View Full Version : Gravograph IS400 and Coreldraw

Chris J Anderson
06-25-2014, 8:00 AM
Howdy All,

I'm considering purchasing an IS400 engraving machine for use on stainless steel plates for colour filling for a potential new client.

Is anybody using Coreldraw (x6) with this model machine, and if yes, would I still be better off with the Gravograph software sold with the machine ?
I'm guessing corel won't have a lot of the setup options required, but am unsure.

EDIT: I am also considering a Vision Max Pro, but unsure of its suitability for engraving stainless steel ?
I can get the max pro with only around 100 hours use, for half the cost of a new one, so am prepared to put up with slightly slower performance as long as the machine is capable.

Any advice appreciated.


Mike Null
06-25-2014, 9:58 AM
I'm quite sure you'll find that CorelDraw is not compatible with either of the machines you're considering.

With the IS400 I believe you'll have to use gravograph software. With the Vision I believe Engravlab is available. In terms of the machines I think it's a toss-up but I would go for the Visions as I will never again do business with Gravograph.

Robert Walters
06-25-2014, 10:12 AM
I will never again do business with Gravograph.


You don't sound too sure of yourself there ;)

Ok, I'll bite... why not?

Kev Williams
06-25-2014, 11:25 AM
And me, I have no problem with New Hermes (Gravograph) stuff. Why? Look at my signature, with the exception of the Triumph, a Roland vinyl cutter (that died), and 2 Gorton pantomills (long since sold), everything I own, or ever owned, is NH. The 6 pantographs we owned before comptuerized machines were all NH. Most people complain about their customer service. I can relate. However, I rarely need customer service. My NH rep takes care of me. In 40 years I've never paid anyone a dime to fix any of these machines. OK, I did pay my rep to rebuild an EP module for me, but they're essentially computers, not engraving machines. I've had 3 warrantee issues, ever. One was the short Y-axis belt on the LS900 laser (10 years ago), an YXM board change in our first Concept 2000 (1981). Lastly, I'm getting a new LED pointer for my IS400, it just quit working.

I've changed many a bearing, motor, and a few lead screw/nut sets. 2 stepper motors. A keypad. The power supply in the LS900 laser. The laser tube in the ULS laser.

Zero labor charges and basic maintenance, for every machine I've owned since 1981. I HAVE to stand behind New Hermes. And how can I complain about their customer service if I never need it! (but I will admit, when I have needed it, it has been lacking)...

OK, that all said-- Mike is correct in that you can't run an IS400 with Corel, you'll need to use Gravostyle to run it. NOTE ABOUT GRAVOSTYLE: The "discovery" version(s) are pretty cheap. However, 'discovery' is extremely limited in its function. Such as, great for basic text, but no graphics editing whatsoever. However, all that it won't do can be done in Corel, then exported as an EPS* and imported into Gravostyle. From there you can resize/reposition as necessary. My IS400 is driven by Gravo7 Discovery.

*EPS -- I choose EPS because for some reason, imported DXF files into Gravo sometimes come in with distorted circles and/or curves. Never had that problem with importing EPS files.

Vision engravers- I have no experience, other than a friend of mine has been using a couple of them for over 20 years to diamond etch plates for the sports plaques he sells. I replaced a stepper motor in one of them for him recently. Not a bad service record. How well will they engrave stainless? My guess, about as well as any engraving machine- NOT! The only advice I have about engraving stainless is, use a collet spindle, not a drop-in. You'll get 2-3x the tool life before needing to sharpen. Gravograph has them for their machines, not sure about Vision. And speaking about tool sharpening, plan on it being half of your life if you plan to engrave SS regularly!

Ross Moshinsky
06-25-2014, 11:40 AM
We have Gravograph stuff. The machines are good. The software is mediocre at best. The customer support is bad. We've had minor problems or questions and they turn into relatively major issues because it's difficult to work with them. I wouldn't buy from them again because their customer service is bad. With that said, we do more and more laser work now and that is where Gravograph is weakest. If I used my rotary engravers more, like we used to, I might have a slightly different opinion. Their rotary machines really are some of the best built in the industry.

Paul Phillips
06-25-2014, 12:07 PM
I would also confirm what's being said here, I've had an IS8000 for 10 years, only minor problems, rock solid machine, never liked the software, it always seemed like I was using something that was written in French and translated into English and just never felt quite right to me, never liked it and switched to Flexisign, (they have an engraver version that will run NH) also customer service has been hit and miss.

Chris J Anderson
06-25-2014, 9:31 PM
Thanks heaps for the detailed responses, I didn't expect that much information overnight.
Your replies have cleared quite a few things up for me.
I'm still in 2 minds here though...

Vision Max Pro...
Much lower price for a good condition machine.
Doesnt sound as suitable for stainless as the IS400 though.

Gravo IS400...
After reading replies here and searching the forum, it appears they have serious support issues.
However my background is 30 years mechanical / electronic design, so no problems repairing my own equipment.

One more short question -
Do you think the Vision Max Pro is suitable for stainless, even if I make say 2 passes to get a 15 thou depth for colour filling ?

Thanks again,

Kev Williams
06-25-2014, 10:43 PM
"MUCH" lower price? Go with the Vision Max. I just checked them out online, it should be fine. "Collet spindle optional" I saw too, buy one with the money you save. I'm not sure if it has recirc. ball lead screws or not, couldn't find that info. A plus if it does.

And- since your new client is "potential", the cheaper investment may be a good move...