Difference between revisions of "Tools/vinylcut"

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== Introduction ==
== Introduction ==
[[File:Graphtec cc330 01.jpg|250px|thumb|Graphtec Craft ROBO CC330 Vinyl Cutter]] The Vinyl cutter can cut shapes out of self-adhesive vinyl that can be used for decorative purposes, or as a mask for chemical etching or sandblasting. [[Induction]] is not required for the vinyl cutter but it can be quite tricky to use and if you need help you can contact someone from the maintainers listed below who may be able to help. Please be aware that the blade on the bottom of the cutter is razor sharp and take care not to get cut. The manual for the vinyl cutter is [[media:CC300m-UM-151.pdf|here]].  
[[File:Graphtec.jpg|250px|thumb|Graphtec Craft ROBO CC330 Vinyl Cutter]] The Vinyl cutter can cut shapes out of self-adhesive vinyl that can be used for decorative purposes, or as a mask for chemical etching or sandblasting. It is suitable for use with thin vinyl/PVC that can't be cut on the [[Tools/laser|laser]] as PVC fumes are hazardous. [[Induction]] is not required for the vinyl cutter but it can be quite tricky to use and if you need help you can contact someone from the maintainers listed below who may be able to help. Please be aware that the blade on the bottom of the cutter is razor sharp and take care not to get cut. The manual for the vinyl cutter is [[media:CC300m-UM-151.pdf|here]].  


__TOC__
__TOC__
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! Date !! Status !! Comment
! Date !! Status !! Comment
|-
|-
| 25th October 2018 || Functional || Functioning normally following replacement of power supply
| 10th June 2019 || Functional || Functioning normally on Design Station 1 after re-installation of drivers
|}
|}


== How to use it ==
== How to use it ==
The vinyl cutter is kept in the cupboards underneath work table in the kitchen area. The vinyl cutter is used to cut self-adhesive designs of various patterns (typically text and logos) to be stuck on to a workpiece. For more advanced usage it could also be used to make stencils for chemical processes or paint.
The vinyl cutter is kept in the cupboards underneath work table in the kitchen area. The vinyl cutter is used to cut self-adhesive designs of various patterns (typically text and logos) to be stuck on to a workpiece. For more advanced usage it could also be used to make stencils for chemical processes or paint. The cutter will cut UP TO 210 mm wide, but will cut to an infinite length (assuming you can source an infinite length of vinyls).


The Vinyl Cutter uses drivers which install the device as a printer. Design Station 1 does have the corresponding drivers installed the printer is called: Graphtec CC330.
=== Preparing the Design ===
=== Preparing the Design ===
Prepare the design in Inkscape.
* You can prepare your design in Inkscape or similar 2D software some members use Adobe illustrator as there prefered tool.
 
* Set the document properties to units of mm (milimetres) - this will help you down the line and avoid confusion!
* Set the document properties to units of mm (milimetres) - this will avoid confusion!
* Draw the design actual size. Obviously fill and colour don't matter, it only cuts outlines.
* Draw the design actual size. Obviously fill and colour don't matter, it only cuts outlines.
* If the design includes text, use the "Path -> Object to path" option in Inkscape to make paths. This applies also to any other object which is not a path.
* If the design includes text, using the toolbar at the top of the page go to: "Path -> Object to path" option in Inkscape to make paths. This applies also to any other object which is not a path for example a image you have imported.
* All cut lines must be in black and with a line with of 0.25pt
* All cut lines must be in black and with a line with of 0.25pt
* Ungroup everything before cutting (Inkcut doesn't like groups)
* Ungroup everything before cutting (Inkcut doesn't like groups)
* Orientation - the cutter will cut ALONG the roll by default. This is not usually what you want for small pieces (width < 500mm). So rotate it 90 deg. If creating a very large design (e.g. 500mm high text), then leave the design "the right way up".
* Orientation - the cutter will cut ALONG the roll by default. This is not usually what you want for small pieces (width < 500mm). So rotate it 90 deg. If creating a very large design (e.g. 500mm high text), then leave the design "the right way up". (NOTE: This advice seems to be irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, but I'm keeping it in case anyone finds it helpful)
* Once everything is drawn and made into un-grouped paths, use the Inkcut extension.
* The correct driver software is installed on Design Station 1, but you can also install it on your PC (see below)


