Cutting plotter – Device for cutting images by specified parameters. Posters, signs, stickers, postcards, patterns – this is not all the products that can be made using plotters. Such a device is applied not only in business, but can come in handy and at home if you do, for example, scrapbooking or decorate fabrics.
What it is?
Plotters – apparatuses used for printing on large-scale paper sheets of various poster products, shields, drawings and many other. But their functionality is much extensive. They can work with wood, vinyl, textiles, other materials. Of course, the price of them is high, which is why they can be seen at large enterprises.
Cutting plotter (CATER) is intended for accurate cutting of simple and complex images from paper, cardboard, film, plastic material. And the source code can be represented both in the sheet and rolled.
There are devices that combine two types of operations in themselves – printing and cutting.
How does it work?
Catter – Special device with placed on it in a rolled source material or with a special table for folding and fixing sheet raw materials. The main function of the apparatus – cutting letters, images, patterns on the source. As a working tool, a special knife is used, fixed above the table in a moving carriage, which is the principle of operation of the device. In a constructive plan, several types of knives are distinguished.
- Tangential – Used to handle materials with a thickness of up to 3 mm. The device is able to cut and follow the figures of relatively simple configurations. Usually equipped with doping with software. The device fixes short stops before the next cutter turn (the blade is taken out of the source, rotate and lowered again).
- Oscillating – It is used for cutting and simple, and complex configurations from cardboard, foam and other thickness up to 3 cm. The device is working, like a jigsaw, producing cutting motion in reciprocating mode.
- Wheel – Used to perform cutting complex curly contours. In this version, the knife performs a rotational movement in a special head. All curly turns of the knife are performed directly in the material.
Before starting the operation, a file is installed in the device and the image of the cutter movement, and then the setting measures for the selection of depth of cut and press the cutter are made.
CNC CATTERS can function with a variety of solid texture: leather, felt, felt, cardboard, parchment, film, foam, polyurethane foam. Powerful apparatus with high values of the cutter may well cut out products made of thin plywood or acrylic, but the cutting edge is quickly blinking.
The high degree of accuracy and high-speed quality devices with the PU ensure the applicability of the catter in various fields:
- in advertising and printing;
- in the sewing, shoe and glass industry (cutting patterns, template preparation);
- in the textile industry for the manufacture of drawings and inscriptions from the thermoplary;
- In a variety of needlework art, for example, in scrapbooking, making crafts from felt and others;
- for the manufacture of packaging products.
Famous firms for the manufacture of CNC plotter devices are:
- Silhouette (USA);
- Graphtec (Japan);
- Brother (Japan);
- GCC (Taiwan).
Review of species
One of the principles of classification of plotters is their functionality (Purpose). In accordance with this, plotters are divided into Cutting and Prints devices, that is, performing or one or other function.
However, devices that combine both functions are made – Hybrid plotters. Such devices are executed in one case. For example, in the initial pass, the hybrid can print on self-adhesive material, and in the second – cut the roll to the products of the specified values and shapes.
According to a constructive feature, plotters are divided into:
- flat (tablet);
Laser devices work on a principle similar to the work of the printer. In fact, it is a laser MFP, which is based on an electrography that uses electrostatic fields and the properties of photosensitive semiconductor elements, including selenium. In flat laser catter, instead of a moving carriage with a fixed cutter acts a laser.
Cuters are separated by the methods of supplying materials for 2 types:Tablet and rolling.
Here after fixing the sheet on the desktop The process of cutting raw materials is performed by a movable carriage with a knife, moving along a given trajectory. Performing cutting process head can move in different directions. Some models are supplied with special supporters that allow you to use in operation and rolled options.
Fixing sheets on the table is made by bilateral scotch or using a specially equipped vacuum device. The size of the working platform of the plotter can reach 2 meters. Tablets are universal and allow working with materials of any formats. Powerful models cut even plexiglas. In professional devices on the carriage can be mounted and cutter, and laser.
In rolled installations The head moves into different directions, cutting out the figures in the process of synchronous source filing. The quality of such a product is higher because there is a possibility of more accurate handling of small elements.
