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Hotfix Era Software thread

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Old August 30th, 2011 Aug 30, 2011 7:20:23 AM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hotfix Era Software thread

Hello All,

I've seen several questions about Sierra's Hotfix Era software for rhinestone design making, and I thought it might deserve its own thread.

I "discovered" the software by reading about it on this forum, watched the videos, and was very curious. We have a newer Cams machine, the 1V-2P model. Like many others, I was often frustrated with the included Gemmaster software.

While at the NNEP show in Nashville a couple weeks ago I was able to see the software in person. I ordered it the next day. $850 and a few days later, I had my software. If you do purchase from the manufacturer, you might call your credit card company ahead of time and inform them of your pending Argentina purchase, to avoid having your account locked, like I did.

For those that have not checked out their website, Design ERA - Software Suite for the Apparel decoration, you purchase the base software and then the "modules" for your particular equipment. At first I had a mild case of buyers remorse, as the PDF manual didn't go into a lot of depth, but the software can do a lot of things that Gemmaster can't. I've produced several designs and ran them through the machine without a problem.

There are some weaknesses though. When editing, you can only move one stone at at a time. There is no "shift or ctrl" clicking. Also, when drawing lines or moving objects you can't use angle constraint. There are a few other shortcomings that I'm not remembering as I type this.

Anyone else taken the plunge yet? I'm hoping that there will be some corrective maintenance releases from Sierra, but right now, at least on their support site, there isn't much of any thing at all about the software. Everything is geared towards their embroidery software (which we do not use).

I look forward to hopefully hearing from other users.

Ray
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Old August 31st, 2011 Aug 31, 2011 11:02:47 AM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hotfix Era Software thread

I also purchased hotfix.It does a lot more than the gemmaster software. the biggest problem I have run into is when you send the design to the machine you have location options. They are center upper left loewer right etc. This does not work as it puts the design right on the edge of the CAMMS platen. If you place a stone in each of the 4 corners and the design just 1/2 inch inside it will work just like the Camms, where you manually locate the design to be sent. There videos on youtube are terrible there is no audio just printed text. I have spoken to them and they are working on some fixes. The other thing they do not have that the Camms does is you can pull a string of stones you cannot do this in hot fix.

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Old August 31st, 2011 Aug 31, 2011 2:33:43 PM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hotfix Era Software thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob emb
I also purchased hotfix.It does a lot more than the gemmaster software. the biggest problem I have run into is when you send the design to the machine you have location options. They are center upper left loewer right etc. This does not work as it puts the design right on the edge of the CAMMS platen. If you place a stone in each of the 4 corners and the design just 1/2 inch inside it will work just like the Camms, where you manually locate the design to be sent. There videos on youtube are terrible there is no audio just printed text. I have spoken to them and they are working on some fixes. The other thing they do not have that the Camms does is you can pull a string of stones you cannot do this in hot fix.

Bob

Yes, the only placement option I use is the center option, as the program keeps putting the stones too close to the platen edge with any other option. That is also something I'd like to see fixed.

I'd also like to have a default workspace, i.e., like the platen size. It would make gang sheets much easier to make. An array option (like Gemmasters) would be nice too. Hotfix has the "hoop" option you can load, but you have to scroll through the list each and every time you want to use it.

The premade font vectors are OK, but need to be expanded a bit IMO. The flexible fills are very nice though.


Ray
 
 
Old August 31st, 2011 Aug 31, 2011 5:48:14 PM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hotfix Era Software thread

This is a first generation rhinestone program... I looked at it in Jan in beta format and I thought then....and now...that it has some catching up to do
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Old September 3rd, 2011 Sep 3, 2011 12:24:29 PM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hotfix Era Software thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by charles95405
This is a first generation rhinestone program... I looked at it in Jan in beta format and I thought then....and now...that it has some catching up to do

Agreed. But it has taken HOURS of time away from designing patterns for me. The Gemmaster software is capable of doing many things, but HotFix's ability to fill objects with different stone patterns, and vary the density on the fly, is a huge timesaver.

Ray
 
Old October 18th, 2011 Oct 18, 2011 7:27:12 AM -   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hotfix Era Software thread

I'm considering purchasing Hot Fix Stone ERA for my CAMS 1V-6P, I've seem the videos on the Sierra website and am left with several questions. I'm assuming that this is a stand alone software and you no longer need GemMaster.
Is the gem palette/hopper setup done in HFS ERA?

