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.

http://www.CutterPros.com/downloads/

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 www.CutterPros.com

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 CutterPros.com or SagaCNC.us 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 www.CutterPros.com.

Here are some links to the items discussed above:

Saga CNC Shanghai 2014:
http://www.sagacnc.us/blog/saga-cnc-at-shanghai-sign-show-2014/
Video of Contour Cutting with DragonCut and a Saga Servo vinyl cutter:
http://youtu.be/DbyitZfsSps
Griff Vinyl:
http://www.cutterpros.com/Griff-Decorative-Films.htm
Royal Sovereign LED signs:
http://www.cutterpros.com/LED-Signs.htm
Financing for $5k+:
http://dimensionfunding.com/cutterproseasypay/
Universal Products (available mid-month):
http://www.cutterpros.com/Universal-Products-Vinyl.htm

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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 www.DragonCut.cn 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 OffHoursSupport@CutterPros.com. 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. http://www.cutterpros.com/blog/

Here are some links to the items discussed above:

ThermoFlex Plus: http://www.cutterpros.com/ThermoFlex-Plus-Heat-Transfer-Film.htm
Griff Vinyl: http://www.cutterpros.com/Griff-Decorative-Films.htm
Oracal 651: http://www.cutterpros.com/Oracal-651-Intermediate-Cal.htm
Oracal 631: http://www.cutterpros.com/Oracal-631-Removable-Exhibition-Cal.htm
5 yr and 4 yr ProCut Calendared Vinyl: http://www.cutterpros.com/Vinyl-Roll-Vinyl-Rolls-Vinyl-Film-Vinyl-Material-Calendared.htm
Vinyl Cutter Trade In Program: http://www.cutterpros.com/Vinyl-Cutter-Plotter-Sign-Making-Machine-Trade-In-Trade-Up.htm
CutterPros Heat Press Trade In Program: http://www.cutterpros.com/Heat-Press-Trade-Up-Trade-In-Program-CutterPros-Heat-Presses-To-Geo-Knight.htm
Ricoma Heat Press Trade In Program: http://www.cutterpros.com/Heat-Press-Trade-Up-Trade-In-Program-Ricoma-Heat-Presses-To-Geo-Knight.htm

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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.
Posted in Flexi, Vinyl Cutting Tutorials Tips And Tricks | Leave a comment

ProCut Contour Or Servo Vinyl Cutter Setup Flexi Starter (PC)

1) You will receive a USB Dongle with Flexi Starter. Do not plug this into the computer until you have installed Flexi Starter first.

2) You will receive a disk that contains Flexi Starter. This disk will also have a long license code attached to it. Flexi Starter can also be downloaded from the CutterPros tech support page here in section H: http://www.cutterpros.com/downloads/

3) Insert the Flexi Starter disk and open it with Windows File Explorer.

  1. Navigate to the “Autorun” file and launch the Flexi installation.
  2. Flexi will take a long time to install, especially on older or slower computers.
  3. If you have mistakenly plugged the driver into a USB port please remove it.
  4. Welcome to the InstallShield Wizard for Flexi Starter (click Next)
  5. Accept License Agreement (Click Next)
  6. Accept default file location (Click Next)
  7. Accept default files to install (click Next)
  8. Accept default folder name (click Next)
  9. Installation proceeds and shows Setup Status screen… (wait for completion)
  10. The Setup Status will then show configuration of the installation… (wait for completion)
  11. Screen will show if the USB dongle is connected to the computer, please remove it now, so that the dongle driver can be installed. (remove the dongle if you plugged it in, select OK)
  12. Setup Status shows configuration screen and dongle driver installation… (wait for completion)
  13. Installation screen will disappear, your computer won’t show anything but installation is still completing in the background, please wait…. (wait for completion, this may take a little while)
  14. Eventually, the Install manager screen will pop up. Input your password into the password box. Your user number (6 digit code which should match with the 6 digit code on the side of your dongle) will display and the Product will populate. (Select Done)
  15. Install manager will allow you to install to desktop and to clear preferences. (select OK)
  16. Install manager will process… (wait for completion, do not press Done)
  17. When this is complete, a green installation bar on a white background will display (wait for completion)
  18. Eventually, the green bar will disappear, nothing will display on the computer, Flexi is finishing installation in the background. Please wait… (wait for completion, this may take a little while)
  19. Eventually, the install shield wizard will show a complete screen. You are done! Click Finish.