The specified type of catter makes cutting materials installed in the form of rolls (vinyl films, fabrics, etc.). The source code here is fixed with the help of special clamping rollers, and the cutting carriage has only one degree of freedom and moves across the unfolding surface. Longitudinal operations are manufactured using the coincident oncoming material. To avoid distortion, the material is placed on the installed marks located on the body part of the apparatus. By width, the cut depends on the product model and can vary from the format A3 to 1920 cm.
Roll options for installations are more suitable for large enterprises and work with a significant amount of material.
For household needs, various models are produced: Desktop (mini plotter), manual, homemade and other varieties. Catter with optical positioning acquire in cases where high cutting accuracy is required.
Rating the best models
Among the most high-quality and convenient products, experts allocate a number of models.
one. CATER PCUT SC-630:
- Width of the cut – 730/635 mm;
- Pressure on the cutter – up to 800 g;
- Engine – microshop;
- cutting speed – 600 mm / s;
- The number of pressed rollers – 3;
- USB, Serial interface (RS232C), SD Card;
- Memory – 4 MB.
Practical LCD panel providing an ambulance setting. Cutter pressure provides cutting of dense materials, such as magnetic vinyl. The device is equipped with a positioning device for marking points. Manual on (WinPCsign) and crash drivers directly from CorelDRAW.
2. Professional Catter Graphtec CE5000-60 (Japan):
- Roll width – 712 mm;
- cutting speed – up to 600 mm / s;
- 2 positions in the installation of pressed rollers;
- Pressure on the cutter – up to 300 g.
The unit excellently processes sharp corners and small elements, equipped with servo drives that with the guarantee ensures the correctness of the cut. It is possible to work with layouts of significant sizes, keeping the desired degree of accuracy.
3. Mimaki CG-100 SRII Catter Plotter:
- Width of the cut – 1250/1070 mm;
- Pressure on the cutter – up to 400 g;
- cutting speed – 850 mm / s;
- USB and RS232C interface;
- Memory – 30 MB.
Can work with various types of films, fabrics and cardboard. Features cutter control and optical markup device. Finecut 7 – Plugin for CorelDRAW and Adobe Illustrator CS 3 / CS.
4. Desktop Cutter Roland GX-24:
- Width of the cut – 700/584 mm;
- Pressure on the cutter – 250 g;
- cutting speed – 500 mm / s.
Works with a large number of materials – vinyl, reflective, thermal transfer and sandblasting films. It has a function of leveling curves, which increases the accuracy of the execution of the cut at high speeds. Optical adjustment device works automatically. The cutting offset is installed manually, which helps work with small fonts. LCD panel, convenient service and high-quality work. Gives photorealistic images.
five. CATER VICSIGN VS 630:
- Cutting width – 730/635 mm.
- Engine – microshop;
- cutting speed – 650 mm / s;
- Pressure on the cutter – up to 1000 g;
- Memory – 8 MB.
Excellent cutting quality. Functions on the designated template without a PC.
Thus, depending on the indicators on 1st place will be Mimaki CG-100 SRII; On the 2nd – Chinese PCUT SC-630; On the 3rd – Japanese Graphtec CE5000-60.
How to choose?
Catter selection is made by target considerations, that is, why the device will be used. The final product format is also taken into account – A4, A3 or other options. The main characteristics are relevant:
- raw format;
- The level of cutting accuracy;
- Cutter pressure;
- Cutting speed.
The width of the materials being processed is usually limited to 100 cm, This size is quite enough for the production of most types of promotional products, although sometimes there is a need for use and more widescreen catter. Nevertheless, practice suggests that catteres with work sizes 50-72 cm, including for home, are most often applied.
Next topical parameter – Accuracy cutting. If there is a need to cut small fragments, then you need a high accuracy catter. Of course, it affects the price of the product.
Optical positioning feature is provided in the device Special sensors, allowing you to find optical points within ready-made layouts. This allows you to get a product of any degree of complexity. For example, in the production of stickers, if the device has a roll with a circulation to be cut, the cattera needs a “binding” to the specified coordinates at certain points. Only, he will be able to more accurately give out difficult contours, rightly copying all the curves of the prepared drawing.
