View Full Version : SP-540 not cutting smoothly

03-24-2011, 10:49 AM
How's everyone doing? I hope that all is well. I posted this a couple of weeks ago but didn't get an responses so i was curious if no one has experienced this....

"Hopefully someone can help me out with this because i'm at a loss at this point. We do a lot of small prints and detailed contour cutting and for some reason when i'm trying to get laminated material cut the cuts aren't smooth at all. They seem very grainy (i think that's the best way to describe it). When i cut regular colored vinyl the cuts seem nice and smooth. I have messed with everything i could, i think, but to no avail. Has anyone experienced this before, is it because of the material or laminate we're using?"

Any ideas?

03-24-2011, 05:23 PM
UPDATE: I think i might have found something out today while testing things out. It seems like when i cut the laminated vinyl without printing on it, it cut much smoother. I tried again with the same exact settings on a printed piece that's laminated and again it's grainy. Has anyone out there experienced any of what i'm experiencing. Any help, advice or feedback would be much appreciated.

03-24-2011, 07:16 PM
It might help to post a close up picture of an example. Not sure what you mean by "grainy". When the cut lines start getting less clean or if you have to set the pressure unusually high to cut through, it's probably time for a fresh blade. When you start to see a perforated look in your cuts or you are experiencing a lot of areas and corners that aren't cutting, it might be time to replace the teflon strip. The first time we replaced that strip, I was surprised at what a difference it made.

By the way, there's a merchant member on here who sells awesome aftermarket blades for the Roland. We tried them once and will never go back to Roland blades.

03-25-2011, 12:41 PM
Thanks for the response. I"ll try to get a nice close up pic today but it's pretty much what you're saying in terms of it not cutting cleanly and does look a little perforated. When you mentioned the teflon strip, are you referring to the cutting strip? That looks pretty clean and we're using a new blade. As i pointed out above, i noticed that when cutting laminated vinyl that didn't have a print, it cut almost perfectly. When i tried it on a printed area that was laminated (same sheet) we got that perforated effect again. I've tried this with a sheet that's been sitting for a couple of days as well as a sheet that was just printed and laminated. The only consistency is the lack of a clean cut. Any ideas?

sfr table hockey
03-25-2011, 01:10 PM
Is this what you are doing:

Printing an image, laminating, then cutting over the printed image.

So is your cut line is through the printed area of the image? Or does it cut with a bit of white space where there is no ink?

How soon after the print is done are you trying to cut?

Vinyl does get softer after a full bleed of ink so it may be the vinyl is too soft to cut with the same blade force. You may try to lessen the blade force and do 2 passes to get down through both layers (laminate and printed vinyl).

03-28-2011, 11:50 AM
That's correct, we're printing with a bleed and cutting over the printed image. We have tried cutting immediately after printing and laminating and tried waiting a couple of days before cutting, both with the same effects. I'll try reducing the blade force even more in hopes of that working. Thanks for all the suggestions guys. I'm just starting to think that there might be something terribly wrong with the whole cutting mechanism.

03-28-2011, 12:27 PM
How long are your prints curing before lamination? Maybe the ink is still off gassing and softening the lam?

03-28-2011, 11:40 PM
We typically laminate almost immediately after printing. Do you think this is something that could be causing this issue? How long would you recommend that we let the print cure?

03-29-2011, 02:21 AM
Min 24 hours, that is if the ink is not particularly heavy, humidity not particularly high and temps not too cold. You should make sure that they are not rolled tightly and can get some air flow. The solvents need to evaporate from the ink. I think that most mfg will not warranty material that has not cured like this. Even if you don't have a problem when you send it out of the shop you could have a premature failure later. That soft material might be tearing instead of cutting like it would once it firms up again.

