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Tips from the Tradeshow

When it comes to tips & tricks, webinars and live classroom trainings, VersaWorks® is consistently a popular topic.  Users are always asking how they can best use this powerful software to simplify workflow, increase quality and maximize productivity.  During a Q & A session that took place after our recent VersaWorks presentation at NBM Arlington, I spent much of my time helping users with the setup of Perforated Cutting in Illustrator and the Custom Cut feature in VersaWorks.  Whenever I encounter that kind of activity on the road, I always like to share my experience in a Friday Fare.

Setting up the PerfCutContour Swatch
The PerfCutContour swatch is a great feature that can be used to reduce time spent weeding and trimming finished prints.

  1. With Illustrator open, select the drop down menu from the swatches library and select “New Swatch.”
  2. In the “New Swatch” dialogue box, change the Swatch Name to “PerfCutContour” making sure to capitalize the “P,C, and C”, and delete any spaces (the name should appear as it does above).
  3. In the same dialogue box, using the “Color Type” drop- down menu, select “Spot Color” and define a color value for the PerfCutContour swatch using the CMYK value sliders. Then click OK to save.  The PerfCutContour swatch should now be available in the Swatch Library.
  4. A quick tip for improving cut quality: Place a Contour Cut line directly on top of the artwork that will be PerfCut.  Doing so will tell the printer to perform a contour cut first, before proceeding with the PerfCut.  This will ensure that the PerfCut is completed on the backing material only, leaving your printed piece free from the little tags left behind when a PerfCut is performed.

Setting Up a Custom Cut
The Custom Cut function can help improve workflow and cut accuracy on longer print and cut jobs by allowing the user to divide the job into smaller segments, resulting in greater print/cut registration accuracy.  Before getting started, make all of your desired settings for the job: number of copies, size, quality, etc.  Once you have all of the settings dialed in, you’ll be ready to set up the job with Custom Cut.

  1. Under the “Layout” tab in VersaWorks, click “Get Media Width” and record the result. You can right click and copy the width.  You will need this information for the next step.
  2. Open the “Size” dropdown menu and select “Custom Cut.” Notice that the width has changed back to the default width.  You can right click into the “Width” area again and select “paste” to enter the correct width of the material copied during the previous step.
  3. The next step is where we will break the job into manageable-sized rows.  To do this, change the height in the “Media Setting” field to be slightly higher than the height listed in the “Scaling Field.” In this example, we’re working with an image height of 5.99 inches, so I’m going to enter the “Media Setting” height as 6.10 inches.  The job preview to the right will change to reflect each row as a different page.  VersaWorks will process each row as its own print/cut job which, in turn, will increase print and cut registration accuracy over the entire run.

VersaWorks training on the Road
There are still three more VersaWorks training workshops remaining on the 2014 schedule – sessions at NBM Indianapolis, NBM Philadelphia and NBM Charlotte.  The central theme for each workshop is “Getting the Most Out of Your Roland,” and we’ll be covering some of the most popular tools and features VersaWorks has to offer.  Topics will include using Roland Color to create true-to-life swatch reference guides, Spot Color replacement, Variable Data Printing, and much more.  These classes are FREE for anyone who registers with NBM at least 48 hours before each trade show begins. We’ll also be offering daily in-booth presentations on VersaWorks topics at ISA next month. Look out for our pre-show webpage for more details and training times.

Written by:
Daniel Valade
Product Manger – VersaStudio and Vinyl Cutters
Roland DGA