We recommend you restart your computer.

Plug in your dongle. The Safenet Drivers will install when they detect the dongle.

Run Flexi Starter.

Note, we have noticed that some Bluetooth drivers can interfere with the Safenet Dongle Driver. If your dongle is not recognized, disable your Bluetooth driver and try running Flexi again.

Note, we have noticed that some anti-virus programs and firewalls can interfere with Flexi and the install process. If this happens, please disable your virus protection and try again.

Note, we have noticed that sometimes, the dongle driver gets overwritten with Windows default drivers and Flexi cannot find the dongle. If this occurs, follow these steps to reinstall the Safenet Driver:

  1. Download the Safenet Sentinel Protection Installer driver file using link below (first selection):
  2. http://www.safenet-inc.com/support_and_downloads/Download_Drivers/Sentinel_Drivers/
  3. Remove the key from the computer
  4. Run installation file
  5. Plug the key back to the computer and start the software.

Note, in the event you need to reinstall Flexi, please go to Add / Remove programs and uninstall using this tool. Uninstall both Flexi Starter and the Safenet Driver from the Program list. Reboot after uninstall and when asked, click yes to delete / remove user settings.

When you go to cut something, Production Manager will open up. You will need to select your cutter. The communication port will be USB_Printer_# where # is a number. Usually it is 0 if you don’t have any other USB Printers on your system. If you have another USB Printer, the port may be USB_Printer_1 or perhaps another number. Usually, start with the highest numbered printer first. Send a test cut without a blade holder installed in the
carriage. If your cutter responds, you are connected. If your cutter doesn’t respond, change to another USB_Printer_# port number.

Finishing Up

With your software installed, and your cutter setup on its stand and connected to your computer, we highly recommend you call us at 888-828-8776 to schedule your training session. Training sessions take approximately 1 to 2 hours and can cover SignCut, Flexi, InkScape (text on path, offsets, vectorization), contour cutting and your cutter functionality. Training is free and included for the life of the cutter regardless of the
warranty or cutter purchased.

Posted in Flexi, Vinyl Cutting Tutorials Tips And Tricks | Leave a comment

ProCut Contour Or Servo Vinyl Cutter Setup SignCut Pro (Mac or PC)

1) Download the latest version of SignCut from:

  1. http://www.signcutpro.com/
  2. Select Downloads from the top menu
  3. http://www.signcutpro.com/download-signcut-productivity-pro/
  4. Open the “+” to see the files and select Windows
    or Mac version.
  5. TIP: You can download the plugins for InkScape,
    Corel Draw and Illustrator here as well. Do this after you have installed
    SignCut Pro
  6. http://www.signcutpro.com/download-available-plug-ins/

2) Allow your explorer to run (install) the software

  1. Alternatively you may save this file to your computer and install it after it has been copied to your hard drive. This can be done by selecting save to disk.

3) Agree to the license terms

4) Accept the default directory and install

5) Select yes to InkScape if you wish to install InkScape. InkScape is a free graphics  program capable of bitmap vectorization somewhat similar to Corel Draw and Adobe Illustrator.

  1. TIP: SignCut may not install the latest copy of InkScape. We recommend you go to www.InkScape.org to download and install the latest stable version directly from the InkScape web site.
  2. Accept all the defaults to install InkScape when the InkScape pop-up installation window appears.

