Vinyl Cutter-US Cutter Refine MH-720
|Vinyl Cutter-US Cutter Refine MH-720|
|Documentation||Some awful software can be found here:
A good tutorial on the basics of weeding and application is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjqH0rfTCMM
Generally, nose around youtube and you can teach yourself the process in a few minutes!
- Design your sticker,sign, or shirt. You will need access to vector graphics software to do this. (Illustrator, Coral Draw, Inkscape, or SK1)
- Export as a vector format, but not SVG. (For Inkscape, EPS format works fairly well, but HPGL seems to work better, particularly for files containing text, so long as you check the "mirror Y axis" checkbox)
- Turn on cutter at the power strip and the red switch on its left side.
- Use the V+/V-/F+/F- arrow keys to set speed to 8 in/s and force to 40g.
- Move the 3 levers in the back to the up position so you can feed in the vinyl.
- Vinyl feeds face-up, in from the back and out the front. The cut will start at the silver stylus - position accordingly.
- You will want to use vinyl wide enough to fit under at least 2 of the rollers, so that it doesn't twist while cutting.
- Move the 3 levers in the back to the down position to hold the vinyl in place.
- Open FlexiSign Pro and import your file. (Don't worry about size and position just yet. TWSS.)
- File->Cut/Plot... (Ctrl+L)
- If asked, choose "MH-721_3@COM4"
- In the Cut/Plot dialog, you can adjust size and position. (The bottom-right corner corresponds to the silver stylus / origin.)
- Click the "Send" button at the bottom-right to print/cut.
- After the cut is finished, move the 3 levers in the back to the up position so you can remove the vinyl.
- Pay for the vinyl you cut ($2 per linear Foot sign vinyl and $2.50 per linear foot for shirt vinyl. Scraps are free.
- Use a pen knife to to crop to size if necessary. Scraps can go in the scrap bin.
- Use picks to peel out the vinyl that you don't want in the final product.
- Apply transfer tape to the surface, carefully lift the sticker from its backing using the tape, and apply to target of choice, squeegeeing out any air bubbles.
- Or for shirt vinyl, apply to shirt with heat press.
InkCut method for those who prefer open-source software
You may do run this on your own laptop or the Toshiba in the vinyl zone.
Setup for use on your own laptop
- Make sure your favorite Linux distribution is operating properly
- Use your package mangler to install inkscape, pyserial, (FIXME: other python modules which you probably need but I can't remember)
- Download InkCut from http://sourceforge.net/projects/inkcut/files/InkCut-1.0.tar.gz/download and extract its contents to ~/.config/inkscape/extensions/
- Open your design in Inkscape. Almost any file that contains vector graphics data can be imported. SVG is preferred since Inkscape converts everything to SVG anyway.
- Confirm that your dimensions are correct if you imported from anything that isn't SVG.
- Select the shapes (and only those shapes) you want to cut and make sure they are stored as paths, not rectangles, circles, etc. (Path --> Object to path)
- If you have rectangles, do this to make them cut more nicely: Path --> Simplify (Inkscape does not necessarily close rectangles and InkCut deals with open shapes poorly)
- Select the shapes of the color you want to cut
- Extensions --> Cutter/Plotter --> InkCut v1.0
- Note that InkCut has some window layer issues... you may have to drag Inkscape around to uncover some of its dialogs. You'll see what I mean when suddenly everything stops working.
- Set position with the X-Axis and Y-Axis. Remember that the lower left corner of the preview screen is where the knife is sitting right now: the lower right corner of the cut area on the vinyl. Bend your mind around until this makes sense.
- Look at the Options tab. Note that most of these knobs do absolutely nothing because there is no code written for them yet (project anyone?). Make sure that "Send to cutter/plotter" is checked.
- Load vinyl in plotter as above.
- Click Plot Paths. This opens up a window where you can preview the HPGL if you want. (FIXME: Does adding !ST1; after initial IN; fix anything if cutting fails?)
- Click Send and make a note of what happens.
- Does the cutter start cutting your design?
- Does the cutter finish your design exactly as you expected?
- Does it get partway and suddenly slice through all the unused vinyl and stop at a random point in space?
- Does InkCut just hang for more than a couple minutes?
- Does InkCut die immediately with either an error message or Inkscape telling you that there was an error message but not let you see it?
- Does the Send window go away very quickly and return to the main Inkcut window without actually doing any cutting?
- Record your results. This process needs debugging. Mention it on IRC too.
- Play around with it a little and see if you can get it to fail in a different way.
- Why won't the plotter start after hitting the "Send" button?
- Good question. Seems like a failed file gets stuck in a waiting directory and that keeps any additional files from getting plotted. The junk failed file(s) must be removed before the plotter will accept new files.
|Matt Arnold||good||Zone Coordinator|
|Bacon||The leader of the Vinyl Revolution|
|Fireman Dave||Master Vinyl Cutter|