Cutting garment marking film
- Parent Category: Support
- Published Date
File Setup (When working with bitmap data)
The recently introduced “Outline Extraction” function in Mimaki FineCut works best with an image surrounded with a contrasting colour – preferably white, if the image contains photographic data.
Click the [Outline Extraction] button and use the sliders to create an outline. Typically, putting the following settings gives a quick result:
a) Trace Area Select: Easy, 255, Noise Removal (Checked)
b) Trace Setting: Recommend (Checked), Fast, Click the “A” icon to choose outside, or inside and outside paths
c) Select Line Display: Toggle to see paths outside only, or inside and outside. A quick, outside only path requires this to be unchecked.
Click [Trace Execute]. The window will close and your image will now contain an outline path. The chances are, this path will be a bit simple, a bit close to the image, very complicated or will at the very least need a bit of tweaking. This isn’t hard to do, and the initial path creation will doubtless have taken less time than drawing it by hand.
To reduce the number of points on a path:
a) In Illustrator, click [Object, Path, Simplify]
b) In the ‘Simplify’ window, check Preview and Show Original. This helps determine how your new path is looking
c) Use the sliders to reduce the number of points, but all the while not making such big reductions that your path loses it shape.
To offset the path further away from the image (this can also be done after reducing the number of points)
a) In the FineCut toolbar, click the [Frame Extraction] button
b) This opens Illustrator’s ‘Offset Path’ window.
c) Choose an offset – dependent upon the size of your image
d) Change the ‘Joins’ to “Round” to give a nice smooth outline
e) Click ‘OK’
f) This will create a path around the original one, leaving a bit of white space around the image. You can now delete the original path.
To prepare the file for printing, first create register marks – outside the cut data, change the colour of the cut path stroke to white (so it can’t be seen when printing), and finally, save the file.
Print the file at 100% (don’t enlarge or reduce it). Make sure you leave sufficient space either side of the register marks to allow your pinch rollers to run.
- Load your printed paper in with the orientation the same as it shows on your monitor.
- Ensure that your pinch rollers run outside your register marks, and that you have placed the paper square in the printer.
- Drop the clamp lever and press the [End] button. The cutter will detect the pinch rollers and enter ‘local’ mode.
- Using the Jog Buttons, position the centre of the cutter blade over the corner of the register mark. This can be easier is the blade holder is removed initially. Replace the blade holder and dab it to check that the blade is positioned correctly on the mark.
- Put the cutter in ‘Remote’ mode and return to the software.
Cutting from FineCut
Option – you can change the colour of your cut path from white to make it easier to identify in FineCut later on. The quick way to find the path is by pressing Ctrl+ “Y” (PC) CMnd + “Y” (Mac) – or simply select View, Outline. This shows the file as vector lines in outline. To return to the normal view, repeat the command.
- Press the [Plot] button in the FineCut toolbar
- Choose the colour of the path that you wish to cut
- It is important to set a negative offset in the [Offset] box equal to the size of your register marks. For example, with a 10mm register mark, set a value of -10mm and -10mm.
- Press [Plot] and then [OK] in the Plot window
- The cutter will now cut the outline.
- Remove the cut material, press the film, remove the transfer and apply to the garment.