Mylar 7.5mil, eat blades?

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This topic contains 27 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Sandy 1 month, 1 week ago.

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  • #24239

    Ashly Mellor
    Participant

    Hi All,

    Did my homework and ordered a force a bit ago, first machine we receive was DOA and we just receive our replacement. Excellent customer service.

    We were super excited to get it up and running as we tried for weeks to get the first on to work. Every thing was going well, followed the suggested cutting guide for .0075 mylar with the Red blade and it went only about half way through the mylar, so we followed the directions on setting everything up just a tad and still nothing. So we put our X-ray material in, cut well. Okay, making progress.

    Got the blue blade out, still not hardly a dent. Upped settings up to 10mil, still not a cut through. But Xray material back on, which we knew cut now will not cut, both blades were toast from a hand full of attempts on the mylar. Seems insane to me that a few attempts following all directions to the “T” killed the blades that fast. I am sure it is 7.5mil mylar. I buy it wholesale from a company in China that supplies a very large re-seller in the US. I can get this mylar to cut on my Cricut, with a lot of work of course and why I bought this machine, so it seems a little crazy for it to eat blades on this muscle machine.

    Any advice? Can you send samples in to KNK for them to try to cut items?

    Just bummer of course, I finally got a working machine and now have to wait on blades, I just have to laugh at this point. All part of the learning curve. I am hoping this will all be worth it!

     

    Thanks all!

    #24289

    Sandy
    Moderator

    Is the Mylar stuck down well onto the mat?  Did you brayer it down?  If there are any spots where the material isn’t stabilized by the adhesive on the mat, those spots won’t cut.

    Also, the springs can vary a bit from one blade holder to the next, so you probably just need to increase the CD/ED until you get a clean cut.  The settings in the table reflect just one tester’s experience and are meant to be a guideline for the test cut, not necessarily the setting that every user will find to be optimal.

    Since writing the last update in the manual, I’ve learned from Ron at KNK USA, that using a very narrow wide rectangle makes for the best test cut shape to insure that the settings will work across the width of the material. He personally tends to leave the BT at the recommended setting (or even lower) and then adjusts Passes and CD/ED until he gets a perfect clean cut of that rectangle.  If you will be cutting smaller more intricate shapes, you might want to use a narrow row of small shapes as your test… such as a row of small letters.

    Also, I recommend keeping the Plunge Speed at 20 and no higher. I believe that if a high PS is used, in combination with a high CD/ED, then the tip of the blade can be damaged when it hits the material.  The blades can still be usual in most cases, but an even higher CD/ED will be needed.

    Hope this helps!

    #24292

    Ashly Mellor
    Participant

    Thank you for your reply Sandy!

    It was very stuck to the mat, so we know that was not the problem. 🙂

    The blades are completely toast, will not even cut paper at this point, that is why I am so shocked. We tried both blade housings that came with the machine, but again we had a bad machine shipped the first time and these housings are from the first machine, any chance they are bad too? Seems like that would be quite odd.

    We were cutting squares, as that is how I always tested materials on my Cricut too.

    Thank you for all the suggestions. As soon as my new blades arrive I will try them and see if we can get this crazy stuff to cut! I might order some of KNK’s mylar to compare and see if there is a vast difference between the two.

     

    Thank you I can’t wait to get this machine up and running for good, I want to kick my Cricuts off the roof 😉

    #24410

    Sandy
    Moderator

    Okay. Let us know how it goes!

    #24655

    Ashly Mellor
    Participant

    Okay so we finally got it to cut through the material. Ya!

    The problem seems to be the mat shift. The mat shifts so bad during cuts that the blade hits the metal bar and then kills the blade, really frustrating. As we see the shift happening we try to cancel the cut but it takes to long to send the signal to the machine and bam, dead blade.

    So here I am, ordering another part (Force Mat Guide), something that should come with these machines, and I have a machine that is not usable. Going on 6 weeks of ownership and zero profitability.

    Just a thought for the future, the Force is not usable without the mat guides, so it seems, so including them and raising the cost of the machine by $5.99 would save a lot of frustration for the end user.

