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 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.

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:

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.


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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. XXX 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, 3 and 4 for 15″ mask material (skip the second roller position which is about 3” from roller position 1) and center the material over those 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.
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.

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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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Creation CR630 / CR1200 Vinyl Cutter Setup

The Creation CR630 and CR1200 vinyl cutters are very similar. The CR630 is a 24″ cutter while the CR1200 is a 48″ cutter. Aside from the difference in length, the CR1200 also has an extra stepper motor to drive the sand roller and it has some additional pinch rollers.

There are 3 places where we need to verify setting so that your cutter communicates properly. These 3 places are the cutter itself, the device manager and in the cutting program.

Step 1 – It is always a good idea to start by resetting the cutter. This will purge anything in RAM. To reset the cutter, disconnect it from the computer, plug it in and turn it on. Next, press the 2 red carriage limit switch buttons on the inside walls simultaneously 3 times. This will reset the cutter. Turn the cutter off and on.

Step 2 – Take your cutter offline by pressing the Online button. Next, press the mode button until you get to the baud rate. Make sure the baud rate is set to 9600 and not 19200. If it is at 19200, change it to 9600 with the + button. You will need to press the mode button again to get back to the X,Y position screen so you can put the cutter back online.

Step 3 – The first step in connecting your cutter to your computer is to open device manager. Go to the control panel. For Windows XP, Device Manager is a tab in the System program. For Windows Vista, 7, 8, etc. Device Manager is its own program in the Control Panel. When you first open Control Panel, if your settings are grouped by Category you will find the Device Manager under the “Hardware and Sound” group at the top under “Devices and Printers”. If your Control Panel is being viewed by Icons then it will be listed alphabetically. Open the device manager. With the device manager open, you will see a list of everything that is connected to your computer.

Step 4 – With the device manager open and the cutter powered on, plug the cutter into your computer. Your computer will make the device connection sound and may search for device drivers. The cutter uses an FTDI chipset so the computer should install the FTDI chipset driver. If your computer does not react at all to the cutter being plugged in, there may be a block in the connection.

  1. Try a different USB port on your computer (try all of them if necessary)
  2. Try a different printer cable (any standard USB printer cable will work, borrow one from another printer if needed).
  3. It is also possible that the USB port on the cutter itself has failed. USB ports are the number one service item for vinyl cutters.
  4. It is possible the internal wiring from the USB port to the motherboard has failed.

If your computer automatically installs an FTDI driver (some Windows 7 and Windows 8 systems will do this successfully) then proceed to use it. The FTDI driver will show up as a COM port under Ports (COM & LPT). In some instances, it may be necessary to use an older version of the FTDI driver. If your cutter has incomplete cutting then rolling back to a prior FTDI driver is a good first step to resolve the issue.

If your computer doesn’t install a driver automatically then your cutter will show up as an Unknown Device or possibly some other device. You will see the new device show up in the device manager listing. If you can’t tell which one it is, unplug the cutter from the computer and wait for device manager to update, the device attached to the cutter will disappear. Plug it back into the computer and the device will reappear. Do this as many times as needed until you find the cutter device.

If your cutter is an unknown device, you will need to install an FTDI driver. You can download the drivers from the CutterPros support page here. There are a couple to choose from depending on your operating system.

The drivers are in a compressed folder. Save the file to your downloads or to the desktop. After the file is saved, extract the drivers to a regular folder on your desktop.

Right click on the unknown device in device manager and select “Properties”

Next, click on the “Driver” tab.

Next, click on the “Update Driver…” button.

Select “Browse my computer for driver software”

Select “Let me poick from a list of device drivers on my computer”

Select “Have Disk…” on the bottom right

Select “Browse…”

Navigate to where you saved the decompressed folder.

Select “ftdiport.inf” from the decompressed folder.

Select “Open”

Select “OK”

Select “Next”

The driver software will be installed to the cutter device.

