon Worrall

    July 21, 2021 at 11:36 pm

    I think I ve got it…the TRIM command seems to do it…

  • Simon Worrall

    July 21, 2021 at 11:38 pm

    Except it leaves a double line! Back to the drawing board!

  • Jamie Wood

    July 22, 2021 at 8:11 am

    Which plotter do you have? FineCut for Mimaki has this built in, as does Cutting Master for Graphtec. It might be worth checking your plotter plug-in to see if it has it.

  • Martyn Heath

    July 22, 2021 at 9:27 am

    Yes as jamie said, cutting master has it built in. Does everyone use weed boxes? not something ive ever used, i just normally scalpal a line down the middle as i go

    • Richard Wills

      July 22, 2021 at 7:31 pm

      We use weed border all the time for smaller text panels, as we can tell the client (mostly galleries), or work with them to determine what the ideal offset is, so, 1″ from top and left (and bottom and right…). Uses more vinyl, but speeds up installation, and is a value added service. For stuff that might be sat around for a week or two, having the weed border, plus a couple of mm of vinyl helps to keep the app tape looking tidy.

  • Simon Worrall

    July 22, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    It must be a later version that has it. I went back to cm2 because the inbuilt delays on the buttons on the later versions really frustrate me. I might have to revisit.

  • Cian Byrne

    July 22, 2021 at 8:10 pm

    Just tried this out and it seems to work. Images attached.

    1 Outline Font, make it a colour

    2 Draw a box behind the font. Pick a colour that different to text

    3 Duplicate the box, change to another colour and drag it halfway. Doing it that way because if you draw 2 boxes and butt them together you can end up with 2 cut lines right next to each other, this will give you a single line in the end.

    4. Select everything, and use Pathfinder Divide tool. This splits the artwork up in individual pieces

    5. Click one of the black text pieces using the Direct Selection Tool, and go to menu Select>Same>Fill Colour. This will select all the text pieces.

    6. Back to Pathfinder, use the Unite Tool. This joins the text back together.

    7. Select everything, take off fill, and put on stroke.

    Hopefully that works for you.

    • Simon Worrall

      July 22, 2021 at 11:11 pm

      Thanks Cian, nearly there, but this leaves me with double lines: Second image pulled apart to show…

  • Simon Worrall

    July 22, 2021 at 11:21 pm

    I think Ive almost got it now:

    1.Outline text, horizontal line through middle of text, line must be BEHIND text.

    2. Select all.

    3. Pathfinder:merge.

    4. Draw weeding box around everything.

    5. There is stll some double lines inside the text islands to clean up though, but they come up without any fill colour, so its easy enough to select them all together and delete them.

  • Gordon Smithard

    July 25, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    I’ve been using Signlab for 16 years now and had no idea that this feature was on there. It’s called ‘Power Weed’ on my version and I knew it added a weed line between lines of text etc but never knew it could go through the centre of text/ objects like this. Will make some of my jobs a bit easier now I know this.

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