=== Setting-up the Machine ===
=== Setting-up the Machine ===
* Turn it on
* Plug the machine in to the PC via USB and into the mains
* Ensure it has connected to the PC correctly
* Turn the machine on using the power button.
* Loading vinyl - make sure that the feed clamps are clamped in appropriate places. (Feed in vinyl from the back)
* Ensure it has connected to the PC correctly by looking in the devices menu on the PC and finding the printer GraphtecCC330.
* Setting cut pressure - this is the parameter "p=" shown on the cutter screen. Set it so it cuts through the vinyl but not the backing. Use "test" button to check.
* Lift the lid in the FRONT of the machine.
* Setting the origin - set the origin to the bottom *RIGHT* corner of the working area, not the bottom left!
* The vinyl must be smooth and without major dirt, rips, wrinkles, or folds.
* Offline the cutter
* Place the vinyl straight against the rollers, and ensure the leftmost edge is pressed against the second aligning guides.
* Position the cutter head using the arrow buttons (Do not try to move manually)
<picture coming soon>
* When in correct position, press the "zero" button
* If the screen displays "Load Vinyl", press Enter, and the machine will pull in the sheet of vinyl (if anything else displays on the screen, see the "Troubleshooting" section of this wiki.  
* Put cutter back online
* Either from the printing preferences, or by clicking on the ROBO Craft icon, adjust the position of the cutter head to be in the BOTTOM LEFT corner of the sheet (the corner closest to the aligning guides), and adjust the pressure based on the thickness of the vinyl (usually in such a way that it doesn't cut through the backing sheet, just the vinyl itself, but significantly enough that it cuts all lines solidly).
* To test the machine, the "test" button cuts a small rectangle. You can use this to check (e.g. on newly loaded stock) that it's cutting through the vinyl cleanly
* DO NOT attempt to manually move any parts of the machine (for more information on manual adjustments see the "Advanced" section).
* Click the "Test" button, and watch the blade closely for any flaws (See "Troubleshooting" for more information).


=== Printing ===
* When all is prepared open the print menu of your chosen software and select GraphtecCC330.
* Go into preferences and ensure that they match the image below:
<Image coming soon>
* For more advanced settings see "Advanced".
* Ensure the back of the printer is not against a wall or obstructed by anything, and also ensure that the full length of the vinyl will not fall off the surface.
* Click print.


=== Applying Vinyl to Workpiece ===
=== Applying Vinyl to Workpiece ===
There is a roll of "transfer film" which is "sticky but not too sticky" somewhere.
There is a roll of "transfer film" which is "sticky but not too sticky" often stored in the Small Machine Room.
 
* Prepare (clean, dry, lay out etc) the workpiece.
* Prepare (clean, dry, lay out etc) the workpiece.
* Cut the vinyl to size with scissors etc.
* Cut the vinyl to size with scissors etc.
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{| class="wikitable"
{| class="wikitable"
|-
|-
! Name !! Notes
{| class="wikitable"
{| class="wikitable"
|-
! Name!! Notes
|-
|-
| Tony-S || Tony offers support in using the vinyl cutter
| Tony-S || Tony offers support in using the vinyl cutter
|-
|-
| [[User:Stever|Steve R]] || Steve supports the hardware of the vinyl cutter but does not offer assistance with software installation or use.
| [[User:Stever|Steve R]]|| Steve supports the hardware of the vinyl cutter but does not offer assistance with software installation or use.
|}
|}


Line 90: Line 98:
If you make any non-trivial changes to the Graphtec Craft ROBO or perform maintenance please note it here, delete records older than 1 yr
If you make any non-trivial changes to the Graphtec Craft ROBO or perform maintenance please note it here, delete records older than 1 yr


* Installed Drivers and overall printer functionality on Design Station 1 - Tony S
* Fitted a new power supply as the old one was causing issues with the system locking up [[User:Stever|Stever]] ([[User talk:Stever|talk]]) 13:57, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
* Fitted a new power supply as the old one was causing issues with the system locking up [[User:Stever|Stever]] ([[User talk:Stever|talk]]) 13:57, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
[[Category:Tools]]
[[Category:Tools]]

Latest revision as of 21:56, 14 January 2021

Graphtec Craft ROBO Vinyl Cutter

Introduction

Graphtec Craft ROBO CC330 Vinyl Cutter

The Vinyl cutter can cut shapes out of self-adhesive vinyl that can be used for decorative purposes, or as a mask for chemical etching or sandblasting. It is suitable for use with thin vinyl/PVC that can't be cut on the laser as PVC fumes are hazardous. Induction is not required for the vinyl cutter but it can be quite tricky to use and if you need help you can contact someone from the maintainers listed below who may be able to help. Please be aware that the blade on the bottom of the cutter is razor sharp and take care not to get cut. The manual for the vinyl cutter is here.

Current Status

Date Status Comment
10th June 2019 Functional Functioning normally on Design Station 1 after re-installation of drivers

How to use it

The vinyl cutter is kept in the cupboards underneath work table in the kitchen area. The vinyl cutter is used to cut self-adhesive designs of various patterns (typically text and logos) to be stuck on to a workpiece. For more advanced usage it could also be used to make stencils for chemical processes or paint. The cutter will cut UP TO 210 mm wide, but will cut to an infinite length (assuming you can source an infinite length of vinyls).

The Vinyl Cutter uses drivers which install the device as a printer. Design Station 1 does have the corresponding drivers installed the printer is called: Graphtec CC330.