Step 5 - Now that you have a device driver installed for the cutter and the cutter shows up as a COM port under the COM & LPT ports (expand the menu tree if needed to see the COM ports) we will need to update the settings. Right click on the COM port which is your cutter. Select “Properties” and then select the “Port Settings” tab. The port settings should be as follows:

Bits per second: 9600

Data bits: 8

Parity: None

Stop Bits: 1

Flow control: Hardware

Change the settings as needed to match above. Usually, all you will need to update is the Flow control setting.














Next click on the “Advanced…” button.

You can change the COM port at the top if you wish. COM ports 1 to 4 are preferred for older versions of some programs that can’t access higher port numbers.

Set the following which are more conservative than the defaults:

Receive (bytes): 64

Transmit (bytes): 64

Latency Timer (msec): 1

Serial Enumerator should be checked, the rest of the settings should not be checked.

Selective Suspend Idle Timeout (secs): 5

Then click “OK”

Click “OK” again.

Now, you should be back in device manager. Right click on the COM port for your cutter to verify the settings.

Select “Properties”

Select “Port Settings”

Verify the settings above as 9600/8/none/1/Hardware

Sometimes, the Hardware setting reverts back to the prior setting. If it did, change it back to Hardware again.

Click “OK”.

Verify the settings again if needed. If you check the settings and they remain as 9600/8/none/1/Hardware then the system has changed them.

At this point, it is usually a good idea to restart the computer and then go back into device manager and check the settings. Turn the cutter off and on and then leave the cutter connected and turned on for the restart. This is especially true if you changed the COM port number.

Step 6 – Open your cutting program. For instance, SignCut Pro or Flexi Starter.








In SignCut Pro, at the middle or top right of the menu bar is a button for Cutter. Select this.

Manufacturer: Cutter Pros (or choose ProCut or Creation depending on your version of SignCut)

Cutter: ProCut CR630 (or ProCut CR1200 or CR630 or CR1200)

Output Device / Port: COM? – This must be the COM port that your cutter is assigned to. COM1, COM2, etc.

Do not click the Use Windows serial setting button

Baud: 9600

Parity: NON

Databits: 8

Stopbits: 1

Handshake: Hardware (RTS/CTS)

Blade Offset: .0118″ is the default. You can adjust this if needed. If your corners are rounded, the offset is too low. If your corners have little hangnails on them the offset is too high. If your corners are nice and sharp then the setting is correct. .0100″ – .0130″ is a good range to work within.

Use spooler: Unchecked

Enable feed dialog after cutting: N/A

Optimize datastream: Unchecked

Force movement: Unchecked

Curve resolution: 100

Rotate: 90 deg

RTS and CTS should be checked

DTR and DSR should NOT be checked

Click “OK”

Click the Cut icon (Icon that looks like a pair of scissors)

Remove your blade holder from the carriage.

Select “Testcut” from the bottom right corner

The cutter should connect and cut the test cut path.

Flexi Starter is very similar except you will need to go into Production Manager to setup the cutter. Use the same settings as outlined above.

If you are unsuccessful in connecting, contact us on live chat at

Special Notes:

If you have installed a new motherboard, make sure that left / right and up / down arrows move the carriage left and right and up and down respectively. If they are reversed, you will need to rotate the connector key / shield on the motherboard. We have had some instances where motherboard motor connections were mis-oriented.

If your cutter is not responding to the computer, verify that the carriage is not against one of the red limit switch buttons on the left or right side. The carriage can start about 1″ or so away from the right side wall. If the carriage is touching one of the red buttons it will cause the cutter to not communicate with the computer. If this happens, turn the cutter off, slowly move the carriage to a start position and turn it back on. It is very important to move it slowly as by moving the carriage you are generating a reverse current through the motor windings. Moving the carriage by hand very quickly can damage your motherboard.

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CutterPros Newsletter Volume 2

The big news this month is our participation at the Shanghai show in the Saga booth. Pictures are posted on the Saga blog site.

