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Vinyl Cutter Setup – Creation CR730 / CR1300

The CR730 (24″) and CR1300 (48″) cutters are true USB 2.0 cutters. Setup with Windows is fairly straight forward but may require some driver installation from the user. These cutters do not work with Mac as drivers for Mac are currently unavailable.

Make sure your cutter is connected to a USB2.0 port. For reference, USB3.0 ports are colored blue. The best way to tell if your USB ports are 1.0, 2.0 or 3.0 is to consult the specifications on your hardware. Most of this documentation is online if you need to look it up.

First, check your computer to see if you have a 32 bit or a 64 bit Windows operating system. This is done in the Windows control panel using the System tool.

Go to Start
Go to Control Panel
Run the System program

Alternatively, go to Start, in the search box type System and the System program in the control panel should come up in the list. You can run it from there.

This program will list relevant information about your system configuration. On the line under System called System type: you will see if you have a 32 bit or a 64 bit operating system. Most newer computers these days are 64 bit operating systems.

The drivers for the cutter are on our support page here under section D: http://www.cutterpros.com/support

For 32 bit systems, you will need to download the drivers. The installation process is manual and is explained in tutorials available on the support page. See section D on the support page for XP/Vista/7 32 bit drivers and relevant installation instruction sheets for your particular system.

XP/Vista/7 32 bit driver: http://www.cutterpros.com/download/cr730-cr1300-32-bit-driver.zip
Windows XP Installation Instructions: http://www.cutterpros.com/download/cr730-cr1300-xp-32-bit-driver-installation.pdf
Windows Vista Installation Instructions: http://www.cutterpros.com/download/cr730-1300-vista-driver-installation.pdf
Windows 7 Installation Instructions: http://www.cutterpros.com/download/cr730-32-bit-windows-7-driver-install.pdf

For 64 bit systems, we have a self installing driver that we wrote ourselves. Prior to connecting the cutter, install the driver:
Windows 64 bit driver: http://www.cutterpros.com/download/cutterpros.msi
Windows 64 bit driver Installation Instructions: http://www.cutterpros.com/download/cr730-cr1300-vista-7-64-bit-driver-installation.pdf

After you have installed the driver, plug the cutter into the computer and turn the cutter on.
Your cutter should connect to your computer and be available to select for cutting in sign cutting programs such as SignCut Pro, Flexi and others.
If your cutter did not connect, it is possible that Windows assigned the wrong driver to it automatically. We have seen many instances of the CR730/1300 cutters being mistaken as a “Bossa” device. To correct this, do the following:

Go to Start
Go to Control Panel
Run the Device Manager program

Here you will see a list of all the devices connected to your computer. Expand the Ports (COM & LPT) and the Universal Serial Bus controllers menu items.
With the cutter power on, disconnect the USB port from the computer and reconnect it. Keep an eye on the ports in device manager to see what disappears and what reappears.
If the Bossa port shows up, then your cutter was assigned a Bossa device driver. Similarly, it could show up as an Unknown Device, a Camera or another type of device.
Assuming that it shows up as a Bossa port, right click on the Bossa port (or the port that your cutter connected to).

Select Update Driver
Select Browse My Computer
Select Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer

You should now see a list of drivers that are compatible with the CR730/1300 cutter. The CutterPros Creation USB driver should be a selection. Assuming it is, select it and click next.
Complete the driver reassignment.

At this point it is usually a good idea to turn off the cutter and restart the computer.
You should also reset the cutter. The CR series cutters are reset by pressing the two red limit switches for the carriage simultaneously. The red limit switches for the carriage are located to the right and left of the path of travel of the carriage. These are the buttons that the carriage will bump into if you try to send a cut to the cutter that is wider than the cutter can cut. If the carriage touches a red limit switch it will disconnect the cutter from the computer and put it in an offline state. Pressing these two limit switches at the same time will reset the cutter.
After the restart, go back into device manager and make sure your cutter is connected as a cutter device and not a Bossa device or some other unknown port.

You should now be connected to your cutter.