What types of files can be imported to HFS ERA?

Can all import file types be "auto-filled"?

Is HFS ERA limited to which vinyl cutter it can drive?

Does your purchase include software updates?

Has anyone contacted Sierra as to improving future version of the software?

Are they accepting user feedback?

Thanks in advance,

Kelly
 
Old October 23rd, 2011 Oct 23, 2011 8:20:10 AM -   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hotfix Era Software thread

for those that own the software, is it proprietary to one computer? and the fonts, it mentions that it has digitized fonts but also works with TTF's.. how well does it convert the TTF's? GemMaster is just horrible and pretty much useless with alot of them IMO
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Old October 23rd, 2011 Oct 23, 2011 9:38:43 PM -   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hotfix Era Software thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaBling
I'm considering purchasing Hot Fix Stone ERA for my CAMS 1V-6P, I've seem the videos on the Sierra website and am left with several questions. I'm assuming that this is a stand alone software and you no longer need GemMaster.

Is the gem palette/hopper setup done in HFS ERA?

Yes. You can make a custom palette of only the stones/studs/etc that you use. The hopper setup is done when you are sending to machine.

What types of files can be imported to HFS ERA?

I've used JPEGS and Illustrator vector files with no problem. It accepts corel files as well as most raster files.

Can all import file types be "auto-filled"?

Everything that I've tried with it, yes.

Is HFS ERA limited to which vinyl cutter it can drive?

You must purchase a driver for the cutters. I don't use it with my cutter, I just purchased the driver for my Cams. See their website for cutter details.

Does your purchase include software updates?

Yes. That is my understanding.

Has anyone contacted Sierra as to improving future version of the software?

They told me that they are working on a service release. This my only Sierra product, so I don't really know how reliable they are.

Are they accepting user feedback?

When I suggested some features, I was told to go to their Embroidery Suite site and make my requests there. No where could I find any place to suggest improvement for the HotFix software. Only embroidery software links were listed.

Thanks in advance,

Kelly
I marked up my answers above.

Ray
 
Old October 23rd, 2011 Oct 23, 2011 9:48:59 PM -   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hotfix Era Software thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by HotFixQueen
for those that own the software, is it proprietary to one computer? and the fonts, it mentions that it has digitized fonts but also works with TTF's.. how well does it convert the TTF's? GemMaster is just horrible and pretty much useless with alot of them IMO
The software is allowed to be installed on 3 computers, but you have a USB security dongle that limits you to using only one at a time. The "machine fonts" are very limited IMO. I've hardly used them. The TTF feature is pretty nifty though. You can choose to use an outline, a fill, or both on any font. It's not perfect, but I usually only need to tweak a few stones to make a word look right. MUCH better than GemMaster for fonts.

I do wish I could directly import my GemMaster files, but I am unaware of any method to do that.

Hope this helps.

Ray
 
Old February 1st, 2012 Feb 1, 2012 2:39:49 PM -   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hotfix Era Software thread

I just purchased Hotfix ERA and I am experiencing random freezing and sometimes I have to force quit the program. Has anyone had this problem? I know it's not my computer, I'm running a i& 2.8 quad core chip, 16Gb ram and 1GB video ram.


A couple more questions.

I can't get the curve tool to work, I have clicked on the icon and clicked Control+K?

The other is If I have 1 color of stones in different locations in a design and what to change it to another color. I have tried grouping in object manager, but there is no way to change all the stones at one time. Does anyone know of a way to do this?



Thanks,

Randy
 
Old February 1st, 2012 Feb 1, 2012 6:59:29 PM -   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hotfix Era Software thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by rtfulk
I just purchased Hotfix ERA and I am experiencing random freezing and sometimes I have to force quit the program. Has anyone had this problem? I know it's not my computer, I'm running a i& 2.8 quad core chip, 16Gb ram and 1GB video ram.
We'll need more specifics on how and where you're running into this issue. You can click on the blue question mark icon at the top right corner of the screen and submit your own support ticket. This will get a few diagnostic files to our techs. It's a start.

A couple more questions.

