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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Sydney
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    33

    Default vinyl plotters/cutters

    Hi all,
    I'm at a point of having to purchase a vinyl cutter/plotter and am at an impasse as to what to get that can run on OSX. I need to make vinyl letters regularly and the cost of having these made seem to be what a machine is worth.
    Has anyone ever used one of these things? Even on a PC? I run a PC as well (shudder) for things I wouldn't subject the Macs to. Can anyone tell me anything as to what is the cheapest and best? Issues and pitfalls? Ease of use? Brands (chinese)? Software? Illustrator drivers are expensive!
    Any help would be welcome guys.
    vincent

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    588

    Default

    The issue with compatibility of the cutter is not with the computer (Windows or Mac) but the software. Naturally the port has to be the same. I think most new ones are probably usb now.
    you can however use a usb to parallel/serial cable for the older ones.

    Not much out there software wise as far as I can see for the Mac though. large range for windows.

    Stick with the main brands of cutters (Roland Mimaki etc.) as they seem to give the least trouble.
    Some seem to have luck with the cheaper Chinese cutters on ebay others not.

    Software wise all for windows varies from cheap to expensive.
    One cheaper option is an add on for Illustrator to run the plotter.
    Another cheap option is Vinyl Master Pro for $499 Sign Software and Supplies for Vinyl Cutters and InkJet Printers - Future Corporation Limited
    You can get a demo cd sent out to try.
    The other end of the software market is Flexisign etc that runs into the thousands.

    The Roland brand has some small (stika) model cutters that come with some software that may suit your need. Roland DG Australia Pty. Ltd
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  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Sydney
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    33

    Default

    Thanks for the op and info. Yes, the Mac software is expensive and I wonder if most of the bundled packages like Artcut, etc.that come with the cheaper models are OK.
    You see, I'm thinking of getting a plotter to use for my own projects and not for commercial service. I use large vinyl lettering as stencils and it runs up to a few hundred a month so I'm considering a cheaper option. The Chinese cutters are hit and miss as you say but are a fraction of the Roland cost - 400-600 compared with 2000-6000. I'm happy to use the pC I suppose but am wondering as to what pitfalls to look out for- setup, learning curve, etc.
    Any ideas?

  4. #4

    Default

    Sounds like a job for Parallels/Bootcamp/Fusion!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
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    588

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vbutron View Post
    Thanks for the op and info. Yes, the Mac software is expensive and I wonder if most of the bundled packages like Artcut, etc.that come with the cheaper models are OK.
    You see, I'm thinking of getting a plotter to use for my own projects and not for commercial service. I use large vinyl lettering as stencils and it runs up to a few hundred a month so I'm considering a cheaper option. The Chinese cutters are hit and miss as you say but are a fraction of the Roland cost - 400-600 compared with 2000-6000. I'm happy to use the pC I suppose but am wondering as to what pitfalls to look out for- setup, learning curve, etc.
    Any ideas?
    I can't claim to know anything about the Chinese cutters or the software that comes with them.

    Here's a couple of forums that may help though

    Signs101.com - Powered by vBulletin

    Signforums.com (Powered by Invision Power Board)

    Setup & learning curve shouldn't be an issue for just lettering. Anything more than that just involves learning like any software.

    Basically involves plugging in the cutter and selecting the cutter brand and model in the software. Not much on the cutters just cutting pressure & speed etc. to set. Pretty basic.

    Vinyl Master Pro wold be worth looking at as a free demo I think.
    Comes with some other software and demo movies. They'll send one out or a local sign supply company might have the cd's.

    No reason you can't use Parallels/Bootcamp/Fusion as marc suggested.

    I use flexisign in parallels and that works ok.
    Mac Pro 2.8GHz 8 core 10.8 64GB iPhone 5 iPad3 3G 16GB
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  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Sydney
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    Default

    Thanks guys - great help. I'll get my head down into these forums and ideas.
    Why bother the mac I say. Export to PC export to plotter!
    Cheers

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vbutron View Post
    Thanks guys - great help. I'll get my head down into these forums and ideas.
    Why bother the mac I say. Export to PC export to plotter!
    Cheers
    Use what ever setup works best for you. I use the Mac because I can then multitask on the one computer.

    Those forums are a great source of information.

    Feel free to ask if you have any further questions and I'll try to help.
    Mac Pro 2.8GHz 8 core 10.8 64GB iPhone 5 iPad3 3G 16GB
    MacBook Pro 3.0 GHz 13" retina

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    Default

    For cutting headstone sandblasting masks using a Mac I've used Illustrator with the Roland GX-24. From memory, the plugin needed was on a disk in the box but you could dowload it anyway.

  9. #9

    Default

    Really happened, it is my pleasure to answer this question for you, I a few days ago with easy cut studio software, it running on the Mac, it works well, I can give you solve problems at work.

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