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Cutting Window Tint With A Vinyl Cutter

Cutting window tint on a vinyl cutter is particularly challenging and requires patience and some trial and error. The window tint material is very fragile. It also contains metals and ceramics that will dull blades quickly. Below are some bullet points that one should follow when cutting window tint.

First, the definition of ‘bunching’. Bunching is when the material doesn’t slide under the blade at the speed that the cutter is driving the material. Instead, the material will wrinkle between the drive rollers and the blade. Window tint and heat transfer material are particularly susceptible to bunching.

1) POSITION – Place the window tint in the cutter so as to minimize the amount of material the overhangs the left and right rollers. Cutting too far beyond the roller support points can increase the tendency of the material to bunch.
2) WEIGHT – Window tint is very light weight and is sometimes reverse wound. Because of this, you may need to add weight to the front edge of the tint to allow the tint to properly conform to the profile of the cutter deck. We recommend 3 or 4 binder clips to be placed along the front edge if needed.
3) ALIGNMENT – For alignment, roll out the tint you need in advance of the cut. Watch the right edge of the tint as you roll it. When properly aligned parallel with the rollers, the tint should wobble within 2 marks on the ruler. If it wobbles or moves left to right, rotate it and roll again. Initially, you may find this difficult. With some practice, you should be able to get the material aligned well within 3 or 4 trials.
4) BLADE EXTENSION – Make sure you have enough extension of the blade for the tip of the blade to get to the cutting strip. When cutting thick materials, we elevate the blade holder with a rubber O-ring for clearance. For window tint, this O-ring is likely not needed.
5) ROLLERS – The rollers should have firm pressure and as even as possible.
6) CUTTING STRIP – Cutting window tint is extremely sensitive to the integrity of your Teflon cutting strip. Even a slight scratch in the strip can cause non-uniform cutting in the tint. Always check your cutting strip with your finger for uniformity and flip it over or replace it as needed. We recommend that you keep a spare cutting strip on hand at all times.
7) BLADES – Because window tint is very unforgiving on blades due to the material contents, your blades will wear quickly. With standard OEM blades, it is likely that you will get 30-50 windows cut per blade. The blades used for window tint should be the most gradual cutting angle available which is 20°-30°. You can buy the blades in bulk to reduce the cost per window for blades. Alternatively, consider purchasing hardened high quality blades. Contact us for blade recommendations if needed.
8) SPEED – Window tint should be cut at lower speeds. We recommend somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 mm/s.
9) FORCE – Perhaps one of the more frustrating parameters for cutting window tint successfully is setting the blade force. This is set by trial and error and is usually a lower value than cutting sign vinyl. Setting the force too high will result in bunching. Setting the force higher than needed will result in worse tracking. Setting the force too low won’t cut through the material. There ends up being a very small range on the force scale that will produce acceptable results. You will also find that as your blades wear, you will need to gradually increase the force. We recommend starting the force off low, maybe around 60 or so and increasing the force until you get good cuts (this is a conservative way to do this so as not to damage the cutting strip in the process). Keep in mind that sometimes too low of a force won’t actually cause the blade to drop as the return spring force needs to be overcome. Just continue to increase the force until you get good test cuts using the test cut button.
10) CUTTER – Because of the delicate nature of window tint material, we recommend a stepper cutter be used as the carriage is better tuned to lower forces. If you have your heart set on a servo system and still want to cut window tint then we can swap out the carriage on the servo to the low force stepper motor carriage. If you desire this configuration please contact us.

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CutterPros Walk-In Customer Policy

Valued Customers,

As CutterPros has grown over the past 5 years we have experienced an exponential increase in our local walk-in traffic.
First, we would like to thank you all for allowing us to serve your needs.
Second, we would like to implement a new policy regarding our walk-in customers to allow us to faster serve you. This is a result of our low-cost structure and our primary focus on web based transactions.

