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The name is "Juliet" and is a great friend for modellist (vinyl cut)

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  • The name is "Juliet" and is a great friend for modellist (vinyl cut)

    Hello fellow modelers,
    as you now know, I like to share with modeling enthusiasts the new equipment that becomes part of my laboratory. Today, therefore, I have the pleasure of sharing with those who are interested, a new entry: a tabletop carving (and drawing) plotter: the "Juliet" by Siser: -from-cut/juliet/
    I decided to purchase this device because too many times, in my long journey in the world of model making, I found myself in the position of having to create writings of various sizes, friezes, logos, cut-out images, masks or fillets of various thicknesses to complete liveries of model aircraft, RC car bodies and helicopters etc. Fortunately I have a friend who works in the sector but I needed (and wanted) to carry out the projects myself.
    After a bit of research on the web I decided to purchase this table plotter measuring 60x19x19 cm (which fits comfortably on a medium-sized desk) with a particular and elegant appearance (when closed it resembles a cylinder!) but , most importantly, whose characteristics, from what I could read, were described head and shoulders above others. Furthermore, Siser, a very Italian company (based in Vicenza) is a highly appreciated brand among professionals (and others) in the plotter cutting sector with very long experience in the various materials for printing and carving.​
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  • #2
    The salient features of this plotter are a cutting width of 30cm with mat and 32 without) and in addition to single sheets it can be fed with rolls of vinyl (or other) up to a maximum length of 5 metres. Interesting is the possibility of cutting, in addition to different types of vinyl, also paper, cardboard, fabric, felt and felt.
    It can be used either without the aid of a computer (by uploading the files to be carved via a USB stick) or from a computer with which it interfaces via a USB or WiFi port (interesting...). With the Siser Juliet we find in the package 2 45° blades and one 60° blade, external power supply (portable PC type), 30x30cm cutting mat, user manual (very essential) and some vinyl scraps for the first tests.
    The first question I asked myself was why 45° and 60° blades, what's the difference? As a layman, I informed myself and understood that 45° blades are multipurpose (for common materials such as vinyl) while 60° blades are used for thick materials (there are also 30° blades for thinner materials). And this is just the beginning... Before continuing I must state that I have never had to deal with carving or drawing plotters and I am an "average connoisseur" of image processing programs, nor much of graphics programs vector or Cad, which makes me a useful "guinea pig" to help understand whether this Siser Juliet plotter is a tool that can be used by those with basic knowledge of computer science and graphics programs.​
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    • #3
      few other details, but before going into some details I would like to tell you that this device is truly "user friendly", intuitive and simple in configuration and use; not only for a basic software but for the fact that it is supported by a "Leonardo Design Studio" software by Siser which manages to operate on the graphics and on the preparation of the file to be printed without you having to have particular knowledge. But let's go in order.
      Leaving aside the operations of connecting the plotter to the PC and understanding the few actions necessary to understand how to insert and center the sheets, adjust the dragging rollers of the support to be cut, the assembly of the cutting knife and the arrangement of the various controls (in 10 manual pages are all condensed and explanations with explanatory drawings!) in the next posts I will move on to the salient phases that lead to the practical use of the Siser Juliet plotter. Next week I'll be out and won't be able to carry on but don't forget to follow me!!​
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      • #4
        PHASE 1 (Easy Easy Setup)

        The plotter is equipped with a very readable 9x5.5cm display from which you can access the various machine settings. The first thing we need to do is, once the cutting blade has been mounted, to test whether we have the right cutting results with the Juliet's standard settings. To do this, simply turn on the machine, insert the vinyl sheet by aligning it with the two arrows found on the left side of the opening cutting table and using the 4 arrows on the black circle, position the sheet at the point where you want it to start cutting (this it is useful if you have a sheet already partially cut and therefore you can use the vinyl that remains intact. The next step will be to select the cutting material you use to let the plotter know what it is cutting: from the same menu press the "cut" icon settings" to access a series of products already stored in the plotter and which correspond to an optimal cutting setup. The materials you display are obviously Siser production materials but by using others the manufacturer should provide the cutting pressure and speed values with which However, when you open the “cut setting” menu the plotter will present you with a default setting which has average values already set. At this point go back to the main menu (via the little house icon) and start the test by pressing the icon on the display that represents a t-shirt. This will start a test print of a small t-shirt which will confirm that everything is ok.​
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        • #5
          PHASE 2 (Leonardo Studio Design)

          At this point you are ready to try to carve your own file, whether it has been designed by you (writing, logo or drawing/shape) or whether it comes from a copyright-free file downloaded from the internet. And this is where the Siser “Leonardo Studio Design” software comes into play, downloadable for free for both Windows and MacOs. Immediately opening the software you understand that it was created to simplify the drawing, preparation and setup operations of the file to be printed as much as possible. Various items make up the main menu, including a very interesting one regarding some video tutorials that Siser makes available to users to facilitate complete use of the Juliet. Following are some galleries of images and drawings to print and carve, the page dedicated to the previous works we have created, the page for connecting the plotter to the program and finally the section for the creation and preparation of the file to be carved. (Leonardo home photo).
          This is the heart section of the software: here you can create your own writing to carve, insert images to carve, modify and resize it, remove backgrounds, extract paths, contour edges, etc., all with simple mouse clicks, choosing between different operations that the software performs automatically. (Photos of side dish preparation screenshots).
          With my little knowledge on the subject and a bit of initial skepticism, I managed to print my first file after just half an hour of studying and without even watching a tutorial! Not bad... Obviously the Siser Juliet allows those who are already familiar with the subject to fully exploit the potential of the plotter which is in the semi-professional range of these devices.​
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          • #6
            PHASE 3 (Print&Cut, what is it?)

