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This is a flatbed vinyl cutter and plotter. It works.
Create the file
- Create/import a file in Inkscape
- Select all
- Path > Object To Path
- Check that lines are what you expect by turning of all fills and turning on all strokes. The lines that you see are the ones that will be cut.
- File > Save A Copy> choose .hpgl extension
- Make sure that "Tool offset correction" is set to 0 or your cut will be very bad.
Test and adjust settings
- Insert the tool you plan to use in one of the tool holder and tighten
- If you are using a cutting tool the blade should not be sticking out farther than the thickness that you want to cut
- Sample settings can be found below
- Press 'Test' button
- Position cutter in an unused area
- Press '1' for Test 1
- The machine will cut a triangle inside a square
- The square should peel away cleanly without peeling the triangle
- When the triangle is removed there should only be a very faint outline on the backing
- Press the 'Condition' button to change settings
- Use the '1' and '2' buttons to move the cursor
- Use the '3' and '4' buttons to adjust the selected setting
- If you are having cut issues, cranking the blade all the way out is NOT the solution
- Consult the manuals under the machine for troubleshooting tips
Run the file
- Go to http://graphtec.makeict.org:5000
- Click the blue button to open the file menu
- Scroll to the bottom of the list and click the upload button
- Select file in system menu
- To set active file, click filename in list
- Click green button to run file
Small Blade (Blue Knob)
Cutter Offset: 17
Starting point for vinyl:
- Stickout: 0.2mm
Large Blade (Red Knob)
Cutter Offset: 28
Cutter Offset: 0
- After saving the HPGL file open it up in Inkscape to verify the output looks right. If there are issues, go back to the source file and save it as a PDF. Open the PDF in Inkscape and then save as HPGL. This has fixed all of the conversion issues we have run into so far.
- If you get an error in inkscape when saving the HPGL that says the file cannot be saved, just copy everything into a new file and save it there. For some reason this works.