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 Post subject: My new toy!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:10 pm 
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I just thought i would share what i have been doing all day :mrgreen:

For those who are interested in the specs.
- 24" vinyl cutter/plotter Vinyl Express® R Series R24™
- Got it on ebay brand new for $400.00 shipped
- Price included software (vinyl not included)
- Included 3 blades and 1 plotter pen
- 200+ free clipart...ect

All in all I would say it was a great deal

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 Post subject: Re: My new toy!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:12 pm 
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Yea. It's a must for you selling custom puzzles.
I wish I had $400. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: My new toy!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:14 pm 
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Ooooh.... Cooool, very nice Hehe, Nice new machine for a puzzle builder :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: My new toy!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:03 pm 
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Location: Singapore
So this is a custom vinyl sheet cutter?


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 Post subject: Re: My new toy!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 7:36 pm
Location: Kokomo, Indiana USA
Will you perhaps use this to print small personalize logos for your custom puzzles that you sell?

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 Post subject: Re: My new toy!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:44 pm 
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im so confused on as to how you print on vinyl
do i need a particular printer?

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 Post subject: Re: My new toy!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:45 pm 
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I heard screen printing was required, but I'd love to hear that it's easier than that. If anyone knows I'd also love to hear.

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 Post subject: Re: My new toy!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:24 pm 
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Location: Kokomo, Indiana USA
You could always just print a small cut out in a different color and put it over the plastic. You wouldn't have to do the screen printing.

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 Post subject: Re: My new toy!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:28 pm 
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congrats! it is a really sharp tool for puzzle builders.


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 Post subject: Re: My new toy!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:02 am 
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A more expensive but better looking and more flexible alternative would be sublimation printing, although I've never tried it on contact vinyl.

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 Post subject: Re: My new toy!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:10 pm 
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Location: Evanston, IL
That looks like a really fun toy! I have a few questions.

How much does the material cost? How many colors do they offer?

What kinds of capabilities does the drawing software have? Is it equivalent to the sketch function of SolidWorks?

Also, I see that you cut out some megaminx stickers. Can you put the same sheet of material through again in order to get more stickers out of the excess material?

Congrats on a great investment! We can now expect perfect stickers from Clay & Eva.

-pi (Eitan)

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 Post subject: Re: My new toy!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:29 pm 
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pirsquared wrote:
How much does the material cost? How many colors do they offer?

Also, I see that you cut out some megaminx stickers. Can you put the same sheet of material through again in order to get more stickers out of the excess material?

I should be able to answer a couple of these questions!

The cost and color available is dependent on where you buy your rolls (or sheets) of contact vinyl. They come in just about every color, it's just really how much you want that color, because rolls are expensive, but cheaper by the amount of vinyl you get total.

And you can't reuse the material left behind. When you use a sticker plotter, what it does it cut your design through the vinyl but not the paper it's on. Afterwards, you have to do what's called weeding, where you take all the extra vinyl around your design off and it usually gets stuck to itself and makes a big mess. Then you'd use transfer tape (for the designs) and put that down over top of the sticker. You can peel the transfer tape (which is stickier to the vinyl than the original sheet of paper it's on) and place it somewhere else. When you remove the transfer tape, the vinyl SHOULD stay on what you put it on.

For puzzle stickers, I guess you could reuse the material around it, since you wouldn't have to weed the vinyl, you could just peel the stickers you need off and place them on the puzzle.

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 Post subject: Re: My new toy!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:52 pm 
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pirsquared wrote:
That looks like a really fun toy! I have a few questions.

How much does the material cost? How many colors do they offer?

What kinds of capabilities does the drawing software have? Is it equivalent to the sketch function of SolidWorks?

Also, I see that you cut out some megaminx stickers. Can you put the same sheet of material through again in order to get more stickers out of the excess material?

Congrats on a great investment! We can now expect perfect stickers from Clay & Eva.

-pi (Eitan)



-I paid $16.50 per roll and i got 12 colors
-not very much and its nothing close to solidworks
-those are stickers for my 4 layer penta but yes if i wanted to use all of the vinyl (just do some simple math)
-thanks, our stickers were always machine cut except for the first two hex domino's

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Clay: Barrel cube?...Why? It's such a Geometrical contradiction...I don't understand[/size]
Eva:?


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 Post subject: Re: My new toy!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:46 pm 
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Location: Evanston, IL
Is it possible to import a SolidWorks drawing file into the software? You might try saving the file as a DXF in SolidWorks, as most drawing programs can read it. (I think...)

Is the software proprietary? Or is it something we have heard of, like CorelDraw. We use CorelDraw on the laser cutters here at CU Boulder. It's nowhere near as good as SolidWorks, but you can import a DXF file into it and it reads it as separate hairlines, which the laser cutter interprets as places to cut.

-π (Eitan)

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 Post subject: Re: My new toy!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:53 pm 
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Location: Bay Area, CA
pirsquared wrote:
We use CorelDraw on the laser cutters here at CU Boulder. It's nowhere near as good as SolidWorks, but you can import a DXF file into it and it reads it as separate hairlines, which the laser cutter interprets as places to cut.
Well, they are completely different tools (2D vs. 3D), with different problems they are trying to solve.

The problem you get trying to cut from DXF or other 3D generated shapes is often it will be imported as a set of line and curve segments, not a continuous line. This is pretty deadly for a vinyl cutter as it stops and starts, lifting and placing the blade and in general making a mess of things. It isn't the best for a laser cutter either although not nearly as problematic (stopping and starting the laser will still generally cut although with less of a smooth edge).