I can't get the curve tool to work, I have clicked on the icon and clicked Control+K?
Make sure your curves are set to regular arcs, otherwise it's waiting on your bezier controls, which you're welcome to use. For regular curves though, click on Application Button at the very top left corner of the screen >> Preferences >> Options & Preferences >> find "Create and Edit" on the left column >> set your curve type to "Circle Arcs".

The other is If I have 1 color of stones in different locations in a design and what to change it to another color. I have tried grouping in object manager, but there is no way to change all the stones at one time. Does anyone know of a way to do this?
The latest release v11.21 allows to change stone size and type to multiple groups at once. Select the objects on the Object Manager list, then change accordingly through the Object Inspector (right below the Object Manager) - v11.21 is a free upgrade through the LiveUpdate button on the ribbon when you launch the software.


Thanks,

Randy
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Old February 1st, 2012 Feb 1, 2012 9:25:03 PM -   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hotfix Era Software thread

Thank You,

I've just clicked on the blue question mark and uploaded the error file. I've read the manual a couple of times just to get familiar with the controls, but didn't see that in the preferences section.

I setup a custom Hotfix stone catalog on the left hand side the stones are in the order I like them, color, then size, but when I click on the Open Hotfix Stone Catalog button they are not in that order. Is there a way to set that in a certain order?

I have one more question. In 3D mode is there a way to keep the stones in 3D mode while laying them out ? the only way I can get them to show up is by clicking on 3D and clicking and draggin on the screen. They appear until I click on the screen again. Is this the correct procedure?


Thanks again for taking the time to answer these questions. I think I have most everything else figured out. I am really liking the software.


Randy
 
Old February 2nd, 2012 Feb 2, 2012 3:15:01 PM -   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hotfix Era Software thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by rtfulk
Thank You,

I've just clicked on the blue question mark and uploaded the error file. I've read the manual a couple of times just to get familiar with the controls, but didn't see that in the preferences section.

I setup a custom Hotfix stone catalog on the left hand side the stones are in the order I like them, color, then size, but when I click on the Open Hotfix Stone Catalog button they are not in that order. Is there a way to set that in a certain order?

I have one more question. In 3D mode is there a way to keep the stones in 3D mode while laying them out ? the only way I can get them to show up is by clicking on 3D and clicking and draggin on the screen. They appear until I click on the screen again. Is this the correct procedure?


Thanks again for taking the time to answer these questions. I think I have most everything else figured out. I am really liking the software.


Randy
Page 1-14 of the User Manual has a screen shot of the window I'm talking about. On the left column you'll find "Create and Edit", and "General" right below it. That's where you'll be able to set your curve preference. Also, pages 4-3 & 4-4 have more info about the actual node settings.

The "Open HotFix Catalog" will open the Component Library (rhinestones, sequins, spangles, rhinestuds, nailheads). Within that window, you can drag bead types from the right column to the left column, that's how you customize your Palette. At the bottom of that window, do a "set as default" and it'll become your new palette on the vertical Color Bar along the left edge of the screen.

The red balloon at the bottom left of the screen toggles between normal and 3D modes. Your stones don't generate until you hit Enter though. What you're placing before you hit Enter are just nodes. Now, if you're in "manual" mode, every click becomes a stone, and those will show as you go along, but you lose the advantage of working with wireframe objects - those are the ones you're creating with nodes, but only generate the stones when you hit Enter.
 
Old February 10th, 2012 Feb 10, 2012 2:46:46 AM -   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hotfix Era Software thread

I've been using this software for about 4 month now and have to say it's a great program with the exeption that it does crash and freeze very often. It is not a hardware issue because I recently upgraded to latest technology across the board and still have the same issues.

I have sent in numerous from the beginning error codes without any luck. As a matter of fact, it seems like the newest version is even worse.

I would reccomend setting your autosave to the lowest setting.

I would be interested in how many other are having the same issue.
 
Old August 3rd, 2012 Aug 3, 2012 5:44:19 AM -   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hotfix Era Software thread

Just checking back for some updated feedback on this software.

Have the freezing issues been resolved at all?

Also, how do you like the software in general? Pro's and con's???

Can anyone compare it to Oobling Pro or Winpc Sign Pro 2012?

I have been looking to upgrade from rstones for a while but I have not been able to settle a a new software package. HotFix looks to have some nice features but I am concerned about the freezing.

Thanks for any feedback!
 






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