First thoughts

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First thoughts

Postby Roboframer » Sat Oct 10, 2009 10:54 pm

Before I start - please bear in mind I'm a Val rookie and a technophobe - at least compared to most here.

When I take a customer order that is having a mount - I measure the artwork (aperture) - just approx usually - then we decide on the mount margin to arrive at the outside measurement or the 'glass size' - which is still approx - especially with needlework - you can't measure accurately until the piece has been stretched.

Why can't it work that way with the Val software? The first thing I have to input is the outside dimensions - accurately - and then the aperture dimensions - accurately - I'm not asked for mount margins. But of course once you have entered those two dimensions and centred the aperture - the mount margins will, or should be, correct.

Seems you have to work from the outside in - instead of vice-versa. I would have thought it a good idea to do it the other way around - to save you some calculations.

The unstretched thing you quoted on was 12x12" - but stretched it ends up 12.25x12.25 - OR - your quick measurements at the sales counter were that much out on a print. If the software knew you required a 3" mount, it would arrive at the outside size by itself?
Back behind the velvet rope, Ladies.

.
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Re: First thoughts

Postby Merlin » Sun Oct 11, 2009 10:47 am

A good discussion point raised here Robo.
I suppose it all boils down to your own workshop procedures/conventions that you have already in place.
With the introduction of any new machinery you may have to change/adjust those procedures. I see the CMC inputs as a Stage Two process. Stage One being at the design desk.

Here again it depends on whether you are using a POS Computer pricing programme or a manual system.

I cannot speak for other businesses. However, I will run you through my process which is not too dissimilar from yours.
I have my own custom coded computer pricing programme that works from the inside out. Once all the inputs have been entered it produces a worksheet with all the required measurements. I do not have to do any mathematical calculations.

Stage One: An order with a mount - Measure the aperture that you want visible. INPUT Picture Height (PW) and Picture Width (PW).
Decide upon border width (for ease of explanation we will use the following) (BW).
Decide whether Single or Double Mount - Mount Number (MN). If Double Mount the system will default the reveal as 6mm (0.25").
Other inputs are required here. ie. Colours, frame number, glass type , Customer details etc.
Print out worksheet. This will produce a worksheet with the Frame/Glass/Mount Size - (PW + BW +BW) & (PH + BW + BW). It shows me the BN (mount layer button on your CMC) and also the reveal (Use concentric button on your CMC).

Stage Two: Take worksheet to CMC and input the parameters into the resident software. We personally double check the measurements at this stage just in case one of us at the design desk has had a 'senior moment'. Press Cut. Job Done.

As you may have seen or read, some CMC's have a visualisation package tied in, where you only need to input the parameters at the design desk, this is then fed to the CMC and all you have to do after selecting the board is press cut.
However you have highlighted; IMHO, one weak area with that process. The cross stitch that grows in size after stretching and has not been taken into account at the design desk.

In your situation - a manual process. You have to do all the calculations first on your order sheets, mentally or longhand before moving to the CMC.

Maybe that is your next move John. A POS pricing programme.
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Re: First thoughts

Postby Roboframer » Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:19 pm

I could never trust the dimensions on an order - they are always approximate for the sake of speed and that would be the same if I had a POS pricing programme.

Like you, the first thing we do when it comes to making the frame is confirm the measurements anyway - measure twice, cut once, so it doesn't matter if the measurements on the order are inaccurate.

So, when I'm ready to enter the info in to FMD - I have it all written down, so it's no problem at all being asked for the outside size first - just an observation. I think most of us work the same way - When a job comes in, the first thing we need to know is what size the thing is we are framing - the next thing we need to know is how much space we are putting around it, and from that we end up with an outside size.

Seems logical to be asked the same by the software - that's how I'd write a programme if I knew how!

Multiple apertures next!

OK - you've got your outside size and clicked on shapes - then added the aperture size - copy paste, copy paste, copy paste etc. Adjust sizes, adjust orientation. So - you've got all the apertures but they're all over the place - not lined up X or Y - it would be a fair guess that you'd want them lined up, but you have to highlight - left justify, highlight - top justify etc etc - then your margins are shot at, so you have to adjust those, which may knock a row out of alignment.

Why can't the software, knowing your outside size, mount margins and aperture sizes - line the apertures up, or even show several arrangements/options of lining up?
Back behind the velvet rope, Ladies.

.
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Re: First thoughts

Postby Merlin » Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:50 pm

Roboframer wrote:Why can't the software, knowing your outside size, mount margins and aperture sizes - line the apertures up, or even show several arrangements/options of lining up?


John, I think you would be asking any software to play a guessing game and murphys law would not doubt state, that your required arrangement would still not be there. Plus the number of key actions you would use by clicking through each option would far outweigh a manual input.

To answer your question above. If all your apertures are the same size and you want them uniform on the mount the software will do that for you. All you need is to enter one shape at the required size, then go into Toolbox and use the 'array openings' icon. Highlighting the 'Mat size as priority'. Enter columns and rows. This will arrange your apertures uniformly on the mount.

If you have different sized apertures and they all aligned to give equal borders automatically, somebody would complain that the software could possibly be taking away their choice of being able to select different aperture borders manually.

Example .. 3 horizontal apertures. (1) 4x6 (2) 2x4 (3) 4x6
You may very well want them all top aligned, whereas I may want them aligned on the aperture centres.
Whichever way you choose the number of clicks is the same.

