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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I have read and re-read the manual, checked the forums to see if anyone - anyone - has ever been as out of their mind as I seem to have been in deciding to do this...no luck. I am an island - all alone! Seems everyone had some clue about terminology and processes before jumping in. :eek:

I am NEW to the heat press t-shirt business, planning to create spirit wear using OOBling Pro, vinyl, rhinestones using my heat press.

Problem? I have the equipment and software (OOBling Pro, Puma III, 16 x 20 Hotronix auto clam), initial supplies but don't know what to do now! Please be kind, I am already feeling pretty stressed having spent all this money and not able to use it!!! :confused:

I have looked everywhere for tutorials and they're not basic enough for me...I just need someone to walk me thru everything from removing the little rubber cover on my cutter blade (seriously, don't laugh...am I supposed to keep that?) to loading the card stock (I'd like to cut some business cards I designed...??) and vinyls to importing a file to making the first cut...it's all greek to me. :confused:

I am very efficient at desktop publishing, use a couple of different software packages... am quite comfortable around paper cutters, owning several styles from store bought to professional dahle's wall mount, know how to line up and size - but this seems very different to me.

PLEEEASE be kind to me...

Thanks,

Lisa
 

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My initial advise would be TAKE A BREATH!!!!:) Don't overwhelm yourself with everything at once, since it is so much.

Your cutter:
  • Yes, you want to remove the little rubber piece from the blade, and insert the blade into the blade holder, if not already done.
  • Is your cutter connected to your computer via USB cord or are you using the port cord (I'm not even sure I said that right), but it matters that you have your cutter set up right to talk to your computer.
  • Play around with your cutter to get a feel for loading media, pressure settings, offset and over cut settings, ect. When you place your vinyl/paper, whatever in your cutter, IT MUST be situated on the white markings, so that you can place your pinch rollers to hold the material in place. Basically, your pinch rollers MUST always be located on these white markers. Do some test cutting with your card stock since you are already familiar with that.
GETTING ART TO YOUR CUTTER
  • In order to "cut" your designs on your Puma III, the artwork must be in vector (.eps, ai, cdr, plt) format. There may be other formats, but that's what I'm familiar with sending to my Puma III. I am guessing that you will be using either your OOBling or Corel Draw or some other type of sign cutting software to do your non-rhinestone designs? If not, back up because you are missing a piece. I am not familiar with OOBling, so I don't know that it can function to do the vinyl cutting activities that you want to do.
I would say that once you have established that your cutter can talk to your computer, that you are familiar with all the functions of the cutter, then you might want to get into the OOBling software and start with the rhinestone templates.

Once step at a time:)
 

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+1 on taking a breath. 2) Have you already promised finished jobs for customers? 3) What is your MOST PRESSING need? 4) From WHOM did you purchase the equipment? LEAN ON THEM! 5) Do you have a friend in your area who is doing the same work? ASK FOR HELP I promise, you will get through the START UP. A year from now, when you are doing this work with your eyes closed, you will pause for a moment and chuckle at where you have been, where you are, and where you are going.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks! I have decided breathing is good for business...

My blade is in...and I have test cut a star! Woohoo! But...when I went to test again, it only cut half the star??? Twice now...not sure what I'm doing differently than the first time. Does it matter how much paper is left? IE: not on a long roll, just a sheet 8.5 x 11.

Cutter connected via usb port, not serial hubs but, it was configured w/ 32 bit instead of the 64 bit...think I have that all fixed now since I did make at least one test cut.

OOBling will do the vinyl I want it to.

What exactly am I trying to understand w/ pressure settings, offset and over cut settings? I don't know these words...yet! When I look at the LCD on the cutter, it seems so confusing...arrows, roll, edge, single, etc.

I just hit test cut and it cut this awesome little circle w/ an arrow inside. It will be amazing when I get this figured out. Till then, my blood pressure is surely elevated and my coffee needs are diminished...already revved enough!

How do you turn art into vector art? Must it already come that way if I import?

I have NOT promised finished work to anyone but several people keep asking if I'm ready yet...(I told everyone I was doing this but needed to become familiar w/ the process, software, etc before accepting jobs)...but, they're waiting.

Most pressing need? To send some wording I've created in OOBling to the cutter using vinyl media...so I can press my first vinyl shirt. (I have pressed a few items using only rhinestones.)

I am working w/ the folks that I bought the equipment from...things work when I'm on talking to them then not so much when I'm flying solo...

No one else local doing this...in fact, that's where most of my work will come from...my friends are lining up to place orders for their kid's team, church, etc.

So...I hope I will be chuckling at where I've come from in a year...

Thank you...
 

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Yes it does matter how much paper is left. The Puma III will not cut to the end of a piece of media. I think it is about a 3" margin that it will leave at the end of the material. It is very important that you size your media before you begin cutting so that you can determine if you have enough space for what you want to cut.

If you are cutting single sheets of media, or using sheet of paper, you want to use the SINGLE arrow to size your media. This will move the cutter blade from one edge to the other, and roll the media from front to back to give you the "available cutting size". I am always in the habit of PREVIEWING how my expected design looks on the media before I actually begin cutting. This gives me the chance to make manual changes to the layout to conserve media if I want.

The next arrow I use the most is the one for EDGE. This only measure the width of the media, so you will need to make sure that you have enough length for what you are cutting, and that includes the 3" margin that the cutter will not cross.

Your down force is how much pressure you need to cut a particular type of media. It might be set at 250 for cardstock, and 90 for normal vinyl. You have the opportunity to set your cutting force in the parameters screen that pops up after you send something to the cutter.

The overcut function simply goes back over the starting point of a cut a small amount, to make sure there is a clean cut.

I don't really know how to explain the offset - sorry:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just wanted to post a little update...I am breathing and learning more every day.

I donated a 'spirit pack' (hoodie, t-shirt and tote bag) to my church for an auction this past Sunday. The value was $75, bidding started at $25 and it went for $98! Several folks came up afterwards asking for my card ...we'll see how that pans out...

I made a shirt for one of my sons...high school name, baseball on the front, 2 color vinyl, w/ his number on the back, also 2 color. He came home today w/ shirt sizes and wording for 8 of his friends who want one, too!

So...still have so much to learn but feeling so much better than I did a week ago. Not quite laughing yet but, feeling ready and capable!

Thank you!!!!

Lisa :)
 

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I have a question about using rolled media.

I load the roll and the machine detects it. I send the job over and it will roll out three to four times what I need to cut my job before it starts. If there is not 3-4 times the length of the job left on the roll, it wont cut.

Not only is it frustrating to not cut within what I have left on the roll, but it is also getting the vinyl on the roll really dirty (despite how many times I vacuum, it is picking up dust, carpet fibers, etc.).

Can someone please shoot me an idea to help stop the need for so much overage on the roll, or how to get it to stop pulling so much out?

Thanks!
Kate:D
 
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