A Digital Printing Network
Well I got the RS set up and after a couple of hours of trials and tribulations I was able to get 20 large decals laminated before I ran out of laminate. I think after a few more runs I will get the hang of lamination.
Now to the problem at hand. The first print I reloaded to cut on the versacamm found the crop marks, but the cutting was about a half of a letter off (1 ruined), loaded another print moving it like a 1/8" lateraly toward the print head, all crop marks were found and it cut great (just needed a little more force). I adjusted the force up to 110 and spent the next 2 soild hours trying to get the versacamm to find the crop marks, load media- crop mark error- no crop marks found, adjust media try again same results over and over again. Tried turning off the versacamm and closed versa works, restarted the computer & versaworks to no avail. Finally got one print to cut and by the time it reached the final cut it was a full letter off. I have done about 10 print then cut after hand laminating prior to this and not had any problems. I am using oracal 210 laminate and the crop marks are visable. What is going on here? I am using marks on the media clamps to align and when the versacamm starts processing it advances the marks in front of the cut strip. The only change I made after the first successful cut was the force. Now I am wore out and my brain is fried and 24 of these prints need to go out tomorrow afternoon. I am confident that I am within an 1/8" on my lateral placement of the media, so I don't understand why the cut would be off if the machine is reading the crop marks, no do I understand why the versacamm cannot read the crop marks that appear to be very visable through the laminate sheet after sheet.
Chris I very seldom attempt to contour cut an 8' length of material. I have found that is an awful lot of media to bring back and forth to maintain accuracy. You will lose about a 1/4 inch by the end. So here are my suggestions to help achieve success:
- ensure you do all the test mentioned earlier on the media you will be using
- ensure you use good bleed amounts on all of your decals or if one that one
- prefeed the media to ensure it is tracking correctly (use your roller (sigh)
- when trimming the laminate do not cut down the original graphic
- I would slow the speed of the cut (nice to see it zip along, but....)
- when you reload the print to cut ensure it is laid out and when it comes through ensure nothing to impede its path
Those are my tips - Steve who uses a similar machine and performs those lengths more often - will now add his advice - right Steve - hint hint......
Chris - it can accuratly cut a laminated peice that long. Realize that there is NO perfect machine out there and there will be some inaccuracies. The accuracy of the cutter is 0.04 times the distance traveled or about 1/8 inch at 8 feet. You should put a bleed into your design to mask the cuts that are slightly off.
Hope this helps!
I've done a lot of 8' long sections of vinyl, on my SP300V...both with and without lamination. 90% of the time, everything lines up and the cutpaths are where they belong...but the other 10% is ALWAYS guaranteed to be the rush job, customer is waiting, you're past the deadline, and you have no more material or laminate left over. (please, someone else tell me this happens to them also! LOL)
Here's some handy hints that work for me...i ALWAYS center the job...because if the vinyl goes skewing off during the printing, you have a 'buffer' zone of excess material on both sides so that the material has room to skew again when cutting. I know, proper lineup is job #1...but there is always that time everything WAS lined up and something screwed up. For lamination, always leave 10" at the end of the print-too short and either it won't cover the sensors or it won't be heavy enough to flop DOWN and cover the sensors...had that happen couple of times. After lamination, if the material went off your vinyl sheet (again, lineup doesn't always happen perfectly) you have to trim off all excess laminate, or it can 'grab' on the Versacamm table and skew the material.
And a hint that someone else posted in another thread recently that I just started doing...CUT first, THEN print...don't know why but on some mini-shaped decals (1") print/cut was off noticeable...but cut/print was dead on. So I'm doing that on all contour cut jobs now.
Hope this helps!
Well I am happier than a pig in mud on a hot summer day. Reprinted all 20 decals, used the RS on 3 heat setting laminated (by the way brapp paper is the BOMB.....) and now am in the process of contour cutting and so far it is perfect.
Can anyone give me a ball park figure what to charge for laminate by the square foot? I have the print media price figured, just not sure on laminate.
A BIG THANKS TO ALL WHO HELP ME WITH THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes I think the heat helped for a couple of reason's: 1) where the RS is currently located its about 60-65 degrees and 20 degrees outside, 2) today I did 20 prints within 3 hours of when they were printed (no silivering) and 3) it appears to make the laminate adhere to the media smoother.
I used oracal 210 glossy laminate. From reading other post it appears to be a good general laminate. I am sure there are others who know more than I do on this and may have better suggestions.
As to brap....its the bomb...... its like kraft paper slick on one side. Here is a quote from Fellers on it:
“Braper is great because it keeps the laminate from sticking to the bottom roller of your laminator when doing onesided
lamination with pressure sensitive overlaminates. If the adhesive from the laminate comes in contact with the roller it will stick to the
roller, cause your graphics to wrap around the roller, and cause a giant mess!”
As you know I am a beginner in all this, so my knowledge is limited and always look to others here for their excellent advise to help me learn. My thanks again to all who help answer my endless questions.
Thanks Larry. Beginner or not, I'm devouring every word you say.
My Nervous Nellie syndrome is growing by leaps and bounds.
I'm going to be in the same place you are in a few days, and I'm 100% sure you've already helped me tons.
Sometimes it's much better learning from someone in the same place you are.
Tips & tricks from the experts are wonderful. But having someone like you also helps immensely.
'Cause sure as shootin', I'll be doing the same things you did, incorrectly at first.
For instance, I didn't realize you could actually add a little heat to cold laminate.
I'm digging out my Feller's catalog as I type (with one finger).
How about that leader board stuff to get the laminate taut and smooth? Did you use coroplast or something thinner? Not sure I fully understand how that all works.
I've watched the same videos over & over so many times, it's like Christmas Story! I can recite the next line of dialog before it comes out of the guy's mouth.
Thanks again, Larry.
I really appreciate all your help.
Listening to your initial hurdles and how you overcame them is so encouraging..............you'll never know!
There was a leader board with my unit. From what I understand it just needs to be a substrate that has a good cut straight edge and is rigid. I do not see why coroplast wouldn't work. Hopefully someone else will chime in here.
I have yet another question on the laminator. Since I am using brap paper is it ok to leave the laminate loaded in the machine with the nip all the way open? That way you don't have to reload every time you use it. I plan on keeping it covered.