There are many work rounds and many shortcuts. Unfortunately two days training does not allow time to show them. Even if I did show you. Without being rude to you. You would have forgotten quite quickly.
As I said, it will take you about 1 month to become familiar with the basics and what is behind the drop down menus and behind the individual icons. Then you can really get to grips with the more complicated designs and cuts.
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Re: First thoughts

Postby Roboframer » Sun Oct 11, 2009 9:27 pm

It's no problem - really. I'm well aware that in time I'll suss out how it all works and do it all on auto pilot - I'm OK with the arrays in the toolbox too - was on about something you wouldn't use that on.

The general point I'm making - I suppose - is that certain things we as framers take for granted, are not taken for granted by the software.

EG - outside size 20x16 - inside size 14x10 - click!

What's the aperture doing off to the right? Who'd want something like that cut? Why do I have to centre it? Why, if I'd entered the outside size as 20.5x16 could the software not work out and show a bottom-weighted mount? Or even centred it anyway - I could alter the bottom margin.

It's all absolutely fine, but I think it could use a few KISS principles
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.
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Re: First thoughts

Postby Jonny2morsos » Sun Oct 11, 2009 10:47 pm

I often input the aperture sizes into the default mount size (which you can change in the set up menu) and then set the margins (thus the outside dimensions) afterwards.

Not logical I know but I think it is just something I have got to do through experience and the more you do the quicker it gets. I also do the layout with the customer and get their agreement to proportions etc. which can involve bigger margins and so bigger frames. We also save just about everything as it is sod's law the one you don't keep will come back asking for a repeat job.

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Re: First thoughts

Postby WelshFramer » Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:39 am

OK, I'm not a Valiani user but the Wizard seems to allow the sort of flexibility you're after. I can either work from the overall size or from the window size and given two out of three sets of dimensions the Wizard will calculate the third. I have mine set up to default to wanting the window size followed my the margin size.

Having set up a mat it's also possible to fix the overall size or allow it to be dynamic. If it's set as dynamic that means that if I alter the size or placement of any aperture(s) then the Wizard automatically resizes the mat accordingly.

I'm not saying you should have bought a Wizard but if you tell Valiani that the Wiz does those sorts of things it might help to inspire them to get busy.
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Re: First thoughts

Postby Merlin » Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:54 am

I think all the CMC software uses the KISS approach.

It is just a matter of finding the input 'flow' to produce your requirements.
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INJURIES

Postby Roboframer » Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:54 pm

OK - NEXT!

I was going to put this as a topic in 'After Hours' but what the hec!

If I don't cut a finger at least twice a day in some way I just leak anyway - I must have just got used to letting blood over the years.

But now I'm experiencing a different type of cut as I perfect head and blade changing - FINGERTIP cuts - never used to get those that often pre-Val! 1st finger right hand is the worst - it' looks like your hash key!

I do all the cooking at home and tonight's recipe required two chopped onions.

It really stung!
Back behind the velvet rope, Ladies.

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Re: First thoughts

Postby Jonny2morsos » Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:41 pm

Keep a few strips of scrap mount board handy and use them to push the blade into place.

Don't know if the blade clamping system has changed with the newer machines but I always seem to misalign the new blade so I always do a test cut on scrap after making a blade change.

We tend to get more cuts tearing up the mountboard scrap than the blades.

John.
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Re: First thoughts

Postby Roboframer » Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:10 pm

The blade has a notch that fits over a lug in the housing, but there is still play; you have to make sure that the blade is sitting back as far to the left as it will go - and that means applying pressure to the only bit exposed - the sharp/honed bit.

You could grip it by the sides I suppose, but there's not much of the sides left exposed - reckon it's a job for the trusty kevlar glove - but it's bulky.

Why could it not have been designed to slide in from the back like my manual cutter did? - The blade has a blunt end and a sharp end - Hmmmmmm - let's see - which end would be the best end to hold whilst inserting?

I know - THE DANGEROUS END!!!

C'mon - for heavens sake - I drag a set of 4 lethal blades across my neck every morning and I never have to touch them by hand when changing blades. Why can't the same years-old magazine-loading be applied to something as high-tech as a CMC FFS!

In fact - why can't the blades be housed in a magazine above the cutting head - like points are stacked in my point driver - and blade changing is just another mouse click?
Back behind the velvet rope, Ladies.

.
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Re: First thoughts

Postby Roboframer » Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:03 pm

Can't think of anything else I own, at home or at work, that utilises a sharp blade, that asks me to handle the business end. Think I'd be using a tenon saw and mitre box if the Morso asked me to - else they'd be calling me 'Leftie'!

Even those old gillette safety razors - the blades were held by the ends; not the honed sides, and dropped in.

gillette-01[1].jpg
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.
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Re: First thoughts

Postby markw » Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:52 am

Not sure if i have tough fingertips - but I've never managed to cut myself when changing blades. Having said that I would agree that the whole blade housing could be improved as its so easy to misalign the blade.

As far as working procedures for data input - I take the opposite view about accuracy - I measure at the design desk and enter into my pricing program the exact measurements that I will use all the way through the process. I do this for one simple reason - I email my orders directly from my pricing program so they have to be exact. If I am measuring a textile I will add a allowance for stretching. I can always adjust the opening of any mount at the cutting stage - and always remeasure the artwork at this point as a double check that the figure on screen is correct.

If I have got everything right - and I normally do - then the whole package comes together fitting perfectly.
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