Saga and Future Corporation (makers of DragonCut) have been working very hard on the newest version of the ARMS system. A next generation ARMS system running DragonCut version 5 can contour cut decals to within ±.12 mm over 5 meters. Current generation ARMS and DragonCut version 4 is fine for 24” cutters and larger cutters at 1 – 2 m in length. It is OK beyond this but not as optimal as version 5 systems are. We retraced the same printed decals about 60 times and the pen had perfect retracing every time. There really is no limit to the length of the decal roll as we use interim registration marks (multi-marks) to find the images every 8” or so. The Saga-DragonCut system can now ARMS cut decals comparable to a Graphtec or Roland which can cost upwards of $7k. If you currently have an ARMS system running version 4 of DragonCut and would like to upgrade to version 5 you will need a new carriage with an upgraded sensor and a new motherboard. Let us know if you would like to upgrade your system. The Saga – DragonCut ARMS system is by far the best automatic contour cutting we have seen. Due to this enhanced performance we will likely see the prices of the Saga systems increase substantially in the near future.

At the show Saga exhibited their latest label cutter system with an automatic weeder along with a Saga color laser label printer. The system will retail for approximately $19k and can print 9 meters of labels per minute on 8.5” label stock. The cutter can process approximately .4 meters per minute so you can add additional label cutters to balance flow and yield if necessary. If you have any interest in this system please contact me for availability.

We did lots of ImageCut decals of dragons and other pictures at the show which generated substantial interest and enthusiasm in DragonCut and Saga. ImageCut can take any photograph and through changing strip width cuts can recreate it in vinyl. The photo can be a multicolor picture of anything and the reproduction is very good and gets better with thinner strip widths. If you are doing flea markets, swap meets, etc. or if you are just a signshop advertising sign work and are not doing ImageCut images you are missing a big opportunity. ImageCut is in DragonCut and in some versions of Vinyl Master. See the show pictures for examples.

Saga also exhibited the new mini cutters however, they are still at the prototype stage and are in development. We expect the mini cutters to be available early Q4 (just in time for the holidays).

Saga CNC is now actively recruiting commission driven independent sales agents and other sign making equipment supply resellers to participate in the sales and promotion of Saga products in the US. If you or someone you know has any interest in promoting and reselling Saga products please contact us. There are no inventory or carrying requirements. Saga is one of the easiest vinyl cutter companies to distribute and resell for. Saga products are sign-shop grade and compare well with Graphtec and Roland. Alternatively, if you provide a referral to Saga for an equipment sale, Saga will grant a commission on the sale.

We have added several more products over the past months. (Total products available through CutterPros are approximately 38,000 now).
One of the more important additions to the site is we have added a financing option for orders of $5k or more. For orders less than $5k, PayPal has a bill me later option which will let you spread costs out over time.
We have added Royal Sovereign LED signs. There are several versions available.
We have significantly expanded the availability of Griff Decorative Films vinyl. Many more colors and types are now available to choose from.
We are currently working on the release of the complete line of Universal Products striping. Usually, pin striping is targeted for cars, boats, campers and the automotive industry. Keep in mind however, that solid stripe is just plain vinyl cut down to a smaller width roll. Usually, vinyl cut below 15” is referred to as solid stripe. If you have a small width cutter however such as a 12” or 8” and would like a continuous roll to feed to it then you can get 12” or 8” solid stripe to run through your hobby cutter. We expect to have the Universal Products striping products released by mid-month.

We would like to encourage our customers to mention us in public forums. To encourage this, we will grant a $5 coupon for mentioning us in a public forum and a $10 coupon if you post a link back to the or web site. Simply call or email us with a link to the information and we will send you a coupon. (limit one coupon per account)

We are trying to put more emphasis on social media connections going forward so please consider clicking on our Facebook, Twitter and Google +1 buttons on our home page at

Here are some links to the items discussed above:

Saga CNC Shanghai 2014:
Video of Contour Cutting with DragonCut and a Saga Servo vinyl cutter:
Griff Vinyl:
Royal Sovereign LED signs:
Financing for $5k+:
Universal Products (available mid-month):

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First CutterPros Customer Communication

Historically, CutterPros has not sent out very many customer communication emails. We are looking to change this and to attempt to send out informational emails once a month with company updates to stay in touch with our customers.

