View Full Version : Send Times for Trotec JobControl

Carlo Urmy
02-27-2013, 6:44 PM
Hi everyone,

y apologies if this is a question that has been addressed before, but I couldnt find it in a couple of searches. Basically I have used Trotec lasers for two different jobs (Speedy 300 with JobControl 9 at one, Speedy 400 with JobControl 10 at another) and have found that it can take an extremely long time for jobs that I have printed to appear in the JobControl queue. For example I just sent a fairly simple grid of lines from Illustrator, and have been waiting for the job to show up for 18 minutes (and counting). I've had a pretty poor experience with Trotec support thus far, and they've told me that Trotec doesn't support Illustrator, only CorelDraw and Paint. Unfortunately, I work for a school whose students exclusively use Illustrator and AutoCAD so simply changing programs isnt an option.

What I'm wondering is:

Have other Trotec users seen this tendency for files to take an extremely long time to send? Have you found any solutions to this problem? If you have used multiple programs to send jobs have you seen a significant differential from program to program? Is there hope in the world?

Thanks in advance,

P.S. Just hit the half-hour mark.

Scott Shepherd
02-27-2013, 7:09 PM
It's not an Illustrator issue. I have it happen from time to time with CorelDraw. Jobs are getting hung in the Windows print spooler. Google "clearing the print spooler" and you'll get directions on how to clear it out. Do that and send the job over and it should go right over. My guess is that you can open the windows print queue and you can't delete the job either. It will say "deleting", but it'll sit there forever.

It's definitely NOT an Illustrator related issue. I never knew if it was Windows, CorelDraw, or Trotec.

Carlo Urmy
02-27-2013, 10:09 PM
It's not an Illustrator issue. I have it happen from time to time with CorelDraw. Jobs are getting hung in the Windows print spooler. Google "clearing the print spooler" and you'll get directions on how to clear it out. Do that and send the job over and it should go right over. My guess is that you can open the windows print queue and you can't delete the job either. It will say "deleting", but it'll sit there forever.

It's definitely NOT an Illustrator related issue. I never knew if it was Windows, CorelDraw, or Trotec.

Thanks for the response Scott. I figured it wasn't an Illustrator issue, since I've seen the same problem in AutoCAD as well. You're also absolutely right about the inability to delete items from the print queue. I had (via banging my head against a wall) figured out the trick of clearing the print spool, but I've found that certain jobs tend to get caught up in the spool pretty reliably, whereas others will pass right through. It seems loosely correlated to vector complexity, but even that isnt a reliable predictor. I wish I understood what variables lead to the problems, but maybe that's too much to ask.

Keith Outten
02-27-2013, 10:53 PM

Corel Draw is probably used by 98% of the people who own laser engravers, it would certainly be reasonable for your school to accept that they need to purchase the software if they want to enjoy full use of the laser. Kinda like owning the dog but refusing to deal with the bark. The academic versions of Corel are pretty cheap so the price should not be a problem. Like it or not this is the way it is for all of us, I would prefer the manufacturers offer a choice of drivers for alternate operating systems like Linux or the Apple OS distribution but it will probably never happen.

Michael Hunter
02-28-2013, 6:07 AM
Not a Trotec problem - it happens with my Epilog too.

Not common and rather random, but it does appear to happen more with complex files.
Have not tracked down what is really going on.

(Windows XP : Corel X3 : Ethernet connection).

Mike Null
02-28-2013, 6:22 AM
My files usually transfer in seconds-not minutes. I use CorelDraw. I did have difficulty this week with Corel crashing when trying to send a very complex file originated on a Mac in AI and saved as an EPS. I finally got it to work but it was exasperating.

But the problem the OP describes is not one I've encountered.

I'm also using XP Pro.

Scott Shepherd
02-28-2013, 8:20 AM
I will note that I don't ever recall having this happen with XP, but with Windows 7, I have seen it. I don't know if that matters and my 1 case surely isn't enough to say it's W7, but it's one piece of the puzzle.

I've had it happen with very simple jobs as well as complex ones.

Keith Outten
02-28-2013, 8:29 AM

I have had major problems in the past when Architects would send me AutoCad files or EPS files that they saved from AutoCad drawings. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't, it really depended on the complexity of the drawing and how many layers it had. I use to beg them to flatten the drawing or at least delete all the boiler plate stuff on layers that we didn't need for the signs we had to engrave. At times I would import files into Aspire then save them as eps files that I could import into Corel. In a nutshell I would throw everything I had at the files they sent in an effort to get my signs engraved. I also requested they save their drawings in AutoCad V14 which made a difference sometimes but it wasn't 100% reliable.