As most of you are aware, we have no cash registers or bar-coded labels and price tags on our products. This results in longer in-store wait times while we place your order and fulfill it on site. To improve this, we ask that you please place your orders online through our web portal www.CutterPros.com. For shipping, select in-store pickup. Check out and pay for your order online. Please note any special instructions in the note field on the checkout screen. We will send you an email when your order is ready for pick-up. In the event you come to the shop without placing an order in advance we may request that you place the order at an in-store terminal. This will allow us to focus on packing and preparing your custom order.

As a reminder, if you are a business and are purchasing material that will be resold, please fill out an AZ5000A form so that we can set your account up for sales tax exempt status. This must be done annually.

https://azdor.gov/Portals/0/ADOR-forms/10300/10316_f.pdf

Thank you for being a valued customer of CutterPros!

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Customer Memo 01/13/2017

Valued Customers,

We would like to take the opportunity to announce some new products we have added to the web site. As many of you are aware, we have expanded the 12″ and 15″ desktop cutters with Saga with 9 models to choose from. As a result, we have received a substantial number of requests for craft vinyl. In response to these requests we have created a craft vinyl category here:

http://www.cutterpros.com/craft-vinyl

Craft vinyl is cut into sheets of 12″ width so that it can be used in any 12″ cutter such as the Saga, Cricut, Silhouette or Cameo among others.

This category contains 12″ cut sheet vinyl as follows:

12″ x 12″ Kapco Calendared (Which we think is the best bang for the buck!)
12″ x 12″ Kapco Cast (coming soon)
12″ x 12″ Oracal 631
12″ x 12″ Oracal 651
12″ x 12″ Griff (Keep in mind that Griff vinyl is rebranded by most other resellers. If it looks like Griff vinyl it probably is.)
12″ x 12″ Tape Technologies 4000E
12″ x 12″ Tape Technologies Etch
12″ x 12″ Tape Technologies Cast
12″ x 15″ Specialty Materials Thermoflex Plus (Heat Transfer Material)
12″ x 19.5″ Specialty Materials GlitterFlex Ultra (Heat Transfer Material)

We believe our pricing on these cut sheet sizes is very aggressive and hope you are pleased with this new offering! Please help us spread the word through social media to help us keep our marketing costs down and our prices low.

We are expanding the availability of our Kapco products on the web site to include all sizes of calendared, cast, fluorescent, translucent and reflective. Kapco is another brand that you will find rebranded by many other suppliers in the industry.

Also, note that we have added Vinyl Express cutters to our line-up. Due to a special arrangement with the supplier, these cutters are also included in our trade-up program so now there is no limit to your upward mobility!

As always, please contact us with any questions, comments or concerns you may have. Thank you for your business as we look forward to a great 2017.

Regards,
CutterPros

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True Size Scaling in DragonCut

1) Open DragonCut
2) Go to “Tools” on the top menu, select “Plugins & Modules”, select “Vinyl Spooler…”
3) In the Vinyl Spooler, select “Cutter” from the top menu bar, select “Configure Cutter”
4) Select “Units” on the left side bar menu
5) Expand Units and Device Units per Inch and Device Units per mm (see picture)

6) See the numbers 40 and 40 for mm (or 1016 and 1016 for inches)? This is the number of motor pulses per mm that is defined for the Saga cutters. By default, it should be 40 and 40 for mm. Cutting a 1” x 2” rectangle should come out true size.
7) If we change these numbers from 40 and 40 to 80 and 80 (the 1016 x 1016 will automatically adjust to 2032 x 2032 when we do this) and resend the same 1” x 2” rectangle, it will come out to 2” x 4” true size.
8) So, if your cut is coming out too small, adjust these numbers upwards. If your cut is coming out too large, then adjust these numbers downwards. The change should be in direct proportion.
9) Example 1, if your 1” x 2” box is coming out .5” x 1” true size, then double these numbers from 40×40 to 80×80.
10) Example 2, if your 1” x 2” box is coming out 2” x 4” true size, then halve these numbers from 40×40 to 20×20.
11) You can also change the X different from the Y if the scaling is non-proportional.
12) For reference, the X controls along the length of the vinyl and the Y controls along the width of the cutter.