04-08-2011, 10:26 AM
Salmoneye, i tried what you recommended and with high hopes i started cutting and once again, i have the same problem. This issue is driving me crazy. Any other suggestions? COuld there be something seriously wrong with the cutting mechanism? I figure it's fine since regular colored vinyl cuts fine. Please help!

sfr table hockey
04-08-2011, 11:37 AM
Try taking that same vinyl and put a piece of laminate on it ( without being printed on ) and then do a test cut. Is it still jagged?

If it cuts other vinyl fine, then its not the cutter is more the settings you have used.

If it still does not cut perfectly smooth on just the vinyl then it may be the blade, blade depth sticking out of the cutter, the type of blade, the blade force in the rip etc. Next the cutter strip ( the strip the cutter blade runs over while cutting), is it in good shape or can you feel marks on it? You can also look at the cutter head and try a bit of 3 in one oil so the blade swivles smooth. Make sure your blade tip is only sticking out the amount they say in the manual.

What are your settings for the cutting?

04-11-2011, 10:27 AM
So we did a test on laminated vinyl without a print and while it didn't cut perfectly, it cut considerably better. It not being perfect may have to do with some of the more minor settings but i'm still at a loss regarding why it's cutting the way it is when it's actually printed.

Any idea on what i could change to help solve this issue. We must be doing something wrong.

The cutting strip seems fine, fairly new roland blade (have been trying both 45 and 60 degree blades), force is typically at around 120 and the blade isn't sticking out too much...

Any opinions, ideas, suggestions, recommendations or advice would be sincerely appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

sfr table hockey
04-11-2011, 11:18 AM
When you do a test cut ( with laminate and a non printed vinyl ) do the cut lines cut into the backing liner? Can you see a very slight impression where the blade cut through or is it quite noticable where the blade cut through?

How far out is the tip of the blade from the cutting head. I have mine out about the thickness of a CD. I know if it's out too far it won't cut as well.

Does the blade swivel inside the tool holder easily. You can drop some oil in there (a very small amount).

If you drop the blade force back to 110 will it cut through?

What laminate are you using? What media are you printing on?

Sorry if you have answered some of these but it might help to re cap what settings and media.

If media is too soft it will tear more easily and when you print full bleed the media does get soft. Also you may find that if you cut while the heat is on that softens the media as well, but you said it cut ok as long as it was not printed.

04-13-2011, 03:28 PM
Thanks for your continued support. I'll check the details that you requested and get back to you. Thanks again for all your time.

04-19-2011, 02:20 PM
So i'm back with good news and continued bad news hahah. I have replaced the blade holder, cutting strip and purchased a few new blades. The cutting is unbelievably better but not i have another issue that i can't seem to resolve. It seems like the cutter isn't finishing the cuts completely if that makes sense. It leaves a tiny dot (best way to describe it) so when i weed the area i need to essentially rip it off. It doesn't look too bad but again doesn't look perfect. Any ideas on why this could happen. I have tried adjusting every cut setting there is with no success. The interesting part is that it's doing it at the same spot every time so i'm assuming it's where it starts and ends.

I took a couple of pictures but it's a little hard to see. You will notice around the cut area that the cut line doesn't look the same in just one spot. Let me know what you guys think please. Thanks.

Oh and one last thing, it did the same thing every time i did a test cut. The top part of the circle was always incomplete.

04-19-2011, 02:26 PM
Always round the cuts slightly

04-19-2011, 02:31 PM
Thanks for the response and excuse my ignorance but what do you mean by rounding the cuts slightly?

04-19-2011, 02:53 PM
instead of a 90 degree angles in a square or rectangle put a slight rounded corner on it, this keeps the blade from lifting up.

04-19-2011, 03:24 PM
The issue is that it's actually doing it with circles too, so every time it starts and stops it does it. Is that normal?

04-19-2011, 03:27 PM
It shouldnt do it with circles, have you done a cut alignment

04-19-2011, 03:32 PM
No, i'll try that next. I'll keep you posted. Thanks so much.

04-19-2011, 04:15 PM
Alignment seems fine. Weird. Any other suggestions on why the cuts won't complete?