6) If you purchased a permanent license of SignCut and have a dongle key (USB thumb drive), plug it in now.

7) Open SignCut

8) SignCut will ask you for your registration code.

  1. If you purchased your cutter with a 1 year license, you will receive a bundle code on a bright yellow or green 8.5×11 sheet of paper included with your cutter. It may be in the small box inside the cutter box or included in the documentation packet. It will say “Document of Value” at the top and contain a bundle code (this is NOT the registration code). Follow the instructions on this sheet of paper to go to http://www.signcutpro.com/register-bundle/
    This will allow you to register your bundle code. You will then receive the actual SignCut 1 year license code through your email and listed on the registration screen. This process takes a couple minutes and the codes are issued right away. Copy the registration code and save it in notepad or other editor program.
  2. If you purchased a dongle, CutterPros will register your license with SignCut. Depending on timing, your activation code will either be with the dongle or it will be emailed to you. Enter this code into SignCut to activate the dongle license.

9) Once registered, you will need to select your cutter and communication port. This is done by selecting the Cutter button at the top right-center of the screen. Select the manufacturer, your cutter and the port.

  1. Manufacturer – Saga
  2. Cutter –
    1. ProCut Contour 2400 – Saga 720I
    2. ProCut Contour 4800 – Saga 1350I
    3. ProCut Servo 2400 – Saga 720II
    4. ProCut Servo 4800 – Saga 1350II
    5. ProCut Servo 6400 – Saga 1750II
  3. Port – USB00# where # is the USB port number of your cutter. (For MAC, this will be Saga USB)
  4. The communication settings will grey out because this is a direct connection.

10)  Remove your blade holder from the carriage (the blade holder is the metal tube in the carriage that holds the blade). This can be done by unscrewing the thumb screw and pulling the blade holder up and out of the carriage.

11)  In SignCut, select the text button on the left side of the screen. Type an X in the text box and say OK. SignCut will display an X on the screen.

12) Select the cut icon on the left side of the screen

13)   The cut / plot pop up window will display

14)   Select to “Cut out” in the bottom left corner to send a test cut to your cutter.

15)  Your cutter should move around as if it were cutting the X.

16)   Your cutter is now communicating with SignCut and is ready!

Finishing Up

With your software installed, and your cutter setup on its stand and connected to your computer, we highly recommend you call us at 888-828-8776 to schedule your training session. Training sessions take approximately 1 to 2 hours and can cover SignCut, Flexi, InkScape (text on path, offsets, vectorization), contour cutting and your cutter functionality. Training is free and included for the life of the cutter regardless of the
warranty or cutter purchased.

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ProCut Contour And Servo Vinyl Cutter New Customer Setup

When you receive your cutter, open the box from the top being careful not to penetrate the box with a razor blade so as not to scratch the contents inside. The banding straps will need to be cut with a pair of scissors or a cutting tool.

Contained under one of the box flaps on the top there may be documentation. Please save all documentation that comes with your vinyl cutter. Additional documentation may be contained in the box with the cutter or inside a smaller box packaged with the cutter.

Your vinyl cutter package will contain your vinyl cutter along with a small box of supplies such as the blade holder, blades, USB cable, software, etc.

Your stand and if ordered, your basket, will be in a separate box in the bottom of the cutter box, underneath the cutter.

In order to insure you have access to the latest revision of information, we have placed the setup instructions and the manual for your vinyl cutter online. These can be downloaded from the CutterPros Tech Support Page available at the following address. You will need the free Acrobat PDF viewer to view the files. To install the free viewer, go to http://www.adobe.com.

http://www.cutterpros.com/downloads/

The user manual for the cutter (also has stand setup instructions) E1:

http://www.cutterpros.com/downloads/procutcontourmanual.pdf
Cutter setup instructions E2:

http://www.cutterpros.com/downloads/contourcuttersetup.pdf

Setup your cutter on the stand, install your basket if you have one.