On all the .DXF file I have imported from 3D designers I always just use them as a template over which to draw my own continuous line. I use InkScape (freeware) and then convert to whatever is used by the machine. At the TechShop this means converting to CorelDraw for the laser cutter and Adobe Illustrator for the vinyl cutter.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: My new toy!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:53 pm 
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Hmmm... Interesting. The only problem I have ever had with the laser cutter is that it does the fillets after doing all the line segments. Now I understand that it's because I always do the fillets last in the drawing! I'm not sure what I could do to get the machine to do each sticker in one fell swoop, but I'm pretty sure that the DXF file keeps track of the order in which you draw each component. I think the only way to make it do each sticker in one go is to draw it in CorelDraw from scratch, since it doesn't treat fillets drawn within the program as separate segments, I think.

Thanks for the info, and now, back on topic.

I'm curious how deep the blade cuts on the vinyl cutter. Does it a little bit into the backing material? Or is it calibrated so well that it goes just deep enough to go through the vinyl and not the backing?

What exactly is a plotter pen?

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Buy a Radio Cube 3! Only $150 at Eitan's Shapeways Shop
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 Post subject: Re: My new toy!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:26 pm 
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pirsquared wrote:
I'm curious how deep the blade cuts on the vinyl cutter. Does it a little bit into the backing material? Or is it calibrated so well that it goes just deep enough to go through the vinyl and not the backing?

Generally it's adjustable, and you set it so it barely cuts into the backing. I've never had to adjust the one I use (at TechShop).

Incidentally I was just told that TechShop is rethinking their "no vinyl in the laser cutter" rule. Some vinyl is now OK, but the vinyl sticker sheets have not (yet) been approved. Anyone know where to get an MSDS for these sheets?


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 Post subject: Re: My new toy!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:42 pm 
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pirsquared wrote:
Is it possible to import a SolidWorks drawing file into the software? You might try saving the file as a DXF in SolidWorks, as most drawing programs can read it. (I think...)

Is the software proprietary? Or is it something we have heard of, like CorelDraw. We use CorelDraw on the laser cutters here at CU Boulder. It's nowhere near as good as SolidWorks, but you can import a DXF file into it and it reads it as separate hairlines, which the laser cutter interprets as places to cut.

-π (Eitan)



you can upload
ai
eps
pdf
psd
DWG
ca
cdr
cmx
dmpl
DXF
ent
hpgl
Ik
fpx
jpeg/jpg
pict
pcd
wmf
png
eps
tga
txt
tiff
bmp
csx

and a plotter pen just allows me to do the same thing i do witht the blade, only NOT cutting
and i may do this on paper or what ever i can feed in the plotter

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Purchase our custom built puzzles at:
MyPuzzleStop.com


Clay: Barrel cube?...Why? It's such a Geometrical contradiction...I don't understand[/size]
Eva:?


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 Post subject: Re: My new toy!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:45 pm 
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pirsquared wrote:
Hmmm... Interesting. The only problem I have ever had with the laser cutter is that it does the fillets after doing all the line segments. Now I understand that it's because I always do the fillets last in the drawing! I'm not sure what I could do to get the machine to do each sticker in one fell swoop, but I'm pretty sure that the DXF file keeps track of the order in which you draw each component. I think the only way to make it do each sticker in one go is to draw it in CorelDraw from scratch, since it doesn't treat fillets drawn within the program as separate segments, I think.

Thanks for the info, and now, back on topic.

I'm curious how deep the blade cuts on the vinyl cutter. Does it a little bit into the backing material? Or is it calibrated so well that it goes just deep enough to go through the vinyl and not the backing?

What exactly is a plotter pen?



you can adjust the speed and pressure of the blade
ive seen someone cut cubesmith tiles with this maching

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Clay: Barrel cube?...Why? It's such a Geometrical contradiction...I don't understand[/size]
Eva:?


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 Post subject: Re: My new toy!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:12 pm 
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Clay n Eva Creations wrote:
ive seen someone cut cubesmith tiles with this maching


Wow. Did it cut the tiles in one pass? Or did it take more than one pass?

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 Post subject: Re: My new toy!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:17 pm 
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pirsquared wrote:
Clay n Eva Creations wrote:
ive seen someone cut cubesmith tiles with this maching


Wow. Did it cut the tiles in one pass? Or did it take more than one pass?


one pass but you have to get the blade cut depth just right

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Clay: Barrel cube?...Why? It's such a Geometrical contradiction...I don't understand[/size]
Eva:?


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 Post subject: Re: My new toy!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 5:45 pm 
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That is really cool. Could you cut curves in tiles? Is the blade small enough to go around curves without breaking?

Sorry for all the questions. This is such an amazing machine. I hope that someday I can get one myself, or possibly convince the engineering center here at CU to get one! (Not very likely to happen...)

-pi (Eitan)

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Buy a Radio Cube 3! Only $150 at Eitan's Shapeways Shop
Check out my video: Twisty Puzzles a la Vi



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 Post subject: Re: My new toy!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:47 pm 
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im not sure exactly what you mean by "curves"
like.....rounding corners?


as for the questions...its no problem thats basically why i posted this topic.

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Clay: Barrel cube?...Why? It's such a Geometrical contradiction...I don't understand[/size]
Eva:?


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 Post subject: Re: My new toy!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:34 pm 
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Plotters should have no problem cutting curves in tile material, IMO. The blade (at least in my high school) can rotate independently of the material moving beneath it.

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"Study gravitation, it's a field with a lot of potential."
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 Post subject: Re: My new toy!
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:06 pm 
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Location: Wilmington, NC
right, it rotates as it's "holder" moves around the guidelines it's given from the software to cut out w/e shape....but for tiles (as said above) you will need your cut depth near exact IF you can manage to load a plastic sheet in there without too much trouble, and you'd probably need a different angled blade to cut thicker material. I think we used to use a standard 45 degree blade for most our normal vinyl cutting, but had to up it to a 60 degree blade for thicker material

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