Small Text and Summa Cutter

rdm01

New Member
Hello,
Trying to cut some small (3/8" lc, 1/2" UC) lettering on our Summa S2 T160. The letters aren't cutting cleanly, and weeding isn't making anyone around here happy.

See attached image. It looks like it's ripping around curves. Letters aren't coming out cleanly, and I swear our old Graphtec drag knife did this project better!

We've tried 30 and 60 degree blades, and all different combinations of blade depth and cutting pressure (albeit somewhat blindly).

Setup tips from those with experience would be really helpful!
 

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Johnny Best

Very Active Member
From that pic you are cutting to deep into the backing paper. You should only have your blade sticking out the thickness of the vinyl. Slow down your cutting speed also.
 

Saturn

Member
Agree that it looks too deep. I always start light and then work my way up to the correct depth. A small turn makes a lot of difference. Blade depth (or extension) will be more slightly more important than pressure, and you would want to more or less be as light as possible without affecting the cut consistency. If I were just cutting (kiss cut) through a cast vinyl and no laminate I'd be around 80g or less on my S2—although you have a lot of leeway for pressure if the blade is the right depth.

Also, the jagged cut looks like a blade offset issue. Your cuts should not have that burred edge to them. I often tweak the offset of my blade at least once over it's lifetime to keep the cut as smooth as possible.
 

TammieH

Member
I cut 1/4" tall letters on our graphtec, the trick is, if at all possible ...
first: cut lines between lines of copy or weed borders.
second: weed the centers only
3rd: mask then apply vinyl to substrate, to make this easier to line up cut registration squares on your corners
fourth: weed applied vinyl.

Good luck...and as Johnny said you are cutting to deep....make sure you are cutting best quality if there is a setting

You should be able to cut small letters with your summa...also, could your blade be chipped?
 

rjssigns

Active Member
I agree with Johnny Best and Tammie H. Also like to add for small text we use 3M Electrocut with the poly backing. Costs more but haven't found anything better. We have a Summa D610 and D140.
 

BALLPARK

Member
We have cut some very small letters on our Summa. It looks like you're cutting to deep for sure. I was very impressed with the ease of weeding the small letters as we had Roland cutters before and I hated cutting small letters as it was a major pain to align them after we try to weed them.

It could also be the vinyl that you are using.

I've loved the Summa cutter and it's everything as described for us in terms of what it can do. It could be very small cuts or long runs... It's accurate and worth the money!!!
 

Snydo

Member
Way to deep, possibly a dull blade as well. You should barely be able to see the cuts when its dialed in, even on cheap vinyl.
 

iPrintStuff

Prints stuff
Have you looked at the cut file for that job? Are there excess points in the letters?

One the blade depth is waaay too high. You should barely see any mark on the backing paper

Two, that cut looks almost jaggy. Like the blade is moving a lot more than it should for simple curves.
 

rdm01

New Member
Thank you, all, for the advise.
Vinyl is cast (3M 220 Series). Blade may be dull, we have more on the way. The file looks fine, and was just outlined text. I will look into adjusting offset, though admittedly I will have look up exactly what that does...

Vinyl is RTA, so I cannot weed on the substrate. I usually make fun of our team for that crutch anyway!

It was the "jaggy" cuts that was getting me. I'll keep trying with the above advice.
 

jerry369

New Member
Thank you, all, for the advise.
I will look into adjusting offset, though admittedly I will have look up exactly what that does...
The tangential knife has not offset. If you see "Knife offset" as parameter you have set "Drag Knife" as current Tool. If you have set up a drag knife on the plotter and instead use a tangential knife this may explain your problem
 

rdm01

New Member
No, it's definitely setup as tangential. It is cutting better, and without the tearing. However, after a piece was left over the weekend and had shrunk up a bit, I noticed the cuts do not align well at the corners. This is creating weeding issues, as one would imagine. What setting would need to be adjusted here?
 

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Saturn

Member
The tangential knife has not offset. If you see "Knife offset" as parameter you have set "Drag Knife" as current Tool. If you have set up a drag knife on the plotter and instead use a tangential knife this may explain your problem

Glad you pointed this out, I was thinking and meaning Origin, but mistakenly saying Offset.

Around page 56/57 you should find '2.2.4 Calibrating a tangential knife' in the Summa manual where it talks about what some of the calibrations for the blade on a tangential are. For me, I know that adjusting the origin can affect whether a cut is perfectly smooth in a straight line or has those little jittery, jagged effects.
 

Andy D

Active Member
It looks like your off-set isn't set right.
Here is a couple more tips for cutting vinyl.

Setting depth:
If you're not sure what the depth setting should be, send a test cut and raise or lower your cutting depth until you
barely see the cut lines in the paper and then bump it up a tiny bit up... feel the back of the paper, you should just slightly feel the cutlines or not feel them at all.

Check your cutting strip: This is the most neglected part of a plotter, if your cutting strip has deep cuts in it, replace it; it's inexpensive and very easy to do.

Adding half cuts: small copy is much easier to weed if you're only weeding half the letters at once, they're much less likely to pull up.
I weed the centers first and then outer vinyl. Note that I removed the cut lines from the center of the letters.

upload_2020-8-10_14-37-9.png
 

Sharpeco

New Member
Hello,
Trying to cut some small (3/8" lc, 1/2" UC) lettering on our Summa S2 T160. The letters aren't cutting cleanly, and weeding isn't making anyone around here happy.

See attached image. It looks like it's ripping around curves. Letters aren't coming out cleanly, and I swear our old Graphtec drag knife did this project better!

We've tried 30 and 60 degree blades, and all different combinations of blade depth and cutting pressure (albeit somewhat blindly).

Setup tips from those with experience would be really helpful!

I am having a similar problem with my Summa S2 D160 cutter, HELP!?
 

Sharpeco

New Member
It looks like your off-set isn't set right.
Here is a couple more tips for cutting vinyl.

Setting depth:
If you're not sure what the depth setting should be, send a test cut and raise or lower your cutting depth until you
barely see the cut lines in the paper and then bump it up a tiny bit up... feel the back of the paper, you should just slightly feel the cutlines or not feel them at all.

Check your cutting strip: This is the most neglected part of a plotter, if your cutting strip has deep cuts in it, replace it; it's inexpensive and very easy to do.

Adding half cuts: small copy is much easier to weed if you're only weeding half the letters at once, they're much less likely to pull up.
I weed the centers first and then outer vinyl. Note that I removed the cut lines from the center of the letters.

View attachment 148395
How do you remove the cut line from the center of the letters? Please help!
 
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