Now these big drawings could take ten minutes to send to the engraver, whether it was our Xenetech or the Trotec it didn't matter. Another issue we encountered was the CPU speed and amount of ram installed in the computer we were using which had an affect on the transfer of print files.

Bitmaps are another story altogether.

Gene Howard
02-28-2013, 8:33 AM
We run a production stamp & sign shop on a Speedy II and Speedy 300, so JobControl spooling speed can have a huge impact on production time with the number of jobs we send. Luckily I've found two major sources of increased spooling time that can be fixed to an extent:

a) Spool time is directly proportional to the number of vector cutting objects. We used to use a typesetting package called SOSET that would generate cutting lines for stamps as a large number of very short, straight vector lines instead of a handful of smooth splines. Large jobs could take up to 15+ minutes to show up in the JobControl queue if they were cut-intensive. Since switching to CorelDraw for typesetting no job has taken more than 2 minutes to finish spooling.

b) Our anti-virus, Microsoft Security Essentials, slows spool speed considerably if real-time scanning of the JobControl data folder is enabled. I figured this out by noticing that the MSE executable would spike in CPU usage whenever large jobs were spooling. Once I excluded the JobControl data folder we saw a 2-3x speed increase for queued jobs. The folder to exclude (if running Windows 7) is C:\ProgramData\Trotec\JobControl. No idea if this same issue applies to other anti-virus packages but it wouldn't surprise me.

Keith Outten
02-28-2013, 8:35 AM
Recently I had to change the USB cable from my computer to my Trotec laser. After a period of inactivity the Job Control software would loose its connection to the laser and lock up. I suspect the cable was damaged when i moved the laser at some point. My Trotec is in my workshop, everything moves around if necessary to get a job done.

Gene, thanks for the insight. I'm told that the new Trotec Job Control X has a "True Arc" conversion feature.

Glen Monaghan
02-28-2013, 12:46 PM
Have you tried shutting off print spooling and printing directly? I had problems last year printing from a tax prep program through the print spooler. It took a long time (even when set to start printing immediately) and semi-randomly omitted small parts of the return when going through the print spooler. For whatever reason(s), turning off the spooler cured both time and missing print problems.

Carlo Urmy
02-28-2013, 6:41 PM
Thanks again to everyone for the info and advice. It sounds like the problem is related primarily to the way that JobControl interacts with the windows print spool, and not with any particular vector art software. That's my guess, at least. I have since learned the the one file that took over a half-hour to send yesterday was originally exported from Rhino3D as an .AI file, and once it did finally appear in JobControl, it didn't send anyway, so that may have been an extreme case. I deleted a few extraneous ports yesterday, which may or may not effect print time. For now I'll just wait and see whether send time continues to be a serious problem, or just an occasional annoyance.

Keith-From my end (personally) the problem is less the cost of the software and more creating as streamlined a process as possible for the user. In a production setting, CorelDraw is a no-brainer since it's universally supported, extremely stable and has all the right tools for laser cutting. In a design school setting, where the laser is only a small part of the experience, I'm hesitant to ask students to either learn a new program just for the laser cutter, or scrub all their files through CorelDraw before sending them to the laser. Incidentally, I think the "True Arc" feature you mention is called "Enhanced Geometries" in Job Control X, and while I cant say if it has impacted spool time, it has definitely lead to visibly smoother arcs and splines, especial at high speeds and on small parts, compared with JobControl 9.

Thanks Again,

Keith Outten
02-28-2013, 7:34 PM

Thanks for the info on Job X, I'm looking forward to the upgrade.
I wouldn't worry to much about any school age child adapting to new software. They seem to learn to use new software with less effort than it takes to eat an evening meal. :)
Old dogs like me.......thats a whole different situation.

Dillyn Benjamin
04-03-2013, 1:50 AM
We were having trouble with our Trotec jobs taking way too long and occasionally losing connection. We put a powered usb hub at either end of the long run from the computer to the laser and that cleared up all of the problems lickety split!

Regards Banjo

(Everyone calls me Banjo but all the paper says Dillyn)http://www.sawmillcreek.org/images/smilies/cool.gif

Trotec Speedy 300 60 Watt
Epilog Legend EXT 75 Watt
Millenium 77 badge printer
Vision 1624 rotary engraver
And all kinds of other bits and pieces.