Graphtec Crushes Roland in Plotter Shootout! (See comparison chart below)

CE6000-60_wStand&Media(1)_(MH)Airbrushing takes incredible precision, skill, and time. In the age of computers, relying solely on an X-Acto knife to create stencils and graphics simply doesn’t make sense. Vinyl plotters revolutionize the stencil process by allowing you to create perfect stencils on a computer, generate them in very little time, and duplicate graphics whenever you need to. This is especially advantageous if you make a mistake, a customer wants a piece reproduced, or you must replace a graphic due to damage caused by an accident.

There are countless plotters out there for uses ranging from small home projects to car detailing, but for airbrushing, a medium sized one that’s easy to use is best. This article compares two popular vinyl plotters, the Graphtec CE 6000-60 and Roland GX-24, and details how these machines can make creating artwork easier, more fun, and highly time-efficient.

Cutting Specifications

Graphtec’s CE 6000-60 outdoes the Roland GX-24 in essentially every category when it comes to the actual cutting aspects. Graphtec’s maximum cutting area, at 23.7-inches wide by 164-feet long,  is much larger, versus Roland’s 22.9-inches wide by 82-feet long. The Graphtec has a blade force of 300gf (grams of force) and cutting speed of 35 in/s (inches per second), far above the Roland, which has a blade force of 250gf and cutting speed of only 20 in/s.

The two plotters’ compatible media widths are nearly equal, at a minimum of 2-inches and 27.5-inches or 28-inches for the Roland and Graphtec, respectively. The CE 6000-60 is able to cut much thicker media, .25mm versus .1mm for the GX-24. This is a perfect feature for those who wish to cut freehand stencils, although different blade angles may be needed for thicker material.  Further, Graphtec’s standard blades are superior for cutting much smaller letters. With the CE 6000-60’s impressive cutting specs, you can be certain that it will cut even the most difficult graphic proficiently and accurately.

Features

Whether you’re a casual artist or airbrush for a living, the Graphtec CE 6000-60 interface and internal system are superior to Roland’s. The Roland GX-24 has only 800KB, less than half as much as the CE 6000-60 which has an internal memory of 2 megabytes. This makes the Graphtec process your cutting data much faster.

A very noticeable difference between the two plotters’ surfaces is the LCD screen. While the GX-24 has a tiny one-line 16-character screen, the CE 6000-60 has a 3-inch backlit LCD screen. This large screen makes it easier to handle menus, copies, etc. within the machine itself, and is just flat-out more enjoyable to use.

Tangential Emulation is yet another important special feature from Graphtec. This mode helps make sure every individual cut is as perfect as possible. With tangential emulation, you can cut incredibly small lettering, better than on most any other plotter on the market. It can compensate for materials stretching and prevent circular shapes from being cut with leftover material on them. Where there are sharp edges, most vinyl plotters will create rounded edges from the turning blade. With Tangential Emulation, the blade lifts and turns in order to create sharp edges, and can overcut (akin to what you would do with an X-Acto knife) as well. You are able to add these to pre-cut settings, and as a result each individual cut is to your liking.

Graphtec’s CE 6000 series has a number of features that continue to put it above the Roland and other vinyl plotters. And for contour cutting, the Advanced Registration Mark Sensing System (ARMS) feature ensures the most quality and detailed cuts with auto-detection, 4-point compensation, and multiple-mark compensation.

The ARMS also makes for more accurate long cuts both on one page and for pieces that require more than what is generally considered a single panel. The CE 6000-60 can cut outside of the usual registration marks that most vinyl plotters are restricted by, which allows for less waste of media. Auto-paneling strengthens the CE 6000-60 by having the plotter itself move across longer pieces of media more effectively, leading to a decrease in cutting time. The CE 6000-60 allows for users to copy a design as well, an invaluable tool which very few other mediumsized plotters allow.

One last great thing about the Graphtec CE 6000-60 is that it offers different modes which let the machine work on your skill level. For beginners, there is a Simple Mode, which removes many of the more advanced screens, making it easier for you to cut what you want. If you’re more skilled, you may use the plotter controller option, which lets you choose cutting speed and much more customization.

Compatibility

Roland’s GX-24 and Graphtec’s CE 6000-60 are compatible with Macintosh and Windows. However, the CE 6000-60 is the most up-to-date, as it works with Windows 7, Vista, and 8 right out of the box. It also works with 32- and 64-bit versions. On the other hand, you may need to download various drivers online for full compatibility with the Roland.

For external media, the CE 6000-60 is compatible with USB 2.0 devices, a function that the GX-24 does not currently have.

Pricing

The Roland GX-24 lists for $2,095, while the Graphtec CE 6000 is one hundred dollars more at $2,195. However, the CE 6000 comes with a stand, while purchasing a compatible stand for the GX-24 would cost $300 more! Both brands include a two-year warranty.

The GX-24 ships with CutStudio design software, and accessories, including an AC adapter and power cord, blade and holder, testing-use materials, tweezers, and a roller base. The CE 6000-60 includes Graphtec Studio software and Cutting Master 3, a plug-in for cutting directly from Adobe Illustrator and CorelDraw. For simple and straight forward cutting tasks, the Graphtec Studio software is pretty powerful and is equal to, if not better than, Roland’s software.  Also, the Graphtec comes with a power cord and USB cable, cutter blades and holder, and a water-based fiber pen with adapter.

Both products also have many add-on supplies to further personalize your plotter, and are found on their respective websites. The Roland GX-24 also offers engraving software.

Conclusion

The Graphtec CE 6000-60 and the Roland GX-24 will get the job of cutting stencils done and done well. However, if you want to get the most for your money and ensure that every piece of artwork you create looks perfect, the Graphtec CE 6000-60 is the way to go. The CE 6000-60 far outdoes the GX-24 in performance, with higher cutting speeds, cut sizes, cut pressure, and a stand for stability. The CE 6000-60 also has more compatibility, more options, and better software for you to personalize your experience. Overall, the Graphtec CE 6000-60 has the strengths and tools that will complete any project professionally and efficiently.

FOR LOWEST PRICING ON THE CE6000 ANYWHERE, CALL 800-876-2472 (732-223-7878 FOR INT’L CALLS)

Comparison Chart:

CE6000

MAX. CUTTING AREA……………………. 23.7”

BLADE FORCE………………………. 20-300gf

CUTTING SPEED………………………. 35 in/s

DATA BUFFER……………………………… 2MB

USB 2.0 ……………………………………… YES

STAND INCLUDED………………………… YES

LIST COST……………….. $2,145 (with stand)

WARRANTY…………………………… 2 Years

Large LCD screen…………………….. YES

Tangential………………………………… YES

GX-24

MAX. CUTTING AREA……………………. 22.9”

BLADE FORCE………………………… 30-250gf

CUTTING SPEED……………………….. 20 in/s

DATA BUFFER…………………………… 800KB

USB 2.0………………………………………… NO

STAND INCLUDED………………………….. NO

LIST COST………………………………… $2,095

…………………….. (without stand [$300 extra])

WARRANTY……………………………… 2 Years

Large LCD screen……………………………. NO

Tangential   NO

 

Comments

  1. George Prochazka says:

    This one I will buy

  2. George Prochazka says:

    Graphtec CE 6000-60 I will buy Iam in BC Canada

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