Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why do I need a plotter?

  • A plotter can help you save money by saving film, it can save you time by helping to get the patterns cut faster either by you or by a less experienced staff.
  • It can help you track your costs and even track users and abuse if any is happening.
  • It acts as a trained employee, but this one never calls in sick or asks for a raise.
  • Plotters/Systems can raise the volume of a good installer from 3 to 5 cars per day per employee.
  • If the company is a one man shop this gives the one man a increase of productivity to allow him to run the business.
  • If the company has 3 - 5 employees, this can allow that group to produce more quicker and with less work, making employees happier.
  • If a Plotter/System is used it can become a sales tool for the Customer and can help with cost management.
  • If a Plotter/System is bought, this can expand a companies business into the Sign Graphic industry.
  • If a Plotter/ System is purchase with adding a pattern DB to the package the user can expand into Window Tinting or Paint Protection applications.
  • Getting new employees is easier, because the training process is reduced dramatically.
  • Keeping employees is easier, because even good installers do not want to cut by hand after they get used to using a plotter.
  • Patterns can be cut prior to the car arriving or can be cut before the user goes out on site to do applications.
  • Plotter/Systems can make Graphics and text in Window tint patterns easy and allow a Pro Shop the ability to grow into this very lucrative market.

Q2. What size of the plotter do you recommend?

Film Designs and our staff has sold hundreds of plotters in the last 15 years. Many of them were Roland and Graphtec in the 40" size configuration. Most customers will tell you that 40" is the only size that is practical. With 40" you can cut 2 doors side by side, you can cut any back window and if you want to buy 36" film you can rotate the patterns for some of the large door glasses 90 degrees and then still cut them.

Q3. What plotter is better?

We have sold hundreds of plotters over the last 15 years. Most recently the Graphtec FC series has been our top selling plotter line. It’s been a very good option for our customers.

Q4. Does Film Designs work with plotters besides Graphtec, Jaguar, and Roland?

Our software works with dozens of plotters on the market todays such as Graphtec, Jaguar, Roland, Mimaki, Vinyl Express, Mutoh, and many more.

Q5. Can I have more than one plotter connected?

Film Design 4.0 allows the user to have several plotters connected. The only limit is the computer and the # of ports that the computer can handle. Film Design 4.0 must be switched manually to work with each plotter but the Film Designs Software can be set for as many plotters as needed.

Q6. How do I get tech support?

We provide a Tech support capability that allows us the ability to connect to your computer and then take control to download, install, and update everything for you. This can take up to an hour in some cases, but we can do this work while you continue to run your business and not tie you to the phone or make your staff do the setup and installation of the software on your computer. We also can put a calling card on your desktop that allow your staff to contact us through the internet and we can update your computer quickly and fix any items that are not correct and save you time in those cases as well. This is maybe one of the best features for customers, that are wanting a system to help speed up their shop but are not computer experts. Let us do the work for you.

Q7. How long does it take to get the software and be able to start cutting?

The software can be loaded and will work in Demo mode as soon as you download and install it. The software will work and the user can get familiar with it but it will not cut or save patterns until the USB key is plugged into the computer. In urgent cases this can be done with a Next Day Air shipment and the system can be up and running in one day. If the software is all that is being ordered, then Film & Vinyl Designs will pay for the Next Day Air costs. In most cases we can login to your system and get the software installed before the key arrives.

Q8. Can I do Text and Graphics? to start cutting?

Film Design 4.0 is a complete graphics platform that allows the user to work with AI or EPS files. The program can scan and trace bitmaps as well.

Text is able to be done and all the fonts in Windows are available to be used in Film Design.

Film Design can also allow graphics to be put into the Window Film patterns as well and these can be saved to the customer hard drive.

Q9. Does Film & Vinyl Designs require a particular film to be purchased to use Film Design 4.0 software?

We do not limit our customers with specific brands, Film Design 4.0 works well with all brands of films.

Q10. How hard is it to make patterns to cut from start to finish?

When Film Design 4.0 was started it was a requirement to make it as easy as possible. First the Database Access Tool had to be intuitive and then the selection process had to be simple and then lastly there had to be a way to make it cut quickly.

The Quick Cut button was created and then this allowed the fastest system to be created. In 6 mouse clicks a user can find, open, select a pattern and make the first cut.

Film Design also allows the user to select patterns individually or by clicking and dragging over them they can select a group of patterns.

Film Design is the simplest system on the market and can be the most detailed for making changes and customization as well.

Q11. Can I nest patterns I want to cut?

Yes, every pattern or set of patterns in our database is pre-nested to be as efficient as possible with different sized rolls of films or you can use our auto nest feature in Film Design 4.0 or you can manually nest patterns in Film Design 4.0 by clicking and dragging them around, rotating, and doing other manipulations.

Q12. What are the renewals for Paint Protection and Window Tinting packages?

The subscription can be paid by the month or quarter but the discounts are given in the Annual payments.

View prices

Q13. What if I start with Window Tinting package and then a few months later I want to add the Paint Protection patterns?

Any package can be easily extended with the cost recalculation depending on the time that is left in the original contract.

Q14. Does Film Design 4.0 have a per cut fee for Paint Protection or Window Tinting Patterns?

The preferable billing in Film Design 4.0 is done by a time license. This means that the user can pay for the length of time that they desire to use the software and then the program can be used as much as needed for that time period. This allows the system to be used for high volume shops without the fluctuations of costs that can occur with other programs. Latest versions of the Software allows accessing patterns online, when the user pays per download. In this case the pattern will be accessible for cutting either during a short period of time or the number of cuts will be limited.

Q15. What type of film products do you use?

Film & Vinyl Designs LLC is not a distributor of any specific material. We only sell software, plotters, computers, and tinting tools. There are many great window film and paint protection products and we are fortunate to work closely with most of these manufacturers.