We have added a lot of products over the past several months. (Total products on CutterPros are approximately 34,000 now) Several products are offered at extremely competitive pricing including 15″ ThermoFlex Plus by Specialty Materials, Griff Decorative Vinyl by Griff, Oracal 651 by Oracal. We have had our 4 year ProCut vinyl for quite some time. Recently, we added a 5 year ProCut calendared vinyl as well which cuts and weeds even better than the 4 year vinyl. Due to customer requests, we have also added Oracal 631 in cut down sizes. As a reminder, ProCut Calendared vinyl and Oracal 651 are good for outdoor use. Oracal 631 has a removable adhesive that is very good for indoor use on walls. Do not use Oracal 631 outside or on cars.

Our trade-in program remains very popular. We will continue to take CR series units as trade ins for Saga units. CR series or Saga series units can be traded in on a cutter of your choice.
For the Saga units, we have also introduced the Saga challenge which allows you to trade in your Saga for a Graphtec unit within the first month if you are unhappy with your Saga unit for any reason. To date, nobody has decided to give up their Saga for a Graphtec…

We introduced DragonCut software in December of 2013. DragonCut is by far the best vinyl cutting software we have seen to date. It includes internal vectorization and ImageCut which can take a JPEG and cut an image of it directly out of vinyl without vectorization. ImageCut images are very popular and profitable at Flea Markets and Swap Meets. DragonCut works on Saga units only. For demonstrations of DragonCut please visit and watch the main video and all the training videos. We expect the DragonCut cutting technology to be ported to Vinyl Master by year end. Until then, DragonCut will have better cutting technology than Vinyl Master.

We have also introduced a trade-up program for CutterPros and Ricoma heat presses. You can trade these presses in for a GeoKnight or a Stahls press. This program is similar to our vinyl cutter trade-up program where CutterPros will pay return shipping on your trade-in press in addition to the credit for the new press.

I would also like to remind everyone that we are available for support after hours and on weekends. Usually from 6PM-9PM M-F and from 10AM-5PM Saturday and Sunday. The best way to contact us is through live chat or through an email to Please contact us if you would like assistance.

I also urge all of you to read all of our posts on our technical blog. Taken together, they answer most questions posed by our customers. Much of the information is relevant to all vinyl cutting, not just Saga and Creation vinyl cutters.

Here are some links to the items discussed above:

ThermoFlex Plus:
Griff Vinyl:
Oracal 651:
Oracal 631:
5 yr and 4 yr ProCut Calendared Vinyl:
Vinyl Cutter Trade In Program:
CutterPros Heat Press Trade In Program:
Ricoma Heat Press Trade In Program:

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Contour Cutter Laser Calibration Using Flexi Starter

An easy way to calibrate the offset coefficients for your cutter is to use the cutter laser to self-measure the distance from a contour loop to a geometry loop. Following is the procedure:

  1. Do not remove the paper from the cutter during this process. This way, we can maintain orthagonality while we measure the laser offset.
  2. Create a 1″ x 1″ square in Flexi Starter using the rectangle tool (fourth down on the left menu bar). In the Design Central pop up menu, set the length and width to 1″ x 1″ and set the corners to be square (Regular).
  3. Create a contour path around that square with an offset of 0 so the contour loop is coincident with the original geometry square. Go to Effects at the top, select Contour Cut… In the design central window, set the offset to 0 and select the green checkmark.
  4. Create your 4 registration marks. With the contour in place, go to Effects, select Contour Cut Marks…  Select 4 point in Design Central and press the green check mark.
  5. Place a pen and paper in your vinyl cutter. Zero the pen near the middle of the paper and to the front. The contour loop will plot above and to the right of the geometry loop so we will want space above and to the right.
  6. Plot the original 1″ x 1″ square and the registration marks using the cut command.
  7. Move the laser so it is below and to the right of the first registration mark. Flexi will not allow negative numbers to be used during the registration process. Rezero the origin by selecting the Enter button on the cutter.
  8. Run the contour cut using the Contour Cut button (just to the right of the cut button on the top menu bar). The Cut Contour window will pop up.
  9. Under the cutter is a button called Properties… on the Cut Contour pop up window, select this tab. The third tab to the right is the Cut tab in the Default Job Properties pop up window, select the Cut tab. On the Cut tab you will find the Cutter Options… button on the bottom, select this. You will see the Before Job window. The Offset X and Offset Y is where the laser offsets will go. Select both boxes and put in 0 and 0 for the X and Y offsets. Select the Apply button. Close the Before Job window and the Default Job Properties window.
  10. Select Send from the Cut Contour screen, this will allow us to send the contour cut to the cutter. Select the Interactive alignment (Manual) options from the Alignment pop up window. Select OK. The Interactive alignment window will pop up. Using the arrows on your keyboard move the laser to the first registration mark. NOTE, IT IS VERY HELPFUL TO HAVE A REMOTE KEYBOARD OR TO HAVE YOUR KEYBOARD NEAR YOUR CUTTER WHEN DOING THIS. Select OK when complete. Do the same for positions 2, 3 and 4.
  11. A pop up box will say Please put knife back in cutter and click OK to start cutting. Select OK and the contour cut will be executed.
  12. The contour cut will be up and to the right of the original square. The distance between these two squares is equal to the distance between the laser and the cutting point.
  13. Place the laser back in the bottom right corner again and re-zero the cutter by pressing the enter button.
  14. Send the contour cut again.
  15. Select Interactive alignment (Manual) again.
  16. Using the keyboard arrows, move the laser to the top left corner of the original square.
  17. Record the X, Y values from the Interactive Alignment screen. For instance, 1.614 inch x 1.208 inch.
  18. Using the keyboard arrows, move the laser to the top left corner of the contour cut square.
  19. Record the X, Y values from the Interactive Alignment screen. For instance, 2.604 inch x .482 inch.
  20. Now, subtract the X and Y values from each other. For instance: 1.614-2.604 = -0.99″ for X and 1.208-.482 = .726″ for Y.
  21. These are the values for your cutter laser offsets. Flexi will want these numbers entered in mm, not inches so we should convert the value. For instance: -.99*25.4 mm/inch = -25.15 mm for X. .726*25.4 mm/inch = 18.44 mm for Y.
  22. Cancel out of this contour cut.
  23. Return to Properties, Default Job Properties, Cut tab, Cutter Options… Select the Offset X and Offset Y boxes and enter your offsets for the X and Y values. For instance, -25.15 and 18.44 in this example (use the values you calculated for your cutter). Click Apply. Note, the X value will always be negative and the Y value will always be positive. The positive X direction is left as you face the cutter and the positive Y direction is toward the back of the cutter as you face it. Although your values will be slightly different than the ones presented in this example, they should be very close to these values.
  24. Select done to close out of the Contour Cut screen.
  25. Send the contour cut again.
  26. Select the second tab of the options screen. On this tab you will see Drawing Colors and there will be a color called CutContour. Double click on this color.
  27. The settings pop up box will display. Select the Offset X and Offset Y checkboxes and enter your offset coordinates again. Select Apply and OK to close the box.
  28. Select Send in the bottom right and run through the contour cut alignment process making sure your carriage starts from the zero in the lower right corner. (This is necessary as Flexi will not accept negative values from the alignment process).
  29. Your contour cut should be very close if not directly on top of the original square.
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