Contour Cutting with Graphetec CE5000 cutter for vinyl letter decals

Vinyl letter decals

Graphtec CE5000 SeriesSetting up your contour cuts for cutting on a Graphtec CE5000 Series plotter is done either in ROBO Master Pro, the stand-alone program for cutting with the Graphtec CE5000 Series plotters, Illustrator, or CorelDRAW.Illustrator or CorelDRAWWhen setting up your graphic in Illustrator or CorelDRAW, create your graphic, and then either a)user a part of your graphic as your cutting path, or b) create a new cutting path around (or even within) your graphic.Make sure your page is set up for the size of paper you will be printing.Place your graphic lower on the page (if using portrait) or more to the left of the page (if using landscape).In Illustrator, go to File -> Cutting Master 2 ->Registration Marks.In CorelDRAW, go to the Application Launcher and select Registration Marks.Adjust the settings as you’d like them, and hit OK. Your registration marks will now show up on your page.Keep in mind that you need to leave space, not only for your margins, but also at the top (portrait) or right (landscape) of your page so that you leave room for the difference in space between your pinch rollers and your blade on your plotter. This can take a few tries to get right, and can be incredibly frustrating until you get the hang of it. You are now ready to print and cut.For more complete instructions on how to Print & Cut with a Graphtec CE5000 Series plotter using either Illustrator or CorelDRAW, download this PDF:
http://www.cemagraphics.com/plottert…tingMaster.pdf
ROBO Master ProTo set up for contour cutting in ROBO Master Pro, create your graphic in whatever graphics program you have. If you’re working with a vector program, you can create your cutting paths, too.Export your graphic (without cutting paths) as a raster file like a JPG or BMP. If you created cutting paths, export those as a DXF (without your graphic).If you created cutting paths in your graphics program, in ROBO Master Pro, go to File -> Load DXF. Then set up your page and registration mark settings. Then import your image by going to Insert -> File. You then need to line your cutting path and your image up manually, which is kind of a pain as there’s no live preview of where you’re moving your path or image.If you want ROBO Master Pro to create your cutting paths automatically, select and right-click on your graphic and select “Get Ouline”. Adjust your settings or even edit your bitmap (in black and white), then press “Convert to Outline”. The biggest difference between creating your cutting paths in ROBO Master Pro vs CutStudio is that you’re given the option to create your paths as “Outer Frame Only”, in which none of your inner elements (areas that show up as white in the bitmap editing window) are converted to paths…only the outline, whereas in CutStudio, it seems, you don’t have that option. Press “Paste then Exit”.Set up your page size and registration mark settings and move your graphic to within your regisrtation marks, making sure that your graphic doesn’t extend beyond your reg marks and no part of your graphic that will print is within the little cross-hatched areas of your page (in your reg marks).You’re now ready to print and cut.PrintingPrint as you normally would in any of these programs. If you’re printing an inkjet transfer for light fabrics, what I would do in any of these programs is mirror your image in your design program, along with your cutting paths, then save.Remember not to print your cutting paths.
CUTTING withGraphtec CE5000 SeriesIllustrator or CorelDRAW:

Load your printed media into your plotter with the side that has the space to the TOP. If you’re cutting most inkjet transfers, use a carrier sheet. You can place your pinch rollers either on your printed media or on your carrier, it doesn’t matter.
In Illustrator, go to File -> Cutting Master 2 ->Cut/Plot.
In CorelDRAW, go to your Application Launcher and press Cut/Plot.
Make sure your cutting orientation is set up properly for your particular print (if portrait, make sure that you cut normally and for landscape, make sure your cuts are rotated.
Also, make sure your mirroring is set to normal, not mirrorred.Go to your Layers/Colors tab and either select your cutting paths layer and deselect all others, or select your cutting path’s color and deselect all others (I like to use No Fill for my cutting paths.)
Now go to your last tab and make sure “Use Registration Marks” checked.Hit Send.
You will now have a little popup that tells you to align your blade to your first registration mark.
Do that using the arrow keys on your plotter.
Make sure your blade is positioned about mid-way on either line of your lower-right reg mark.
Go back to your computer and hit OKYour machine will now attempt to read each of your reg marks and then cut.Done.ROBO Master ProIn ROBO Master Pro, make sure your output setting are correct, then send to your cutter.
You will then need to go through the same proceedure as above with setting your blade above your first regisrtation mark, go back to your computer, and hit OK.
Again, it will attempt to find your registration marks, and then cut.Done.
Conclusions:
Some people may have different methods than described above. If you use another method, please post it here.
As far as setting up your graphic and cutting paths, I prefer to do things in CorelDRAW.
Personal preference, and everyone has their own.I really like the way I can work from CorelDRAW with our Graphtec, and I have a nice little system set up.
But…I REALLY hate the way I and so many other people get regirstation mark read errors so often.
This machine really takes finesse.
Another thing I like about contour cutting on the Graphtec is that you can maximize your printing area by using a carrier sheet and placing your pinch rollers on the carrier sheet.
What I really hate, tho, is the two-step process of sending your cuts to the plotter and then needing to position your blade over your first reg mark, and for this reason alone, I LOVE contour cutting with the Roland!I had ONE read error with the Roland, and it was my mistake.
I put the pinch rollers on the carrier sheet once, not realizing that they NEEDED to be on the printed sheet. Easy enough to fix.Another thing…with the Graphtec, especially in the beginning until you’re used to the way it works, I suggest importing your graphics into ROBO Master Pro and doing your cutting from there.
You will know that your registration marks are where they need to be in order to not get read errors.
It’s a pain to use ROBO Master Pro if you want to use your own cutting paths, but it will save many headaches as you’re actually trying to cut.As far as software goes…I think it’s a wash.
I like some of the features of ROBO Master Pro (especially the way you automatically create cutting paths and bitmaps importing at the proper size), but I prefer almost everything else in CutStudio.
Overall, I think the Roland wins, hands-down, because of ease of cutting.
Both of them take a little bit of work to get your graphics set up properly, and I do prefer the way I can use CorelDRAW, but having all of those reg mark read errors has really gotten to me.
If you plan on using a lot of contour cutting in your business, do yourself a favor and buy a GX-24. For Contour Cutting, this machine is a dream come true.