    Hope to have a machine that will be producing products, as intended, before month 3!

    #24843

    Sandy
    Moderator

    The mat guides are a convenience, not a necessity. Most owners don’t use them at all.  I use one on the right side because I like being able to align my mat in a certain location. But I never use the left side one. Also, when doing a PNC, I don’t use either because I don’t want the added friction on the mat as it travels in and out of the cutter.

    Regarding the mat shifting… three things to check:

    (1) You should be using the two outside pinch rollers in the two outside locations. In other words don’t rely on, say, the right one and the middle one or the middle one and the left one.

    (2)  Those two outside pinch rollers must be centered with the grit shafts below. Now the dark gray vinyl rectangles should guide you to where to slide those pinch wheels, but it’s a good idea to verify, with the mat not inside the Force, that those rectangles were adhered in the correct spots on the Force.  In other words, having the two pinch wheels directly over the grit shafts is extremely important in keeping the mat from skewing.

    (3) Make sure your cut settings aren’t causing the skewing.  If the blade is being forced through the material too deeply and/or too quickly, then the mat may be forced out of position.  In that case, first try a lower speed. But it may also make sense to lower the ED and use more passes.

    Post back if you still have issues or start a support ticket at knkusa.com.

    #24844

    Ashly Mellor
    Participant

    Thank you Sandy!

    The guides just arrived today so we are going to give them a shot. We are running out of options.

    The 3 pinch rollers were all placed exactly how you are explaining and we were ending up with a good 15-20 degree shift, which is huge.

    We noticed the lower the speed the worse the shift got. We also had the settings to the lowest settings we could go to achieve the cut, again back to the original problem, we couldn’t get this mylar to cut.

    Here are the settings:

    P (3) SD (90) ED (90) S (15) UP(25) PS(40) LS(40)

     

    Thank you!

    #24883

    Sandy
    Moderator

    Your SD should always start out lower so that the blade can work its way through the material. If it’s the same as the ED, then you’re forcing the blade to a depth that it may not be able to reach in the first pass and something  has to give… that being the cutting mat.

    #25110

    Ashly Mellor
    Participant

    Thank you for all your help Sandy!

    We have made adjustments and have the guides installed and the SD lowered to 65 (lowest we can go and still get a through cut) and the speed upped a bit to 20. We get clean cuts on small things but anything larger, and by large I am not talking even that big, 2″ letters is where we start having problems, we are still experiencing a shift, where the 2nd pass is cutting substantially off. Please see images… any ideas?

    We are officially out of ideas and have not a single clean cut.

    Thank you for your ongoing help, it is very appreciated!
    We are really wanting to love this machine, we hope soon that we will.

     

    IMG_3161

    IMG_3156

    #25147

    Sandy
    Moderator

    That mat will shift any time the blade is being forced too deep and/or too quickly than it cut the material.  OR if the two outside pinch wheels are not centered over the grit shafts beneath the mat (check that first).

    So, you may need to drop the CS to 15 instead of 20.   Also,  lower the SD still and increase the ED.  If the blade is struggling at 65 and causing the mat to skew, then allow it to cut with less aggression.  So, perhaps, SD = 35 and ED = 100 will do the trick in 3 passes.

    #25174

    Ashly Mellor
    Participant

    Thank you Sandy!

    We made those adjustments, and we are still experiencing the same exact problem except now we are adding in not all letters are being cut fully through.

    I think we will keep decreasing the SD and increasing the ED and see if we get anywhere, but we are at taking over 30 minutes to cut a sheet and this isn’t going to work time management wise… I must be missing something.

     

    #25180

    Sandy
    Moderator

    I’m now wondering if using a PS of 40 when you switch blades if the tip of the blade might be damaged if you aren’t backing way off on the depth settings you just tested.    But I’m going to have Ron at KNKUSA look over this thread and see what suggestions he has. I must be missing something.  Sorry this has been such a difficult application… it shouldn’t be since the Mylar is only 7.5 mil.