Nuga pressure – An indicator, especially important for the choice of Catter. It determines the degree of density of the material that the device can be processed. So, if you plan to make clippings from photo paper, films, then there is enough pressure, equal to 350 g. But for magnetic vinyl it will be little. The value of the parameter here should be at least 400-500 g. Often its value is adjustable, exhibiting on the display.
Cutting speed Defines the performance of the apparatus. At the same time, its most importantly, its value without loss of results. If you do not have this need, it makes sense to choose less high-speed device. Saving funds – not the last thing in the acquisition of such equipment.
Cutters in the catter are given in the working condition or by a stepper motor, or using the servomotor. In the first (mechanical) version of the cutter moves step by step. This tested technology demonstrating stability and relative quality. In addition, it is inexpensive. However, such engines are noisy and do not give high-precision performance. In other words, this option is not quite suitable for obtaining a cut bend.
For this reason, for complicated tasks are made Cutters with digital servo drives, which drive the device holder using the encoder receiving command from the computer. Cutter with servomotor can cut and significant parts, and small figures (3 mm). In this case, the accuracy of execution is not lost even when the release of significant volumes.
It is useful to remember both the software and compatibility of technology. So, a number of Japanese devices are integrated with known graphic editors, for example, with CorelDRAW. The Chinese prefer their own.
Here you should mention a number of additional elements to the cattera: LCD Displays, Roll Holders, Network Indicators, Cross Cutter, Capacity for Materials, Bardaches for Toolkit and Other Elements.
How to use?
The quality of the work of the catteros, regardless of how to use it – for cardboard, for tissue, for scrapbooking, for globes and the other – depends on the following aspects:
- the sharpness of the cutting edge of the knife, which is especially relevant in the execution of small works with high clarity;
- quality of the original pattern;
- adhesion qualities of the substrate, which fixes the working materials;
- Eleakability of the apparatus configuration for specific consumables.
Before starting operation, the device is connected to a computer on which the corresponding software is already installed. Image for clipping The program refers to the catter, then enters the cutting tool.
The most popular software CorelDraw, Famous vector editor designed specifically for processing graphic documents and image preparation. In addition to this program, a number of tools operating with plotters have been developed.
- Signcut – paid software with preview, having a number of free plugins for famous design developments.
- Plotcalc – with simple and intuitive interface.
- Omega Cut – Multifunctional software for working with project documents. Here, for example, you can make scanning and perform other actions.
For hybrid devices, as a rule, use their own software from the manufacturer included with plotters. It greatly expands the capabilities of the device, reducing the degree of probability of obtaining errors.
The plotter setting is executed according to the algorithm.
- To begin with, the PC is inserted with. If there is no such disk, then the necessary files with drivers and instructions download from the manufacturer of the device.
- Install software on your computer and connect the device.
- In the “Start” menu, we find the “Devices” section. Finding new equipment, the system will show it in the “Printers and Faxes” column. Click two times the mouse button on the image of the plotter.
- Customize the parameters of the device – the type of media and the method of its feed, paper format, print area and other values.
The procedure for preparing for the work of all plotters is almost identical.
- Preparation of the desired image, drawing in any vector program or in the basic software supplied with the device (many programs have the import of the finished image).
- Preparation of material for cutting. It is important to carefully place the edges of the roll or sheet of the base in the device, securely fix the clamping rollers. Using the test, establish the necessary knife pressure so that the material rubber has been accurate and did not damage the substrate. Next set up the cutting area. Now exhibit the starting position of the knife, send the file to cut from the computer.
- At the end of the work, it remains to remove unnecessary parts of the finished image, then apply an assembly film on its surface (if necessary). Mounting film is necessary to transfer the pattern to the surface, saving all the elements of the image.
- Cleaning device plays a relevant role in working with a catter. For cleaning, detergent is used, and then treated with the corresponding surface with a technical solvent. At the end of cleaning, everything is worth wing dry.
Circus Explore Cutting Plotter Overview See in the following video.