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Vinyl Cutting Rubber Sand Mask Or Paint Mask

For best results when cutting rubber mask with a vinyl cutter, follow these guidelines:

1) Make sure the cutter is cutting the rubbery side of the material. One side is shiny and slippery, one side is dull and rubbery. Always cut the dull rubbery side up. The shiny slippery side is the release liner.
2) Make sure the blade holder is biased up in the carriage if needed to allow for additional cutting clearance. For cutting rubber mask material you must either use the rubber O ring or manually bias the blade holder up with your fingers before tightening it down so it is touching the upper flange on the blade holder and not resting on the bottom for Saga and Precision cutters. This will ensure proper clearance for the blade holder shroud so it does not come in contact with the material top surface.
3) Make sure the blade extends from the blade holder almost 1/16″ = .0625”. This is to ensure that we have enough blade height available to cut through the material while not hitting the shroud of the blade holder. The material is .035” thick with a .007″ thick release liner. The blade tip should not be touching the material when the cutter isn’t in the down position cutting. If the blade tip is scratching the material when traveling over it then it is extended a little too far.
4) Use a 60° blade. This is the blue cap blade.
5) Use a force of 250 g – 300 g and a speed of about 108 mm/s for a 45° blade. This higher force is needed to cut the rubber mask material. Below are some minimum forces measured to cut through rubber mask with the Precision Servo cutter. Servo cutters are highly recommended for cutting rubber mask material.
a. 258 g using a 45° standard blade
b. 231 g using a 60° standard blade
c. 213 g using a 45° industrial blade
d. 200 g using a 60° industrial blade
6) Using too much force will cause the blade to jam in the release liner and not slide. We need just the right amount of force. The ideal force is the force needed to fully cut through the material layer and just barely nick into the release liner. The best force would be the force closest to the minimums as possible.
7) Use roller positions 1, 2, 3 and 4 for 15″ mask material and center the material over these three rollers best you can. The spool of material will be right against the roller bearing on the right side of the stand roller so it won’t be perfectly centered on a 720 Precision unit, it will be to the left of center just a little. For a standard 720 Saga unit you can get it centered. For 24″ wide material use the center of the cutter. We highly recommend that you cut the material to the length being used. This will allow the material to hang freely in the front and back of the cutter thereby reducing side loads caused by spooling off of the roll. We also recommend removing the basket.
8) Use firm roller pressure. The rollers will leave a slight impression on the material but it is OK. It is also important that the roller pressure be uniform. To achieve uniform pressure, either start at full pressure and release the same amount of pressure from each roller by rotating the thumb screws the same amount or start from minimum pressure and add the same pressure on each roller by rotating the thumb screw the same amount. Uneven roller pressure can cause your material to not track correctly causing text and graphics to move out of alignment.
9) When the material is not being cut do not leave the rollers in the down position. When you are not cutting and leave the cutter for a duration of only 15 minutes or so make sure to lift the rollers. This is due to the tendency of the rubber material to compresses and take a set under the roller pressure causing an impression in the rubber mask.
10) If your rubber mask material unwinds from the roller by itself contact support to obtain friction bands for your roller bar for the Precision series cutters.
11) Manually roll out enough material to cover the distance in your run. This will reduce force against the drive rollers and improve the tracking of your cutter. Cut the vinyl to the length needed for the graphic.
12) For the best results, rotate the vinyl in the cutter if you are using 15″ material with a 24″ (or wider) cutter. If you are using a 24″ cutter, cut the 15″ wide mask to 26″ long and place it lengthwise across the width of the cutter. This will align the longer lengthwise cuts on the material to be perpendicular to the rollers and will allow for much better tracking. This will limit your cutting size to 13″ x 24″ if you are using 15″ material. You can tile your graphic and piece it together after cutting if your graphic is larger than this size.
13) Grip is the ability of your vinyl cutter to bite into the release liner (or carrier material) repeatedly and track back along the bite marks accurately. Some material release liners such as with rubber mask are very hard and give substantial resistance to the bite from your knurled rollers. To enhance the grip of your cutter to the release liner we recommend adding a layer of masking tape to the back portion of the material to aid in grip for longer runs. Adding the masking tape to the release liner gives your cutter a softer material to bite into which substantially enhances the ability of the cutter to track accurately. The tape should only be placed along the length in the region that will line up with the knurled rollers. You can use any type of masking tape such as blue painter’s tape. See picture below as an example:

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Preparing Boat Surfaces For Application Of Vinyl

The first step for preparing boat surfaces for the application of vinyl is cleaning.