Plug your cutter into your computer using the USB cable. If you need a longer cable you can purchase one. Any high quality standard USB-Printer cable will work.

Plug in the power cord for the cutter. Turn your cutter on with the power switch at the end of the cutter. The cutter will go through a short setup and the LCD will glow blue.

Your cutter will use default drivers included in Windows. These drivers will self-install. Your cutter is now communicating with your computer.

Your cutter is oriented such that as you look at the front, the blue LCD display is to the right.

Vinyl rolls are placed on the stand rails in the back (alternatively you may place a roll bar through the vinyl roll. Vinyl is then fed from the back to the front of the cutter and as the vinyl cuts, vinyl comes out towards you. In general, vinyl is used from the right side to the left side. Positive X and Y go from right to left and from front to back.

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Vinyl Cutter Tracking Quality Parameters Effects and Causes

Tracking is the ability of a vinyl cutter to be able to return to the correct point after cutting out a loop. It is easy for a vinyl cutter to track over short distances and small loops of a few inches or so however, if your loops become substantially large such as 10′ or so you may need to adjust some things so your loops close and your vinyl cutter maintains its tracking.

Here are some parameters you will need to adjust when your loops exceed 10 feet or so:

1) In general, servo cutters track slightly better than stepper cutters. This is due to both the higher resolution of the motor encoding for a servo motor as well as less vibration (smoother operation) being present in a servo system.

2) Dirt and dust that get deposited on both the rubber wheels on the top rollers and on the grit rollers on the bottom will reduce the friction between the wheels and the vinyl. The cutter depends on a high friction factor between the roller wheels and the vinyl to maintain a good track. Usually, what happens is that when a long cut is made, the vinyl hits the floor. When it hits the floor it picks up substantial debris (lint, dust, etc) due to static charge. This debris deposits itself on the rollers and makes them slippery. We recommend for long cutting that you get a basket to catch the vinyl so it doesn’t hit the floor. In addition, prior to any long cutting, we recommend cleaning the top and bottom rollers. The top rollers can be cleaned with a cotton cloth with some ammonia based cleaner (such as glass cleaner). The bottom rollers can be cleaned with a dry tooth brush. Be careful not to deposit cloth fibers on the bottom roller.

3) In order to increase the friction force between the vinyl and the rollers we recommend increasing the force on the top rollers. This can be done with the adjustment nuts on the back of the rollers.

4) Another factor that decreases the tracking ability of a cutter is the speed which it is run at. When cutting at high speed, the rollers will depart more kinetic energy into the vinyl. When the cutter has to stop the vinyl from a high speed condition, some of that kinetic energy may result in slippage between the vinyl and the rollers. To reduce the vinyl inertia and reduce slippage between the roller wheels and the vinyl it is advisable to reduce the cutting speed. In general, cutting at slower speed will result in better tracking. Use a speed of about 100 mm/s for Saga cutters.

5) Roll out your vinyl in advance and use a sharp blade. By doing this, you can reduce the force against the roller bar and thus reduce any slippage that would occur due to these forces. By rolling out your vinyl you will also insure that your vinyl is adequately lined up to the cutter over the distance you expect to be cutting. We recommend rolling out the length of vinyl that will be used in your run and making sure that the vinyl is tracking straight with the cutter over that distance. Line up the vinyl with the cutter within 1 mark on the ruler over the distance of the cut. The vinyl can wobble left / right within a mark but it cannot walk more than 1 mark in either direction. This can be frustrating to get the vinyl running that straight but it is necessary for good tracking. It takes a little practice and a little time.

6) If you are running vinyl that is smaller than your cutter size (for instance, 24″ wide vinyl being run in a 48″ cutter), center the vinyl with respect to the rollers which are closest to the center of the cutter. There is a natural bow in the cutter due to the roller spring forces and the blade forces. Not centering the vinyl on the cutter will cause the vinyl to creep due to this bow. It is more important to select the rollers that are evenly spaced for the vinyl width over vinyl centering. For 24” width vinyl on a 48” cutter this means using rollers 1, 3 and 4 for a Saga cutter. This is better than running the material down the center of the cutter.

