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    Graphtec GB BrianP's Avatar
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    Brians Hints and Tips

    I thought I'd write a little hints & tips post to cover the most frequent problems I hear of.

    So, here it is.

    Making your carrier sheet & blades last a little longer.

    As you know, these things cost money, so you really want to make them last as long as possible. Far too many users tend to use a pink cap always, while this might make things easier because there is less cap swapping, it will mean you go through carrier sheets and blades a lot faster.

    Nine times out of ten, when you use the pink cap and a lot of force, or even the pink cap with little force if the media is too thin, you are cutting in to the carrier sheet. Every time you cut into the sheet, you blunt your blade a little. Very soon your carrier sheet is cut to shreds and your blade needs replacing.

    So by now, your thinking; "Ok, smarty, we know all this... so how can I make them last a little longer? "

    Well, that brings me to my next point;

    Multiple Cuts.

    Using multiple cuts we can reduce the amount of force we need to cut media and by doing so, reduce the stress to our machine, our blade & carrier sheet. Less force means less carrier sheet cutting and less blade wear, so multiple cuts is the way to go.

    How to do multiple cuts in Robomaster:

    • Select the whole of your design by holding down your left mouse button and dragging a selection box around it.
    • With your design selected, go to the 'Edit' menu and choose 'Copy', then from the 'Edit' menu again choose 'Paste, and then from the 'Edit' menu again select 'Paste'.

    What this does is copy the design on top of itself twice so that when the design is cut, it cuts around the design three times instead of once.

    Please note: you should only do this before you output to your CraftROBO. Do NOT save your designs after doing the copy & paste or it will be hard to edit your design afterwards.

    How to do multiple cuts in DesignMaster:

    DM users have it simple.
    • Go to the 'Cut' menu then 'Plotting Defaults' and tick the box marked 'Multi-Cut' and set the number of passes to 3. Then press 'Save default' and Ok.

    Now all cuts will cut three times instead of once.

    By cutting this way you end up with a cleaner cut and you can cut things which you would otherwise struggle with.

    Cutting thick card

    This seems to be a problem for a lot of users, mostly because they are in the 'pink cap with lots of force' way of thinking, but if you take the multiple cuts principle from above, you can cut card a lot easier.

    Using the multiple cut method above with a yellow cap (or pink for really thick card) and a thickness setting of 18-20 you should be able to cut most cards up to the machines cutting limit. Not only can you cut card which you would struggle to cut normally with one pass but because your not using so much force, your blade will thank you for it too.

    Reading registration marks

    This is another problem for a lot of users but unfortunately it's not as easy to fix as the card cutting problem. Due to the fact that every printer manufacturer has different drivers and each printer driver has different defaults etc etc, getting the CR to read reg marks can be a pain but with a little trial and error and the following tips, most users get there in the end.

    Here are a few tips which might help; the top two fix the problem for a lot of users.

    • Try positioning the printed design in the center of the carrier sheet so that you have an equal amount of carrier sheet showing on each side of the media (looking at the carrier sheet in landscape).
    • When feeding the carrier sheet into the machine. Look down over the silver roller and watch for the reg marks coming through the other side. Keep feeding it in until you see about 5mm of reg mark on the other side of the roller, and then leave it in that position to start your cut.
    • Make sure the machine is not in bright sunlight or has any lights pointing at it, as this can interfere with the detection sensor.
    • Check if you printer has any 'Borderless' or 'Margin-less' settings and make sure they are un-ticked. If they are enabled they will stretch the registration marks out of position.
    • Make sure the printed registration marks are very black. If the ink is running out or the printer is set to 'economy' settings, the registration marks can be too grey for the sensors to detect.

    CraftROBO stopping during cutting

    This happens on certain designs, normally where a straight line meets a curve, and can look like the machine has switched off. The machine will continue cutting after around 2 mins (well, 1min 58secs to be precise :p) but may stop again in the same manner especially on repeated designs.

