A Digital Printing Network
I'm in the middle of an order, and have to take a break to relieve some of the stress. We have a Versacamm VP540i, but don't use it for shirts too often. Most of the shirts we do are team sports with just names and numbers. We got an order for 16 shirts, same print on front and back of the shirt. White shirts with logo...seems easy enough. I'm attaching the supplied artwork, which I thought was pretty good compared to the 15kb jpgs that some people bring.
First trouble started with trying to make the cutline around the outside of the logo. Based on how this was designed, there wasn't an easy (obvious) way to do it to me. I opened it in Photoshop, and used the paint bucket to make the logo all black. Then, saved as a Photoshop file. Then, opened Coreldraw and traced it, giving me a vector shape that I could use for the cutline. Was there an easier method?
I thought this was all I'd have to do, with the plan to use Solutions Clear material. But wait...that's right...I hate Solutions Clear. Why? I had to remind myself. Printed the logo out, and here's what happens:
As soon as it prints, it crinkles up like crazy. Completely unusable.
So, next, I look around and find the CadCut Crystal Clear Matte roll. I know this is a bit thicker, and I don't want a big thick vinyl circle on the back of shirts that these high school kids are going to be wearing while they are out cycling. So, I trace the logo, wanting to weed out the excess white in the center of the logo. The cutline produced has all kinds of jags and ins and outs due to the "brushed" edges of the artwork, and weeding wasn't all that fun. So, I'm going to go in and take out a bunch of nodes in the cutlines to try and make it easier to weed.
Here's a shirt with the back printed:
It looks pretty good, feels ok. At this point I've spent about 4 hours working on this order, and I've got the back of one shirt printed, and still going back to edit artwork. I know there has to be a better way! What would you have done?
Those crazy brushstrokes don't make the job any easier..........but if you're using clear, at least you don't have to worry about them so much. Your cutline doesn't have to be pristine
What I would have done in Corel is select those 19 circles (that whoever created the artwork made) and use them to trim the green object, like they should have done in the first place.
Select the green object and use the Boundary tool to get a temporary cutline
With that boundary selected choose no outline and some random fill color.
Add a slight contour to the outside..................enough to encompass and over-ride those black brush strokes Ctrl+K to break contour group apart.
Delete the original boundary object and send the newly created contour to the back. Fill it with white and use your Cutcontour color for the outline
This whole process only took a minute or two...............
It took me way longer to type it all out
Hope some of this information helps
If I confused you, let me know and I'll be glad to try again to clarify :)
Thanks Lady Di-
That was definitely a faster way to do the outside cutline! Would you have cut out the inside logo, or leave as a large solid piece of vinyl?
I imported the pdf you attached into Corel to take a look at it. It seems to be pretty clean. All I would do is add a thin white outline around the cogs that would easily weed and give it a cutline. In addition, I would have left any of the white inside the logo as material. You will get some white material a top of white shirt but that has never been an issue with any of my customers. You could also make the background with the cutline another color which would add to the design. That would mean no need to weed anything. For a job like this, Quickprint, Eco Print of Express Print would make it easy to do.
I attahed what I was able to do. The font changed since I did not have the one from your artwork.
try bumping your cutline out from the design by 2 tenths of an inch. The crinkling can be caused by the media being cut while it is not fully cured and it wanting to "pull" in. Also if that is not the cause, slow down the print head speed by either changing the print head to uni directional and or slowing the speed to 400. Let me know if this works.
The solutions clear was printed with the Solutions Clear profile, which is uni-directional, and I believe 400mm/sec. The 400mm/sec is grayed out, so I think that is the speed it was printing at. I was printing first and then cutting, and the crinkling occurs just as fast as it's printed, so it's definitely not a problem with the location of the cutline because it hadn't been cut yet.
That's about the same as I came up with, but my method took way more steps. I guess I was trying to be more precise, but it wouldn't really make a difference with a white shirt, and I didn't end up any more precise anyway!
I'm a bit surprised that you wouldn't weed out any of the interior part of the logo. I did a shirt with a similar large round logo on the back with Express print, and I won't even wear it because it's so uncomfortable to me. These shirts are for a high school biking club, so I know that they're already going to be hot riding around, and don't want to add to it with a big solid vinyl on the back.
Gene have you tried cutting first then going back and printing?? Seems to me I think I've heard that before and I think I have even tried it. I have had problems with the solutions clear myself and at some point need to spend some time figuring out what I'm doing wrong. My problem is that for something like this I'd use the DTG printer, so I don't have the same incentive to figure it out, but I must say the colors are definitely more vibrant with the clear so maybe I need to look at it again. Some where in the back of my mind I'm thinking I was told it was a profile issue.
I do usually cut first and then print, but this isn't an issue with that. When I try to print first, it crinkles before I ever get to the cutting part.
My original thinking was in line with yours though...I was going to have my friend DTG print these for me. Unfortunately his house was foreclosed and he packed up the equipment a week before I got the order. Small problem for me, much bigger for him.
Ok, I'm confused though why are you trying to print first? And that is terrible for your friend, kinda puts things in perspective!!!
I remembered that I always had problems with Solutions Clear (it's been a long time since I tried to use it). I was going to print, and then let it dry before cutting. I figured that would be the best bet. It only crinkles on certain colors...the vibrant green is the only area that had a problem, which isn't by the cutlines anyway. I think I remember red being a problem in the past. I'm tempted to just throw the roll away, but I know it wasn't cheap.
I believe I was told by a wise man that for solutions clear and opaque you should should cut first, return to origin and then print. But if it's only crinkling on certain areas that is weird. I do also remember that certain colors have more issues because I believe of the amount of ink put down, but yikes I can't remember anymore. Geese I think it's a profile issue, something is too hot, or something like that. What printer do you have. I know for the newer VS's like mine there have been some profile issues, but I haven't been paying attention lately to see if there had been any updates.
I have never used Solutions Clear, why did it crinkle up?