            The English term “Print&Cut” refers to the process that allows you to print and cut any shape or design in two distinct phases. The Juliet plotter does not have the ability to print color images or drawings (you can only draw with a pencil using an adapter instead of the blade that allows us to reproduce line drawings) but it is able to cut out drawings or images printed with other devices. This is thanks to a camera that is able to position the carving blade in the position chosen by us thanks to the reading of the registration marks shown on the color print that we will always create using the "Leonardo Studio Design" software. With this system Juliet will know exactly how to position herself and the cutting path to follow to complete the process.

            PHASE 4 (How to do it?)

            To carry out the "Print&Cut" procedure it is first necessary to know that the Leonardo software accepts (to date) import of files in Png, Tiff, Jpg and SVG formats for vector graphics; A4, A3, Us Letter and Us Legal print formats are accepted.
            I must say that even at this stage the operation of printing and cutting an image on the plotter is simpler than it may seem when reading the procedure.
            First of all, what is notable is that when "Leonardo" imports an image it immediately creates a cutting mask which can be adjusted in the contours setting, thus eliminating further steps that would have to be carried out with image processing programs (!!!); next step the automatic tracing along the contours of the image (here too you can easily adjust the level of smoothing to clean up the contours (therefore remove or add smaller details); continuing we find the adjustment of the contour offset, i.e. if you intend to cut the print with white or transparent edges depending on the support, or full bleed (precisely on the contour of the image); in this case the higher the resolution of the images, the easier the contours will be to trace (the background also affects this, transparent or white are the best...); a good compromise between size and quality is 300 dpi. In the last screen the Leonardo software will display our image with the four reference marks for scanning on the plotter in the four corners.​
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            • #7
              Here we are ready to print our image (again from the Leonardo software) on a color printer which will reproduce our file on a support of our choice (paper, vinyl, cardboard or other). Once the printing is finished we will place the design on the cutting mat supplied with the Siser Juliet plotter starting from the top left corner; then we will load the same mat with the sheet with the image on it onto the plotter, aligning it with the left and bottom edges (the 3 material sliding rollers are adjustable and by loosening the respective levers on the back they can be positioned as best as possible on the cutting mat and then blocked ; then from the main menu of the plotter we position the blade at the bottom left point and carry out a carving test by pressing the t-shirt icon: if the cut does not need adjustments (force and depth to be adjusted) we are ready to start to printing via the Leonardo software which will have us recheck the cutting contours, if everything is ok make sure you have selected the "Use cutter settings" option and with a click on Send the plotter will begin the procedure: via the camera will display the position of the printing reference marks and then move on to cutting the image. Remember that if you need to modify some preset pressure and cutting speed parameters for specific materials, you can save the settings which will be recorded on the “Other” item ” of cutting presets to be reused on other occasions. Finally the carving will begin which will produce the image cut out perfectly in the contours.

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              • #8

                I still have some tests to do, especially related to the possibility of cutting Oracover or similar film coverings (which I will do shortly), but to date I can state with certainty that I did not expect to be able to create a carving plotter so quickly with a device that I had never tried to use: this plotter instead proved to be up to what its descriptions promised (don't pay attention to the "Jetmatch" test drawing because it was sketchy and not precise...). I was surprised not only by the ease of use but also by the cutting precision: as you can see from the image below I tried to carve a design with very small writing (37x37mm) and apart from the difficulty of peeling off such a thin line, the final result was excellent. The size limitation mainly concerns the cutting width which is limited to 32cm (30 with mat) while for the maximum length of 5 meters it is more than sufficient to create even very long decorations (as often required by model aircraft fuselages). In this case we appreciate the possibility of regulating the pressure of the 3 rollers that guide the vinyl which allow us to treat different types of supports with precision.
                When cutting, the Juliet plotter is quite silent and does not disturb those in adjacent rooms. The vibrations are few and it is also easy to transport thanks to its shape which, once closed, reduces it to a tube of 20cm in diameter.
                When choosing a plotter, I also consider practicality of use and the software supplied to be fundamental: in this case Siser's "Leonardo Studio Design" program is exceptional and very simple. If you want, you can also download it for free from the Siser website and try messing around with the software a bit to see what you can do with it.
                So the answer to the question: are you satisfied? The answer is yes, absolutely yes and I am sure that I will have a lot of fun with my “Juliet”.
                Follow me again!

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                • #9
                  Today I tried to cut a small piece of polyester covering (Oracover) with my Siser Juliet plotter. I limited the speed to 7 (standard 10) and the cutting pressure to 2 (standard 5): the result was excellent and the cut was perfect. I then tried lowering the cutting nib pressure to 1 but it wasn't enough to cut all the edges of the drawing.
                  Obviously, to cut the Oracover I had to use the slightly adhesive mat supplied because the Oracover does not have a thick enough support like vinyl and cannot be guided precisely by the sliding rollers. The maximum dimension therefore remains that of 30x30 cm but this can be overcome by using as a support for our Oracover a cardboard sprayed with a spray adhesive which makes it more rigid during cutting (obviously the width will remain 30 cm but the length can be that desired. Great for us modelers!
                  Click image for larger version

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