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Using Epson Stylus Pro 10000 to check diecutting registration

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  • Using Epson Stylus Pro 10000 to check diecutting registration

    Hello, everyone...

    We are using an Epson Stylus Pro 10000 to run out dielines on mylar to verify that they are correct before ordering the dies. We also run out a paper imposition on the Epson to which we try to register the mylar. We are consistently having a problem with the dieline not fitting the imposition (being off by a point or two, seemingly growing from left to right). We have been unable to determine the cause of this. We always end up moving the dieline to fit the paper proof of the imposition. The diemaker uses a CAD system to plot the dies from the EPS files that we submit.

    I realize that an inkjet printer (or at least the substrates being printed on) are not necessarily the most stable things. I am just hoping that someone else is using the same system for this, and hopefully has some suggestions.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: Using Epson Stylus Pro 10000 to check diecutting registration

    Hi Alan,

    We use an in-house Cad system and it plots from the actual step die image onto engineering film (frosted mylar) which is quite expensive but holds size perfectly. This tracing is used by all internal departments (prepress, production coordination, press, die-cutting, & glueing) while the die maker gets an e-file of it to make the die.

    By employing Black Magic to print all our proofs and mock-ups on a Epson and HP plotters, we are able to resize independently in both directions (across and around) to match S/A exactly for each substrate and plotter.

    As long as the room environment is stable, we have no problems what-so-ever (we insist on a three day climatization before loding new stock into the plotters). Fuji FP Satin (Epson) and FRGHR Plus Bond (HP).
    The bond paper will change the most when its raining vs sunny but we use it for non-critical purposes. The Satin is our mainstay for fit.

    John W

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    • #3
      Re: Using Epson Stylus Pro 10000 to check diecutting registration

      John,

      I appreciate the response. What is happening is that we usually impose the dielines manually in Illustrator, and mathematically, everything is stepped the same as it is when it is imposed in Preps. We don't have problems with the dies the majority of the time, but once in awhile we get a completed die that just doesn't fit the printed piece. I know sometimes we can attribute this to paper stretch. The problem is, due to tight turnarounds, we aren't always able to wait for the job to be printed before we have to order the dies!

      I know that CAD systems are very expensive, and that really isn't an option for us.

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      • #4
        Re: Using Epson Stylus Pro 10000 to check diecutting registration

        Is it possible that something is being lost in the translation between the Illustrator EPS file that we send to the diemaker, and the way that they use the file to plot on their CAD system? When these problems happen, it's that the dies are usually off by no more than 1/32", although we have had them come back a full sixteenth-inch off.

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        • #5
          Re: Using Epson Stylus Pro 10000 to check diecutting registration

          Alan,
          It wouldn't surprise me one bit that rounding off calculations may be different at the die makers than in Illustrator.
          Most die programs have a screwball way of rounding. I would check that they measure in metric units to three decimal places and you should work the same.
          Of course, in OSX you can work even finer decimal points but they, I'd bet, cannot!
          As you may know, the Mac works only in points even though you can enter any units. The Cad programs on the PC likely do not work in points more than likely in inches (or even fractions) especially if its NA sold software. I would do a grid test to exacting measurements say with different decimal point accuracy.

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          • #6
            Re: Using Epson Stylus Pro 10000 to check diecutting registration

            What size die are you talking about? Our Epson does the same...walks further than the die, but it is when we're looking at 28X40. It seems to hold at the smaller level. 23 X29, no problem. (You watch, tomorrow, it won't fit. LOL)

            Does anyone use the old CAD used for cutting masks to draw out dielines?

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            • #7
              Re: Using Epson Stylus Pro 10000 to check diecutting registration

              You're right, Frank...but we deal mostly with the bigger dies (23 x 35 and above), and it's almost always a problem. Not always, just almost. ;-)

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              • #8
                Re: Using Epson Stylus Pro 10000 to check diecutting registration

                I guess that I can mark this as "answered"...I don't really think there is an answer!

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                • #9
                  Re: Using Epson Stylus Pro 10000 to check diecutting registration

                  Have you checked to see if all print output on the Epson is 100% to size or is it a material problem only (proofing paper vs clear)?

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                  • #10
                    Re: Using Epson Stylus Pro 10000 to check diecutting registration

                    Mylar always seems to be larger. I suppose because it's probably a less-stable substrate than paper?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Using Epson Stylus Pro 10000 to check diecutting registration

                      Okay, time for me to chime in again.

                      Try the engineering film from Policrom Inc LM04x150Ft
                      1418 Wells Dr Bensalem PA 19020, 215.638.4100, if you aren't already using it.
                      As a second and perhaps even better idea, buy yourself a reasonably inexpensive flat bed Graphtec plotter and drafting pens by Fischer (Nasa designed pressurized pens) and drive the files to it out of Illustrator.
                      But realize that the actual print job will have stretch front to back from the press so repaired fit left to right does not necessarily fix front to back (~20 thou or less over the 28" on a 28x40 dependent on grain direction).
                      The pens will give you far superior density on the drafts and you can even get knives to cut out samples once you figure out how terrific a selling job that makes.
                      You can even do what we do, make Epson paper proofs, spray glue them onto stock, cut out on the Graphtec, hand crease, hand glue and get sign-off as well. Talk about value added. It has brought us many new clients and without need for any advertising iykwim!
                      John W

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                      • #12
                        Re: Using Epson Stylus Pro 10000 to check diecutting registration

                        We are running mylar on a 9600 and we have the same problem of the die not fitting. What we did to get around this is we output a ruler on the machine we want to match, in this case a FujiFinalProof. Then we output the same ruler on our Epson 9600 and measure how much it's shrinking or growing or if its gaining height or length. Then we compensate for this shrink/growth in the rip. We usually output a 21x32 ruler because that's the largest our FujiFinalProof goes. But we would never go as far as to check die registration using an epson mylar because we know there are is some shrink/growth. If we had to check registration on a die we would send it to our trendsetter and output a creo of the die. I'm not sure if this is going to help but I hope it does.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Using Epson Stylus Pro 10000 to check diecutting registration

                          You can simply export vector dilines from RamPage or Prinergy.

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