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Plotter recommendations for use with Accumark Pattern Design V11

Oliver83Oliver83 Posts: 6
Hi everyone, I'm new to the forum. Hi and thanks for looking!

I have just gone freelance after working for many years in house as a pattern maker (A gentle push thanks to covid related redundancy! :) 

I am using an old AP300 which I've had serviced several times but it's on it's last legs, has errors advancing paper and as a result my patterns are often slightly misaligned - something 'm not comfortable delivering to clients)

I have looked at the Gerber options and received quotes but at this stage they are unfortunately cost prohibitive for my new business. I'm using an old plotter and I'm wondering if wide format printers may be any good for my purposes.

I work with v11 so whatever I use needs to be compatible. I have had a recommendation for Fastjet printers but the supplier wont guarentee that it will work with the software. Given the cost it's a big purchase for me and high risk if it doesn't work.

My question is:

- What do you recommend? - What are you all using?
- Any recommendations for third party options or inkjet based printers?

Any and all advice is sincerely appreciated.

Thank you.

Best Answer


  • Jost LindemannJost Lindemann Posts: 71 Gerber Staff 💛

    Same answer : 

    I understand your concerns, but we think it is the best solution to use  Gerber devices. Using 3rd party-equipment  may work or may not work. In case of problems we cannot support you if 3rd party devices are installed. If support is needed and it turns out that problems are caused by this devices, we will probably charge you for our labor-hours.

    - All supported plotters are listed in the dropdown-list in Accumark-Hardware-Configuration -> Plotter
    Check the Accumark-documentation as well as the hardware and software-requirements to drive these plotters.

    - 3rd-party-plotters may be used by configuring the Windows-Device-Driver. Check the AccuMark-documentation about the functionality and limitation of this plotters. We do not recommend any specific 3rd-party-devices and can not give support in case of hardware-problems. We may help you to configure the driver, that's all.

    - the recommendation for inkjet-based plotters is the most recent Gerber-MP-Plotter. This plotter can be configured with several options. Your Gerber-sales-representative may assist you in configuring the plotter.

    You may have expected different answers, but this is the only way we can ensure you have a functional system with full support. 

  • Oliver83Oliver83 Posts: 6
    Hi Jost, is it possible to export to PDF 1:1?

    If so then would it be reasonable to assume that I could simply look at a good quality wide format printer such as an HP Designjet or similar? 60inch models for example?

    Let's say I take that PDF and print from another computer (So that there are no 3rd party drivers installed on my PDS computer - no chance of software conflicts)

    At the end of the day an official Gerber supported plotter is simply putting ink to paper. I understand that this may not be the official way and I wouldn't have Gerber support but can you list any reasons why a 1:1 print from PDF would be a bad idea?

    Thank you.
  • MuhammadOwaisMuhammadOwais Posts: 354 ✭✭✭
    @Oliver83 I've found TKT's Dot 220 closer to Gerber's latest Plotters. It is greatly compatible with Gerber's AccuMark with almost identical interface. Try their old version, You'll find it in very cheap in used conditions... 
    But as @Jost Lindemann mentioned, You should go with Gerber's hardware. If You select any other hardware, It will not just drop You out from Gerber's Eco-System, but Also the premium benefits like after sale services and Community Help... 

    So, I Highly recommend You to go with Gerber's Genuine hardware. It might seems a little expensive, but that cost gonna pay-off in long run...

    I'm a Cutting CAD Room Specialist and Technology Enthusiast...
  • Oliver83Oliver83 Posts: 6
    Thank you @MuhammadOwais I appreciate your suggestion.
    @Jost Lindemann - I have to be honest and say this is a frustratingly typical 'Gerber' answer. While I do not expect support if I go with a 3rd party wide format printer I also think Gerber need to support small business and freelance individuals. The plotters are rebranded from another company and frankly the cost is exorbitant given the technology. 

    I use Gerber for industry standard software however Gerber must be aware there are many other competitors in the field, advancing beyond PDS in many aspects. It seems that Gerber would rather push me to use a competitor than attempt to provide reasonable advise or suggestions other than purchasing their hardware. Having now spoken to a competitor my new workflow will likely require me to import patterns into that new software and print onto wide format from there. 

    I would like to stay within an ecosystem I have put many years and dollars into but I am actually starting to feel gaslit by Gerber. There ARE alternatives. they DO work. 

    Jost my follow up asked a set of very clear questions:

    1 - Can a pattern be output 1:1 to PDF from PDS? 
    2 - Assuming I use a printer that can print accurately at 1:1 scale from aforementioned PDF why would this be a bad solution? 

  • MuhammadOwaisMuhammadOwais Posts: 354 ✭✭✭
    @Oliver83 I respect You concerns but this is not what @Jost Lindemann said exactly. He meant that if You purchase any other Hardware than Gerber's, the can't give customer support to it. Any failure in Hardware or even in Gerber's software due to that particular hardware can't be blamed to Gerber. Even the competitor won't accept their fault if it is due to different eco-systems... 
    for example, If You are using Apple's iPhone, they highly recommend You to use their original charger with it. If anything happen to phone by their charger, they will accept the blame and will provide warranty claim. But if You use any other company's charger with it and it damages the phone, the warranty will be voided and no claim will be accepted.

    of course You can use any other hardware with Gerber's eco-system. And I'm sure You'll get any type of help from this community platform regarding that hardware. But the problem will occur when You call the Gerber's Support to help with that hardware instead the Provider of that hardware itself. They might void the warranty if they came to know any other company have dealt with their hardware...