7) Use the sharpest blade. This is likely a 60° blade. This will allow for the least resistance of the blade through the vinyl. Use a newer blade. Newer blades are sharper.

8) Use the lowest possible force that cuts through the vinyl with the sharpest blade. For the servos, this is a setting around 50 or so for a 45° blade, possibly lower force for a 60° blade.

9) Make sure that the vinyl is free to loosely fall in front and behind the cutter. If there is any extraneous left / right forces or if a corner of the vinyl snags on something or if it kinks it will throw the tracking off. The vinyl must be free to move as it needs to. A basket is highly recommended for the best vinyl handling.

10) The above recommendations will apply not only to ProCut / Saga vinyl cutters but most vinyl cutters that don’t employ a perforation tracking system. With perforated vinyl, the cutter does not depend on friction between the vinyl and the rollers for tracking but rather has the vinyl perforations and mechanical pins to mechanically restrict vinyl tracking to the rollers. Because of this, in general, perforated vinyl systems track better than roller friction based systems.

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Vectorization Of A Photograph For Vinyl Cutting Using InkScape

As many of our clients are aware, vinyl cutting is easy. Most of the time and effort involved in the creation of a custom decal is spent with cleaning up artwork or, if the decal is intricate with small features, with weeding. Below, you can see a sample of a picture that was vectorized in InkScape, cleaned in InkScape and then cut with a ProCut cutter. This artwork was submitted by Randall. He received his cutter and his training session approximately 1 week prior to completing this project. The time from photograph to finished decal was approximately 3 hours with the majority of the time spent in the vectorization and clean-up phase. The results are very good as it is readily apparent that Randall took his time cleaning the artwork. Note that in some cases, you may need to vectorize an image different ways and then use part of the detail from one vectorization and part of the detail from another vectorization. Also note the detail that Randall was able to carry from the picture to the decal. All the important profiles are present in the decal which allows the viewer to capture the essence of the picture that the decal was derived from. The ability to accomplish this usually comes from substantial practice.

Start from this picture:

Interim phase with vectorization needing cleanup:

 

To the finished product:

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ProCut ARMS Vinyl Cutter By Saga Automatic Registration Mark Cutting With SignCut Pro

The process of ARMS cutting is simple however, there are some important points that you will need to be aware of.

1) The first step is to create your contour outline with registration marks. The registration marks used by the ARMS Vinyl Cutter system are simple “L” shaped lines in the four corners. It is helpful if you can make these corner registration marks thicker than a normal line. Perhaps 1 mm (.040″) thick or so and they should be black or should be the color that maximizes the contrast relative to the color of the base media. These 8 lines in the corners should be 25 mm long which is .98425″ (not one inch). The length of these lines is important. If they are too long they will not be recognized by SignCut as registration markers and if they are too short there won’t be enough zone for automatically detecting them. 25 mm is just right. See picture below. In addition, the marks should be orthogonal with respect to each other and they should be directly in-line with one another and define the outer bounding box of the image. Make sure the registration mark lines are not offset with respect to one another.

2) SignCut will cut all the vector art in your image except for the 8 registration marker lines in the corners. Make sure your contour cut file contains only the 8 registration marks in the corners and the countour cut path. Non-vector art like JPEG artwork is OK as it will not be cut by SignCut but make sure to remove any other vector art you do not want cut as part of the contour.

