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Help Needed! - Graphtec FC4100-75 - Software/Compatibility/Drivers/Communication/Blades/Setup


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Hello all, I am new to owning a plotter and in need of some help. I recently inherited a working Graphtec FC4100-75 in amazing condition -near new - from a closing vinyl/tint business. It has a new cutting strip already installed and came with a blade (not sure what blade). The previous owner was using Tint-Tek and Flexi 6.1 on an archaic PC that cannot even connect to the internet anymore. As a side note I am not very tech savvy when it comes to terminology or linking the devices together, but I can read and comprehend things just fine.

Part 1: I am trying to figure out how to get the Plotter properly connected and communicating to a new 2024 MacBook Pro M3 (OS Sonoma 14.4.1) or my 2022 Microsoft Surface Pro X (Windows 11) using the Serial-Com Port with a RS-232C adapter to USB-C. Currently I was able to get the plotter set up and even dialed in the test cutting properly for Vinyl and PPF with the blade it came with. On my old 2019 MacBook Air, I was also able to register the plotter as a "printer". At the time I had an active trial for Core just to test cutting capabilities, but it never cut any patterns once set up when I selected send to cut, it would only roll the material in/out. Since upgrading my Mac, I cannot get the Plotter to connect at all to the new Mac Book Pro - Have not tried with the Surface Pro yet - Need advise/help here, I was thinking of just designating the Surface Pro X to the shop if I can get it to work, but also happy go buy whatever will work (including a whole new PC with Windows 10). I am not able to find drivers for the plotter, so getting it to communicate properly is my main goal.

Part 2: Knowing that this is an older legacy Graphtec plotter, I can imagine there isn't a ton of options out there that provide tint/ppf cuts that are compatible anymore and I need some help tracking down what will work best. As much as I love Core, I am not a high enough volume shop right now to spend what they want per month for both tint and ppf patterns - any solid alternatives that could work well? Avery VDT, Suntek, Llumar, or any ideas would help. I also plan to make custom vinyl decals so advice on other programs that work for this would help too, something like Digi-Cut, Flexi, or...?


Part 3: Once I get everything set up and working properly, I am in need of some help picking out the right blades for cutting patterns for Carbon Tint, Ceramic Tint, PPF, & Vinyl.  I can already set up all the specifics like Force, Speed, and Quality, but I am trying to figure out what blades I should be using with each material as there are a million options out there. I prefer Graphtec's Blades but I am coming from hand cutting everything. So not up to par on what works with what. 

Final Notes: I have read the entire Users Manual for the Plotter. Cover to cover, twice, and have only gotten this far. I spoke with Graphtec support but they did not have any help to offer, they told me it is an outdate model they no longer offer support with and recommended me asking around on forms or using a computer repair shop to get things connected. I spoke with a Computer Repair shop I have used for many things and they told me it would be $600 to $1,000 to have them come out just to get it connected to the computer and working properly. I am hoping with some guidance and industry knowledge here I can get it up and running for my business needs. I truly appreciate all the help I can get, otherwise I am just going to sell it and continue hand cutting everything (not ideal with the technologies we have available now-a-days). It really is like new and I'd hate to see it gone when I know there are answers. Thanks in advance for any help with this.

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1. Try switching the output language from the machine. It's either set on HPGL or HPPL.

2. Check to see that you have the right driver.

3. You may need to run Windows XP.

4. Toss that whole rig in the garbage and find a used FC 8000-130 or 160.

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4 hours ago, Dano said:

1. Try switching the output language from the machine. It's either set on HPGL or HPPL.

2. Check to see that you have the right driver.

3. You may need to run Windows XP.

4. Toss that whole rig in the garbage and find a used FC 8000-130 or 160.

Dano - thanks for the input. Like I mentioned, the drivers are no longer available online or through Graphtec. I found a company "DriverGuide" online that says they have the most current drivers called "Graphtec FC4100 Driver Update Utility" they swear it fixes common communication errors, printer head glitching and operates on Windows 11 - they want $30 for a 3 moth subscription to their data base and claim to have the driver but I have also heard there is the possibility of using either another Graphtec driver, or also depending on the cutting software the driver for the plotter may be included in the software. I know FlexFilm's cutting program supports an FC4100-75 but have never seen a review on their software, its capabilities/functions, or its overall accuracy.  

I do not want to trash a perfectly good plotter. So I am not just going to jump into buying another plotter if I can get the one I got for free one working. It was working fine with the previous owner for vinyl sign making, stenciling, and window tint I watched it work. 

As much as I would love a newer FC Plotter, there are cheaper options out there that compare and will work with my current computers.

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Bump on this. I spoke with Film & Vinyl Design and the rep told me their cutting software contains the drivers for the Graphtec 4100 models. They also mentioned it will work with Windows 11. Any one have experience with this program,  good or bad things to say about it?

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