Need some clarity around CMCs.

Computerised Mount Cutters, Computers, other gadgetry.

Need some clarity around CMCs.

Postby MikeSwannick » Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:31 pm

Hi all,

I've been reading here and other places about the capability of various CMC's. A detail that is touched on but rarely goes into any depth is the computer that controls the cutting machine. What is the usual arrangement in this respect? Does the cutter come with an integrated computer running bespoke software or is the design and controller software provided on disk with a dedicated PCI controller card to install in any suitably specc'ed PC?

Regarding the design software, is that manufacturer specific and what are it's capabilities? I'm familiar with CD printing or label design programs (sort of a DTP Lite type programs) that give you control of basic shapes, curved lines, text line thickness and colour etc. Obviously colour isn't a design issue with these machines (other that to discriminate between cut and uncut areas I expect), but what about importing designs from Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop? Does each design software package produce it's own proprietry file format that isn't compatible with other software titles? I recall reading about one manufacturer offering a service to convert a design file to its own CMC-specific format for a fee at a disconcerting fee. :shock:

I saw the SAS mount mentioned elsewhere on this forum (incredible work :clap: ) and wonder what sort of hoops one has to jump through to achieve such a fantastic end result taking into account all of the above.

So many questions, I know, and I anticipate it will be while before I'm 'giving' rather than 'taking', but I hope to get there one day.

Regards,

Mike.
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Re: Need some clarity around CMCs.

Postby Merlin » Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:46 pm

I can only speak for Valiani - I am sure other manufacturers will be along shortly.
We do not tie you into having another dedicated PC. We fully understand that many homes / business have at least one PC running in house software.

Whilst not recommended, I have seen CMC's running from a Laptop. My own system runs quite happily from a WIN10 pc with only 4GB RAM. You do not need a dedicated PCI controller - a Standard USB controller will work.

Your CMC will come with the manufacturers software on a CD, ready for loading. File saving is normally unique to manufacturer.
Importing designs can be a tricky one. Alot of people think they can just import a file from photoshop and it will cut. Not quite right. The file needs to be in a Vector format .PLT or .SVG and not a Raster file as in JPEG etc.
It would take only about 1 hour of instruction on Corel Draw for you to be able to produce quite presentable mounts. Even less if you are CAD trained.
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Re: Need some clarity around CMCs.

Postby MikeSwannick » Mon Feb 01, 2016 5:49 pm

Thanks Merlin, that's cleared up quite alot. I understand the vector/raster issue now.

I appreciate you can only speak from one perspective, but regarding utilising an existing PC, does your software run happily with other programs running at the same time? standard stuff like Word, Excel, email client, Chrome or Firefox etc (assuming some sort of mid-range CPU and 8Gb RAM) I know sending some print commands can hog the cpu cycles for a short time.

Regards,

Mike.
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Re: Need some clarity around CMCs.

Postby Kenneycm » Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:46 pm

Hi Mike,
I can mirror Merlin's comments on the whole, although I am a Gunnar user... converting images to plotable cut patterns can be tricky but manageable if you have a decent understanding of working with Coreldraw. PC specs shouldn't be too much of a drama these days, any up to date system will run the CMC controller.. I have an AMD 3.2GHz with 8Gb RAM running Windows 8... I didn't plump for the windows 10 upgrade because it is running perfectly as it is.. I also have the normal apps running too aswell as my Z3200 Printer and rip software and no major hangups other than operator interface :-$
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Re: Need some clarity around CMCs.

Postby Merlin » Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:03 pm

Yes, my PC handles the CMC software and the email client plus Skype being open at the same time.

However, having said that. I really do not do any email work or surf the net when designing / cutting mounts.
I can multi task normally but not to that extent. :xcomputer:
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Re: Need some clarity around CMCs.

Postby David » Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:08 pm

I can only speak as a Gunnar user, a standard PC will cope fine, if you are going to do any creative stuff a dedicated graphics card 1GB is really needed, l don't have one at the moment and I'm going to get it upgraded. The software works just gets slower. You can import from Corel but I find you need to spend a lot of time cleaning the outline, so l mainly create designs direct in the Gunnar software, this takes time producing an outline but requires less fiddling about to get it cutting. I quite often have multiple programs, word, Photoshop, Internet running at the same time as the Gunnar software, especially when designing and it's not a problem.

