July '20

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 0 J U L Y G R A P H I C S P R O 6 9 are designed specifically for certain types of materials. Typically, these cutters last longer and perform more effectively than general-purpose cutters. The main issue with using a cutter not specifically designed for use with a material is in the quality of the edge cut. There are many applications where that edge will be seen, such as in a retail environment dis- play stand. In these instances, it's import- ant to achieve a smooth, clean, and shiny edge versus one that is frosty, untidy, and rough. In fact, when working with acrylic, if the wrong tool is used, the cut may result in a rough finish with ripple marks. The modi- fications in specifically designed cutters can make a substantial difference in their cut quality. Cheapest isn't always best. The saying, "You get what you pay for," is true when it comes to cutters. A less-expensive tool may work adequately for a little while, but usually won't last long. Focus on selecting the right tool for the job instead of focusing on the cost of the tool. Cutters designed for specific materials last longer than general cutters. Consider tool fit. Whether the tool is changed manually or through a semi-auto- matic or fully automatic tool changer, it's important to keep the collets and locknuts clean and free of dust and chips. Otherwise, the tool won't be straight during the cutting process, decreasing the quality of the cut edges. Match the tool size for the job. In gen- eral, use the largest tool possible for the de- sign being cut. Bigger tools are stronger and more rigid, which means they won't bend or deflect when cutting. Smaller tools are needed for cutting fine details on parts and for cutting sharp, tight internal corners. For the best cut quality, use a larger-sized tool to do most of the cutting, then use a finishing tool to take a very fine amount of material off the part at the end of the process. While this two-stage procedure increases the

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