Roland Stika SV-15 Vinyl Cutter + CutStudio Software review by Eric L
|Excellent!! (5/5)||Jan 27, 2012|
I've been running my own specialty vinyl business for two years now, and I have bought various plotters in that time that "do the job", meaning they cut just fine.
However this plotter doesn't just do the job... actually performs!
The "performance" comes with weeding.
It's one thing for a plotter to cut with detail... I own a very VERY ghetto plotter that I bought on eBay that I managed to tweak the force grams, speed, and blade alignment to the point where the manufacture was amazed their product could even cut the design (I walked them through how to duplicate the process).
All of those hours of tweaking are wonderful to be able to do, but in the end you still have to remove the negative space... and that can be tricky with small pieces.
I own several plotters, but I don't own one that doesn't leave just a little tiny corner fully cut out... which is no big deal on shirt designs (usually), but it's beyond frustrating when you're working with a silicone based backing material and you're constantly having to use two weeding tools (one to hold down the design, the other to weed).
Of all of my plotters this Roland is the very first that fully cuts out the small details fully!
The second thing that impressed me was the actual software.
I'll admit that I like Sign Blazer, it's been a great freeware program that has managed to adapt to my plotters without issue, and it would adapt to this Roland if I was so inclined.
However the author of the program passed 10 years ago, and sadly without updates... this program has become obsolete for my needs.
I tried to fill that gap with Signcut, which was a very nice program that handled my color layers wonderfully and worked great with all of my vectors.
It's a great program, and they put a lot of pride into it... which reflects in the cost which can be paid weekly, monthly, yearly or lifetime.
If you were to buy the Signcut (that you would need with other plotters), it costs half as much as the purchase price of this Roland Plotter... which came with FREE software!
The Roland Software is surprisingly simple to use, there's one setting and that's the media size.
Click "import", choose the file, load the media I'm cutting and click "cut", done.
It also has the ability to cut straight from Illustrator.
When installing the software you can choose to have it work straight from Illustrator.
Inside Illustrator you click "Print", choose the Roland like it's a printer, load the media you're cutting and final click "print".
Now cutting from Illustrator is the only part that requires two seconds of thought because the size of your design is the size its cutting, and you will need to bear in mind what layer you're cutting so that you don't cut them all at once.
I was blown away with how very simple this software is, and how easy to use it is!
My experience with this plotter has been positive to say the least!
I have already cut decal & shirt orders without issue, and I cannot stress enough what a pleasure weeding small details has become using this plotter.
Lastly buying from this vendor has been a good experience as well!
The plotter came in well packaged, properly secured inside of the box, it was shipped FedEx, and the shipping times from point of purchase to delivery were excellent.
I shopped around and found Specialty Graphics prices to be very competitive, and the freebies they offered at the time of my purchase sealed the deal.
I'm glad I bought this plotter, and I'm glad I bought it from this vendor, it's been a very positive experience.