Sign & Digital Graphics

December '14

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • December 2014 • 59 Summa's SummaCut series of vinyl cut- ters, for example, offer S-Class cutting plotters with a cutting force of from 0 to 400 grams, available to the end user in five-gram steps. They can read registra- tion marks for contour cutting not only on standard materials but also on reflec- tive, holographic or mirrored materials, as well as through the many different types of laminates being used today. Before letting the cutter rip into a big project it is advisable to test, test and test again. For starters, ORAFOL recom- mends using a 60 degree blade for cut- ting their textured films, and this holds true for most specialty films. Depth is critical, and is the next area for experi- mentation. Once that is determined, the speed can be quantified. Tight corners are the main area of concern as too much speed around a corner can cause the vinyl to lift. The 60 degree blade provides a tighter turning radius that allows more finely detailed curves to be formed, but it still needs to obey the speed limits imposed by the physics of steel and vinyl. Next up, offset. This is the difference in size between the blade and the larger cutting head. So in other words, the head has to travel further before the blade reaches the desired point. This setting will probably need to be changed when switching from a standard 45 degree blade to a 60 degree blade. Maintenance and Upgrades If the material still doesn't cut prop- erly, maybe some maintenance is in order. A vinyl cutter is a precision piece of equipment, and dirty or worn out parts can wreak havoc with the end result. This might not be noticeable on ordi- nary media, but can first become evident while using specialty products. And then again, maybe a new machine is in order. Nothing lasts forever, and equipment upgrades are always wel- comed by production staff. Roland's CAMM 1 series, for example, includes a variety of high quality, reliable vinyl cutters capable of handling a wide range Roland GX-24 desktop vinyl cutter is powered by a digi- tal servomotor, and can achieve cutting speeds up to 20 inches per second with maximum accuracy. of assignments. These machines have differing feature sets to handle varying user needs and requirements. Smaller models, such as the GX-24, are ideal for screen-print and sign shops looking to offer additional apparel services outside of traditional screen-printing or embroi- dery applications. Larger Roland vinyl cutters, like the Pro GX-640 and GX Pro series models, offer the higher downforce and wider format needed to also handle auto restyl- ing applications such as paint protection, window tint and commercial window film. These devices also have the abil- ity to cut more rigid substrates, includ- ing card stock, reflective film, and even diamond-grade materials, when overlap features are enabled. Final Word As a final word Craig Campbell of ORAFOL says, "Specialty films are often times overlooked but should be consid- ered regularly during your visits with customers as they are always looking for something new—we always recommend experimenting with different films and trying different layering combinations to achieve 'one-of-a-kind' designs that can set you apart from your competi- tors. However, when layering products it is always a good idea to check with the specific manufacturer to make sure the films are compatible." SDG Arlon's Series 5000 product is a 2.8-mil intermediate calendered film with a high gloss finish, available in 37 bright colors and offering outdoor durability of up to six years.

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