In the 1996 comedy Multiplicity, an overworked Michael Keaton decides to simplify his life by cloning himself. To no one’s surprise, the plan backfires because the clone decides to copy the idea and clone himself resulting in copies of copies. Since the copies of copies are all slightly defective, comedic chaos ensues.
Of course we all know real life is nothing like the movies.
In real life, you can use a feature in the Flexi Sign Pro Production Manager to clone your printer and bring order out of chaos.
Here’s how in 3 simple steps.
Add Setup in FlexiSIGN PRO
Before you can clone something you must have an original. You can create this in the Add Setup function in Production Manager. Add Setup is normally used to begin sending job files to a newly installed printer, cutter, or hybrid device. To do so, you open Production Manager and click Setup/Add Setup. The dialog box guides you through selecting the type of device, manufacturer, and specific model. This loads the device driver from FlexiSIGN PRO’s voluminous library of supported digital output devices. Once you’ve selected the device, Production Manager asks what you’d like to name it. The first time it’s installed, a generic name like V48 Plus would be appropriate. The next step is to set the Default Job Properties.
Default Job Properties in FlexiSIGN PRO
As the name implies, the Default Job Properties tab allows you to sets conditions the standard settings for all jobs sent to Rip and Print. Default Job Properties can override the Rip and Print settings. But if two people are using the printer and one is printing 13oz glossy banners while the other is printing backlit signs, the Default Job Properties and/or RIP and Print settings will be constantly changing. Just as Banner Bill gets the profile and heater settings just right for banners, Backlit Betty resets it for her job. The next time Banner Bill goes to the printer, he tears his hair out and starts making unkind comments about her and her lineage. Chaos. Even if there’s only one person using the printer, changing from one type of job to another can erase fine adjustments made to optimize output quality.
You can avoid some of this by modifying and saving ICC profiles, but some important job properties are outside the profile. For instance, if you’re printing on a clear T-shirt transfer film that requires the images printed in reverse, you need to remember the setting in the General Tab. Forgetting to check that box again after you’ve just run another batch of banners is a huge headache. How do you prevent these time-consuming setbacks?
Clone Your Printer in FlexiSIGN PRO
Right click on the existing setup. In the drop-down menu, you will see the Duplicate Setup option. This saves you the trouble going through all the initial steps of the Add Setup process, including setting the correct ports. You’re cloning your printer.
In Multiplicity, the problems arose because a clone of a clone is a copy of a copy. The copies have significant differences. In comedy that’s a bad thing. In your sign shop, it’s just what you need.
The very next step asks you what you want to call the Duplicate Setup. Name it according to its intended purpose; perhaps PrismJET VJ48 Plus – ClearT. This takes you immediately to the Default Job Properties window where you can change the profiles, media size, and other settings to optimize the duplicate setup for its unique application.
Choose the best media preset and mode for your job. An ORAJET 3651 matte vinyl profile in Quality 4 mode should yield high-resolution prints that stand up to close scrutiny. While you’re here, you can set the media size to 20″ rolls and check the “F” icon to flip all images before printing. Now you have an optimized workflow clearly marked for maximum productivity, with minimal risk of costly, absent-minded errors.
Keep cloning your printer– using Duplicate Setup and Default Job Properties — until you have one for each type of job you typically print. You may end up with several slightly different variations optimized for vehicle wraps, backlit displays, rollup banners, T-shirt transfers, posters, etc. These clones will be better behaved than the ones who ruined Michael Keaton’s life.
These clones will only make your sign shop less chaotic and more productive. You may even find yourself with more time to kick back and take in a good movie.