    If this happens, reduce the cutting speed to 3 and the pausing should stop. Once you have finished cutting that specific design you can turn the speed back up as required.

    Correct media placement and loading

    It's surprising how many problems can be prevented simply by placing the media in the correct place on the carrier sheet. Regardless of what you have been told in the past, you really want to be putting the media in the centre of the carrier sheet. As you look at the carrier sheet in landscape you should be placing the media in the centre with about 1cm of sticky showing either side of the media.

    Once the media is in the correct place, it needs to be fed into the CR correctly. There are two places that I deem 'correct' depending on if I am doing print & cut or simply cutting.

    For cutting: feed the media in to the machine until the top edge of the media (NOT the carrier sheet) lines up with the front edge of the black cutting strip.

    For print & cut: whilst feeding the media in, look down over the top of the silver roller and look for the registration marks coming out the other side. Once you see about 5mm of reg mark coming out under the roller, your in the correct position.

    Installing Multiple Robomaster versions

    I notice a few users here are wanting to install different version of Robomaster along side their current version and are a little confused on how to do it, so I thought I'd pop in and help out.

    Before we start, I am assuming that you already have your current version of robomaster installed and everything is working, so I'll just be covering how you add a new version.

    For this example we'll be adding v5.1 but the same method could be applied to v2.4 or v4.4.

    1) Start the robomaster Setup file and press Next twice until we are on the 'Choose Destination Location' page.

    2) The default install location is 'C:\Program Files\ROBO Master' so we need to change that. Press browse and a Choose Folder requester will open.

    3) You will see the location is highlighted, so click in the 'Path' section and change the default path so it reads 'C:\Program Files\ROBO Master v5' and press ok.

    4) You should now be back on the 'Choose Destination Location' page and the install path should show 'C:\Program Files\ROBO Master v5'. If your path doesn't show the same, go back and re-read step 2 and try again. Once your path is correct, press next.

    5) The next page should be 'Select program folder' and will be set as 'Craft ROBO'. We want to change this so it reads: Robomaster v5 and then press next.

    6) The next page allows us to create a desktop icon, which we don't want to do because it will overwrite your existing robomaster desktop icon. So remove the tick from the 'place an icon on desktop' box.

    7) Press next and let robomaster install, then click finish.

    Now if you go to your Start menu > Programs you should see a new folder called 'Robomaster v5', if you go in to that and select Robo master your new version should now load. Any time you want to use our previous version of robomaster you just click on your desktop icon or the Craft ROBO folder in your start menu.

    In regards to drivers; as long as your driver was installed and working before, it will work fine with your newly installed robomaster. You don't need to copy any other files over.

    If you are using a CC200-20 or CC100-20 with the new RM v5.1 you will need to make one small change before it will work. Start RM v5.1, go to the File menu and Preferences. From the pull down menu marked 'Cutting plotter model' choose your correct model (i.e. cc100-20 or cc200-20) and press ok. If you then restart the software it will work fine with your model of CraftROBO.

    Installing Drivers

    If you download the driver from this link it should get you up and running. If you use this download you don't need to know if you have 32bit or 64bit because the driver installer checks your system for you and installs the correct driver as needed.

    After installing this driver, if you still have problems with the software not 'seeing' the driver, try these steps below:

    Make sure the CraftROBO is plugged in and switched on and go to the start menu, right click on Computer and choose properties. Once the system info window appears, choose device manager from the top left corner. Once you have Device manager open look down the list for a section marked 'other devices' and press the [>] next to it and you should see your Graphtec machine. Select the machine, right click and select 'update driver software'. When the Update driver window appears, choose ‘Search Automatically for updated driver software’ and Windows should associate the driver for you.

    Hopefully these tips will help both new and experienced users get a little more enjoyment out of their CraftROBO.
    Last edited by Lucille; 04-06-2011 at 09:47 AM.

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