Preparing the Design

  • You can prepare your design in Inkscape or similar 2D software some members use Adobe illustrator as there prefered tool.
  • Set the document properties to units of mm (milimetres) - this will help you down the line and avoid confusion!
  • Draw the design actual size. Obviously fill and colour don't matter, it only cuts outlines.
  • If the design includes text, using the toolbar at the top of the page go to: "Path -> Object to path" option in Inkscape to make paths. This applies also to any other object which is not a path for example a image you have imported.
  • All cut lines must be in black and with a line with of 0.25pt
  • Ungroup everything before cutting (Inkcut doesn't like groups)
  • Orientation - the cutter will cut ALONG the roll by default. This is not usually what you want for small pieces (width < 500mm). So rotate it 90 deg. If creating a very large design (e.g. 500mm high text), then leave the design "the right way up". (NOTE: This advice seems to be irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, but I'm keeping it in case anyone finds it helpful)

Setting-up the Machine

  • Plug the machine in to the PC via USB and into the mains
  • Turn the machine on using the power button.
  • Ensure it has connected to the PC correctly by looking in the devices menu on the PC and finding the printer GraphtecCC330.
  • Lift the lid in the FRONT of the machine.
  • The vinyl must be smooth and without major dirt, rips, wrinkles, or folds.
  • Place the vinyl straight against the rollers, and ensure the leftmost edge is pressed against the second aligning guides.

<picture coming soon>

  • If the screen displays "Load Vinyl", press Enter, and the machine will pull in the sheet of vinyl (if anything else displays on the screen, see the "Troubleshooting" section of this wiki.
  • Either from the printing preferences, or by clicking on the ROBO Craft icon, adjust the position of the cutter head to be in the BOTTOM LEFT corner of the sheet (the corner closest to the aligning guides), and adjust the pressure based on the thickness of the vinyl (usually in such a way that it doesn't cut through the backing sheet, just the vinyl itself, but significantly enough that it cuts all lines solidly).
  • DO NOT attempt to manually move any parts of the machine (for more information on manual adjustments see the "Advanced" section).
  • Click the "Test" button, and watch the blade closely for any flaws (See "Troubleshooting" for more information).

Printing

  • When all is prepared open the print menu of your chosen software and select GraphtecCC330.
  • Go into preferences and ensure that they match the image below:

<Image coming soon>

  • For more advanced settings see "Advanced".
  • Ensure the back of the printer is not against a wall or obstructed by anything, and also ensure that the full length of the vinyl will not fall off the surface.
  • Click print.

Applying Vinyl to Workpiece

There is a roll of "transfer film" which is "sticky but not too sticky" often stored in the Small Machine Room.

  • Prepare (clean, dry, lay out etc) the workpiece.
  • Cut the vinyl to size with scissors etc.
  • You can "weed" out the unwanted pieces at this stage, or manually remove them from the workpiece afterwards.
  • Cleanly stick the transfer film to the top of the vinyl.
  • The tricky part - now remove the backing from the vinyl, you should be left with the self-adhesive stuck to the transfer film.
  • Stick the vinyl to your workpiece!

tech details

linux

  • The cutter shows up as a standard USB<->RS-232 converter cable, and talks HP-GL.
  • Connection via USB in Linux, means the device is probably /dev/ttyUSB0, Make sure that the serial baud rate is set to the same on the PC in Inkcut, as on the front panel menu. (see Tech Details below) Ensure you have read/write permissions to /dev/ttyUSB0, this can be done by running sudo chmod 777 /dev/ttyUSB0
  • The best software for printing (From Linux at least) is InkCut an InkScape extension. Simple convert stroke to paths, select what you want, and `Extensions->Cutter / Plotter->InkCut`. Click the 'Properties' top-right to set the correct serial port (probably /dev/ttyUSB0) and speed (defaults to 38400, but you can set it via the menu button and LCD on the cutter).

windows

If the power supply messes up

If the power supply goes wrong in an especially weird way then it will cause the vinyl cutter to set some internal lockout that prevents it recovering even if a good power supply is connected. This can be diagnosed by checking the clock signal on the main CPU on the vinyl cutter's circuit board. If it's in lockout then the clock will be grossly distorted.

The fix for this is to connect the vinyl cutter to a known good power supply (24V at not less than 2A) then while it is powered up remove the firmware EEPROM module which is bolted onto the main PCB. This causes a hard-reset of the internal state and clears the lockout. Then power off the cutter and replace the module and re-start the cutter. This should restore normal operation.

Planned Upgrades

No upgrades are currently planned for the Vinyl Cutter

Graphtec Craft ROBO Caretakers

Maintainers

These are the people who look after and repair the Graphtec Craft ROBO, they're the ones to contact if there's any problems with it

Name Notes
Tony-S Tony offers support in using the vinyl cutter
Steve R Steve supports the hardware of the vinyl cutter but does not offer assistance with software installation or use.

Recent Changes

If you make any non-trivial changes to the Graphtec Craft ROBO or perform maintenance please note it here, delete records older than 1 yr

  • Installed Drivers and overall printer functionality on Design Station 1 - Tony S
  • Fitted a new power supply as the old one was causing issues with the system locking up Stever (talk) 13:57, 25 October 2018 (UTC)