    And for PDF Solution, Even if PDS pattern could be imported as 1:1 to PDF, the PDF Software won't guarantee a 1:1 print as they can fit the print automatically for different printer types. PDF softwares are not purely dependable for 1:1 print...
    I'm a Cutting CAD Room Specialist and Technology Enthusiast...
  • Oliver83Oliver83 Posts: 6
    Hi @MuhammadOwais I definitely appreciate issues regarding hardware conflicts on the same system which is why in my second response I mentioned that I could print from a non-Gerber installed machine. In this way there is zero chance of any conflict affecting software. Of course in this workflow I am relying on producing a 1:1 scale pdf from PDS and printing it via another computer. So in response to you first paragraph I would risk nothing to my Gerber installed machine. I am not asking for support from Gerber. I am frustrated enough with that. I am asking for support from the community of users.

    Second paragraph - please let me re-iterate I am not interested in pursuing support for this from Gerber. 

    Third response regarding PDF -
    Are you suggesting that it is not possible to print with accuracy to a wide format printer from a 1:1 PDF? Why is that? It does not seem logical as many architects and tradesmen rely on this very workflow. I am not questioning your intent here but do question whether this is fact or opinion based on your own negative experience.

    Also I am not talking about importing to PDF I am asking whether PDS can accurately export to PDF at correct 1:1 scale?

    So what is the breakdown in accuracy here?
    1. Is it PDS - Can it not accurately output a pattern at 1:1 scale?
    2. Or are you saying that all wide format inkjet printers cannot print at accurate scale from PDF?

    Thank you


  • MuhammadOwaisMuhammadOwais Posts: 354 ✭✭✭
    @Oliver83 A couple of month ago, When I was using same mechanism (Printing Mask patterns from PDF File sent by Customer) My regular printer was shrinking the pattern for best fit as per instruction of PDF program. I've tried different PDF software on different Printer but didn't got any Success. Then we install a new plotter for that. But that doesn't mean PDF can't print exactly 1:1 to printer. I'm just sayin that I didn't found the correct setting for that. If You've experience and help from any source who are currently doing this practice, then I'd recommend You to go with it and also share it here...

    Secondly, I'm also using Non-Gerber plotters (Even Auto-Cutters) in some of my cutting and development units. There were no conflicts in these different eco-systems till yet but whenever anything gave trouble, we call specific support of that particular Company. But it was hard to create, adopt and manage multiple eco-system and sometime we face Compatibility issues but one thing is to mention here that Each side of Supporting team do there best to resolve the issue (they just don't conflict in each other's Parameters). For example, I was using a Different plotter a couple of year ago, which required an HPGL Format, While we were using PLT since very beginning. We call our local representative about that and he helped me to setup all that up from Software side and then representative from the Plotter's company did his side of job and our plotter started working properly.

    It is better to adopt hybrid eco-systems if they meet Your needs the most. Gerber provide all-in-one solution for Your system so You don't have to worry about at any step. But to choose any other service at any step, is always a Choice of Yours...

    Best Regards,
    I'm a Cutting CAD Room Specialist and Technology Enthusiast...
  • MuhammadOwaisMuhammadOwais Posts: 354 ✭✭✭
    @Vasyl now almost all modern Plotter (Especially the ones for the CAD Rooms) support Spooler option. 
    I'm a Cutting CAD Room Specialist and Technology Enthusiast...
  • VasylVasyl Posts: 855 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2020
    @MuhammadOwais. You're right.
    But sometimes....
    Few years ago here was popular 
    [spoiler] DGI Omega, GCC Jaguar series,  [/spoiler]
    Press 400gm good for cutting, regular pens. But original software cann't split to bites, no support spooler. Cos we have to made own pilot/driver utility. And put money's loos for development to service to connecting.
  • MuhammadOwaisMuhammadOwais Posts: 354 ✭✭✭
    @Vasyl Yes there are some Old plotters which don't provide full plotting functionality like I have Reachpeace MJ 220/2 which don't allows Spooling or even Stacking... But we always get another way around by creating Blocks of patterns in PDS etc.
    But now a days, modern plotters support all those functionality... Even my 3 Years old TKT Dot220 comes with full functionality as Gerber's latest plotter...
    I'm a Cutting CAD Room Specialist and Technology Enthusiast...
  • Oliver83Oliver83 Posts: 6
    I am posting here as I hope somebody in future will find this useful. 

    So I was not happy paying $20k for a new Plotter as a start up  I appreciate official Gerber Solutions are the way forward for established and larger scale companies but for myself as a freelancer in a shrinking industry (in Australia) the price was off-putting.

    I have since purchased a used FC7000 from Graphtec which works perfectly. It plots and cuts. I do need to save markers from Accumark and USB them over to a Win 8 laptop purely for plotting but this does not take much time at all. I am using Cutting Master free plugin for Adobe Illustrator (CS6) as I have a license for Adobe suite.

    This solution won't be for everyone, but for my small business 17k saved for a minor inconvenience is worth the trade-off.

    This took a lot of research and a leap ot faith but I hope it helps someone else.
  • sohacksohack Posts: 3
    @Oliver  your question about 

    - What do you recommend? - What are you all using?
    - Any recommendations for third party options or inkjet based printers?

    Any and all advice is sincerely appreciated.
     The answer : for V11, I shroud recommend with TDOT-180-2H plotter which is best & fully supported you can check the Link: 

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