I find the Gunnar software excellent to work with, if you are used to photoshop or Corel it's very easy and intuitive to pick up. As with any new kit there is a learning curve. But drawing a design is one thing, working out how to cut it whether on a manual or cmc cutter is another. Just because you have a cmc doesn't make it easy you still need the creative input.

The SAS piece was done on a Gunnar in their drawing program.
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Re: Need some clarity around CMCs.

Postby MikeSwannick » Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:16 pm

Thanks everyone. I'm going to track down some Coreldraw tutorials and see if my Photoshop skills will 'transfer'.

Mike.
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Re: Need some clarity around CMCs.

Postby Merlin » Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:23 pm

Mike
Have a look at: http://www.crescentpro.com/video/?id=20#videoTop
A very basic 'teach in' for Corel Draw.

Whilst there have a look at the Valiani Educational videos - particularly the Baseball Photo Mat

To answer David. It really depends on your PC configuration. I manage very creative designs within Valiani software using the standard motherboard onboard graphics chip.

I agree when using Corel Draw or other memory intensive CAD type programmes then a better graphics card MAY be needed.
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Re: Need some clarity around CMCs.

Postby Graysalchemy » Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:33 pm

If you are adept with pen tool in photoshop then you will be fine with corel draw, actually I find it easier on corel draw than photoshop.
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Re: Need some clarity around CMCs.

Postby MikeSwannick » Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:36 pm

The Coreldraw video was very useful. I expect I'd be able to get to grips with that pretty quickly, the V Studio though....... :?

The results look excellent but I struggled to keep up with the narrators terminology and there was a level of assumed knowledge just above my newbie status. I also couldn't quite work out if the different shades of blue represented an actual physical sheet of mountcard or not. Do they all stack up and get cut in one operation? The layers thing had me scratching my head too. It's a shame they don't do a time or function limited trial version. Is there a pdf manual for the software that can be legally distributed?

Mike.
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Re: Need some clarity around CMCs.

Postby GUNNAR » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:56 am

Hi Mike

From Sunday 7th Feb to Thursday 11th Feb both Valiani and GUNNAR will be exhibiting at the Spring Fair in Birmingham www.springfair.com. In this day an age of ever declining trade shows this is a unique opportunity to see both ranges. Framers Corner who distribute Wizard are not far away from Birmingham and you could probably arrange a visit with them at the same time. Trucut are based in Manchester. We are holding our annual Mountcutting Challenge finals at the show - these entries would give you a good idea of what is possible with a CMC. The entries will be posted on Facebook - one per day starting tomorrow. www.facebook.com/UKGUNNAR

GUNNAR also have a variety of Corel Draw training videos but I'm afraid there is no public link available. Most of these videos are installed within the help files of our software GMC. You can find some information about the videos available www.gunnar-int.com/cmc/products/gunnar- ... r-gmc.html. I would be happy to hook up on-line with you so that you can view some of these from my system if you cant make it to the show.


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Re: Need some clarity around CMCs.

Postby Merlin » Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:28 pm

MikeSwannick wrote:The Coreldraw video was very useful.The results look excellent but I struggled to keep up with the narrators terminology and there was a level of assumed knowledge


Yes there is a level of assumed knowledge. This was produced on the back off the over subscribed Valiani seminars at WCAF.

As Sarah from Gunnar suggested. If you can, visit the Spring Fair at the NEC to get a hands on experience.
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Re: Need some clarity around CMCs.

Postby Kenneycm » Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:38 pm

Is that a new pair of shoes for the show again Sarah :-)
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Re: Need some clarity around CMCs.

Postby GUNNAR » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:13 pm

Ha ha! You are not the first to ask about shoes. The other end of the sofa, Steve and the rest of the GUNNAR team are all astonished - I have not bought any new shoes for the show! There might however be a new handbag! Keep an eye on FB.
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