    #25183

    Ashly Mellor
    Participant

    Thank you again for every message Sandy.

     

    Visual inspection of the blade it looks perfect, comparing it to the others, but we will try a new one. We messed with lowering SD and upping ED and still not a good clean cut, close but nothing. We got 60% clean cut and the rest was off. It just doesn’t make any sense.

    Since we are running out of ideas and I have gone through SO much mylar which I don’t even want to add up the cost of 😉 Have you ever seen successful cut with this material?

    http://www.uscutter.com/GreenStar-7010-Synthetic-Stencil-Board-Cut-SSB-Cut-Non-Adhesive-Reusable-Material-Assorted-Sizes

    When I had researched this machine it said that we could do rolls, how would we go about attaching a roll, I didn’t see any accessories for this.

    I don’t want to give up hope on the mylar, as I have a ton specifically for this machine, but making no progress is disheartening.

    Thank you again Sandy!

    #25197

    Sandy
    Moderator

    I heard back from Ron. First, to figure out the skewing issue he suggests these two tests. Carefully align the mat before the cut so that you can verify one of the horizontal grid lines is aligned with a groove you can see through the mat.   I use one of the grooves of the channel or the bottom of the cutting strip.  Then take out the blade holder so that nothing is being cut. And then just run your same file “cutting air”. Then check when it’s done to verify that the mat is still perfectly aligned.

    If that’s fine, then use pen and paper to do the same test… three passes but using an ED that’s suitable for pen… to get a decent dark line.   Again, draw one of the same designs that is causing the skewing to occur.  Report back if the mat shows skewing by not repeating the pattern over the same location in the second and/or third passes.

    Then, if that’s fine, optimize the settings again, using the method I mentioned in an earlier post… a wide thin rectangle.  For 12″ wide material, I would use 11.5″ wide by 0.25″ high.  Make sure that rectangle is cut absolutely clean. If it’s not, then increase the SD and ED until it’s clean. Also, the BT on the blade holder should be set to 2. If you find that the blade is leaving a deep cut line on one side and no cut line on the other side, then decrease the BT to 1.5 and adjust the SD and ED upwards. Once the rectangle is cutting very cleanly, then try a row of, say, 1″ – 2″ high lettering.  This is the best way to verify that you can get a clean cut across the material without wasting as much material.

    I’m not familiar with that material at US Cutter but if it has a backing sheet that the blade doesn’t penetrate, then it can be cut without a mat.  When I cut long lengths of vinyl, I sit the roll behind the Force, feed the vinyl through the back to the front and then pull forward how much I’ll need for my cut. I then, drop the pinch wheels and, on my computer, I feed the material back and forth to make sure it’s feeding perfectly straight.  Then, when I’m ready to set the origin, I feed it to the back again, allowing it to kind of accumulate in the back. So, if you do want to try a different material, then contact US cutter first and find out if this is a backed material or does is require a cutting mat.

     

     

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by  Sandy.
    #25228

    Ashly Mellor
    Participant

    Hello Sandy,

    Thank you and Ron for all your help!

    With all the testing it seems as though everything is good until we go to actually cut the mylar. With the “cutting air” test everything looked good, pen test everything was lined up, the second we try to cut everything goes haywire.

    We backed off settings to the point where we were not even getting through mylar to see if we could get it to cut in the same place over the 3 places, it was only a hair off here and there. Then we upped everything back to the settings to get a cut through and it would cut through on one side and then not the other and the skew was stronger, obviously because it is struggling and as you explained it has to give somewhere.

    So, to rule out the machine at this point we are ordering your 7mil mylar today and going to give that a shot. At this point that makes the most sense, since you know your material cuts in this machine. If that mylar doesn’t cut with the correct settings we somehow won the lottery with 2 defective machines. If it does cut I found the one mylar it will not cut, and I have a boat load of it! At that point I’d love to send you guys a sample of it and see if you could make any headway with it.

    Again your customer service is amazing and if we can get this bad boy to work I hope to purchase a 24″ Orbitz in the near future.

    Thank you!

    Ashly

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