IPA (isopropyl alcohol) is generally recommended unless the substrate manufacturer states that there is an incompatibility. Caution: many cleaning agents can leave a residue that either prevents vinyl adhesion or attacks the vinyl adhesive, such as Windex® and other glass or surface cleaners, Rapid Prep®, and degreasers.

Surface temperatures should be between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit before attempting the installation. As a general rule, if the surface is hot to the touch it’s over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Adhesive becomes brittle when it gets too cold and gummy when it gets too hot. Applications outside the recommended range of 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit reduce the adhesives’ ability to perform.

Make sure you SUPER clean the areas you are going to be applying to. On fiberglass, a firm alcohol cleaning with a clean rag to remove any wax/lime/salt is all you’ll need.

Wipe it several times just to make sure it is very clean.

Optional, from others that have applied graphics to boats: Make sure the graphics are all above the waterline while the boat is at rest fully loaded in the water & use a prep like 3M Primer 94 to prepare the surface for the vinyl (apply a very thin film of it and allow 15 minutes to tack up). Follow up with an edge sealer like 3M Edge Sealer 3950. All you want to do is make sure water does not get under the leading edge of the vinyl and cause it to lose adhesion.

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Changing The Carriage On A Saga Standard Stepper Or Servo Vinyl Cutter

1) Remove plug from vinyl cutter (Always the first step when servicing your cutter)

2) Remove endcaps (four screws on inside plates)

3) Remove the top cover plate (carefully so you don’t pinch the wires on the right side). It is best to remove it, rotate it 90° to the cutter and lay it on the right side. Be very careful not to damage the wires that connect through to the LCD display.

4) Loosen the drive belt by loosening the fastener on right side.

5) Loosen or remove the front fastener of the carriage cover plate. This fastener locks the carriage in place. When it is removed, the carriage can be pushed down and tilted out. You can also remove the carriage cover plate by removing the fastener on the left side of the carriage as well however, it is not necessary to remove the cover.

6) Push down on carriage and rotate the bottom wheels off the track. Do this very carefully so you don’t pivot the carriage too much. If you rotate the carriage too much you will damage / bend the optic sensors attached to the PCB on the top of the carriage. You may want to remove the small PCB on the top first. If you do, the nuts are under the PCB and they are very difficult to get to so you will need a small screw driver and needle nose pliers. Try not to lose the nuts or the small fasteners in the process.

7) Once the carriage has been tilted off the rail, it will be free from the cutter. Lift it up to clear the optic sensors from the rail without damaging them.

8) Unfasten the four wire connections from the carriage to the carriage board on the top (unless your new carriage has another sensor board already attached, you will likely need to reuse this one. There may be some hot glue on the wires which can be removed by a pair of pliers or by pulling it off with our fingers.

9) Extremely important – Make sure you note the sequence of red / black and solenoid / laser connections. When you reconnect them, they must be in the same sequence. Switching + and – on the solenoid wires will fry the main motherboard if you power it on with the wires reversed. (frying the motherboard with the leads reversed is practically guaranteed) If you look at the sensor board carefully you will see little +/- marks on it. The collars on the little wires should be red + and black – to correspond.

10) Remove the sensor board from the top of the carriage bracket. It is much easier now with the carriage separated from the cutter.

11) On the back of the carriage ther are fasteners that hold the belt to the carriage. With enough slack in the belt, you can loosen those fasteners enough so that the belt clips unhook from the heads of the fasteners (no need to completely remove the fasteners).

12) Reverse the process

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