3) Make sure you are using the latest version of SignCut. You will need SignCut version 1.96 to support the ARMS system. This version can be obtained by going to SignCut here, not by checking for updates through the SignCut Help menu:

http://www.signcutpro.com/download-signcut-productivity-pro/

4) Next, open your contour cut path with the 4 L shaped corner registration markers in SignCut. The image will open and appear vertical in the SignCut window. Keep in mind that vertical orientation in the SignCut screen is left to right on your cutter. If you wish to place your artwork in front to back orientation as you look at your cutter, you will need to rotate your image 90° in SignCut so the orientations match. Matching the orientation between your artwork in SignCut and the artwork on the cutter is very important.

5) Place a small test piece of vinyl in your cutter that is similar to the material you will be contour cutting. Set your force and speed on the cutter and press the test button which will cause the cutter to cut a triangle / square test pattern. Verify that you can weed the square and that your blade doesn’t penetrate the release liner.

6) Next, load your artwork into the vinyl cutter in the orientation you wish to cut at. Try to align your media with the cutter as best as possible. It may be useful to roll the media front to back a few times to check for rotational alignment. If the media is not well lined up with the cutter, lift the rollers, rotate your media slightly, lower the rollers and then roll the media front to back again to verify. Repeat as necessary.

7) Next, turn on the laser on the cutter and you will see the optic sensor laser on your image. Take the cutter offline and use the arrow keys to move the cutter head and the media so that the laser is in the center of the bottom right target. It should be in the center of the 25 x 25 mm square created by the lower right alignment mark line segments. It is important that you line up the laser with the center so that the automatic alignment algorithms find the first mark properly. SignCut expects this initial position so the first thing SignCut will do is look to the right and then look down to find these two first line segments. Place the laser where the X is marked in the image below. See picture.

8) In SignCut select the “Cutter” button at the top right corner, for your ARMS cutting system please select SAGA and the Cutter will be one of the following ARMS equipped cutters:

  • 28″ -> SAGA-720IP, SAGA-720-IIP
  • 53″ -> SAGA-1350IP, SAGA-1350IIP
  • 68″ -> SAGA-1750IP, SAGA-1750IIP

The output device / port will be a USB port such as USB001. If you have multiple USB ports listed, start with the highest port number and if a connection is not established then try another port. When one of the Saga ARMS systems is selected as the cutter the Saga ARMS cut will become available under “Special cutting”.

9A) With your image open in SignCut and orientated correctly with how you have placed your graphics in your cutter, you can initiate the contour cut. To initiate the ARMS Contour cut, select “Special cutting” from the top menu bar and select the “Saga ARMS Contour cut” option. A dialog box will open which states that you should align the center of the bottom right corner image marker (SignCut refers to the bottom right marker as the ‘first’ marker of the four). Since we have already done this in step 5 above we are ready. As soon as you press the OK button, SignCut will begin the contour cut.

9B) TIP: If your image contains contour lines, 8 registration mark lines and artwork vector art, you will need to select the registration mark lines and the contour lines to send to the cutter before selecting the “Saga ARMS Contour cut”. The easiest way to do this is to make sure your contour lines and registration lines are either on the same layer or are on 2 layers that you can select on the right side-bar menu. Select the two layers by holding down the control key and selecting the layer for the contour path and for the registration marks. Next, select “Saga ARMS Contour cut” and only the contour path and the registration marks will be sent to the cutter. The next method for selecting the contour path and registration marks is to use the SignCut selection tools to select only the contour path and the registration marks.

10) The test file you see below was created in InkScape by drawing straight lines in the shape of an L and then resizing each L to 25mm x 25mm. It can be downloaded from CutterPros at the following link. (Right click on the link and select Save Target As… to save this to a file on your computer) For this test, you can use a plotter pen. Print the test file on a piece of paper, run the ARMS contour cut and the pen will trace out the rectangle and the word TEST.

 

http://support.cutterpros.com/downloads/ProCut-ARMS-By-Saga-ARMS-Test-InkScape-Laser-Mark.svg

 

ProCut ARMS By Saga ARMS Test InkScape Laser Mark Location

ProCut ARMS By Saga ARMS Test InkScape Laser Mark Location

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