Saga Cutter Carriage Hits Side Wall / End Plate

First off, it helps to understand how the cutter works.

When you turn on the cutter, the first thing the cutter does is it moves to the right and watches the optic sensor for the right side notch in the rail. It will do this to determine home. Once it reads this it knows were absolute 0 is on the right. Older firmware will constantly monitor the optic sensors for the left optic window during operation. If it sees it it will stop movement to the left. Newer firmware requires the width of the cutter be learned (see info at bottom). This only happens once. This width is stored in the motherboard. When the cutter finds the left optic window it calculates maximum width given the length that it has stored. So any new motherboard with newer firmware will need to have the cutter width learned once.

So if the carriage moves to the right and hits the right side wall this means the motherboard is not seeing the right optic sensor trip when it passes the notch in the rail. This behavior can be caused by one of the following:

1) Bad optic sensor or bad carriage position sensor PCB (the little PCB on top of the carriage) – This is a rare occurrence.

2) The cable from the motherboard to the carriage is bad or has a cracked wire. – This is common due to the cable flexing for the life of the cutter.

3) The motherboard is bad and not reading the sensor properly.

I would like to note that if a cutter has recently been repaired with a new motherboard that it is possible that the carriage cable may have been installed backwards when connected to either the motherboard connector or the carriage position sensor connector. The flat ribbon cable is not keyed and it is easy for it to be installed 180° in the connector sockets. Same thing with the USB connector cable. It is also a flat ribbon cable that is not keyed.

So if a cutter is working OK and this issue has just occurred then I would recommend changing the carriage cable to see if it resolves the issue. If you were troubleshooting the cutter and then this issue started it may be that the carriage cable is rotated in one of the connectors. Please check this anytime you have replaced a motherboard or disconnected and reconnected these flat white ribbon cables.

Learning cutter width for newer firmware:

Newer cutter motherboards from Saga need to read the cutter width when they are first installed. The optic sensor will move left and then right to find the ends of travel of the cutter. This information is stored in the motherboard so the cutter width only needs to be read once.
1) Make sure the carriage in not up against one of the ends of the travel. Anywhere in the center of the cutter is fine to start.
2) Turn on the cutter
3) Press set + test + Enter (all at the same time)
4) Release all 3 buttons
5) Wait for cutter to read width
6) Turn cutter off and on.

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Saga Cutter Not Setting The Origin Correctly

Analysis: When you move the carriage or rollers on a Saga cutter in offline mode there are 2 methods for putting the cutter back online.

1)      Press the online button which returns the carriage to the origin that was set prior to moving the carriage.

2)      Press the enter button which resets the origin to the current carriage location.

Resolution: After a review of a video provided by the customer it was determined that the enter button was not being pressed to reset the carriage position. In this instance, the graphic legend was worn off the keypad and the customer was not clear on which button was the enter button. The enter button is the button on the right side of the keypad for a standard unit or in the center of the arrows for a Precision unit.

Root cause: Worn graphic legend on keypad. Customer trained on which button is the enter button. Optional, replace button panel so graphic is visible.

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Which Vinyl Cutter Is Right For Me?

CutterPros offers more vinyl cutters than nearly any other reseller in the graphics industry. We offer Boyi, Creation, Saga, Saga Precision, Teneth, GCC, Vinyl Express and Graphtec. With so many cutters to choose from it gets difficult to know which cutter to choose. Below we try to give a synopsis on which cutter may be the best for your needs.

Boyi cutters are entry level cutters and are offered at lower price points. They aren’t meant for cutting long jobs or for cutting larger volumes of work. They are stepper motor driven. One of the nice attributes of the Boyi cutters is that they have motherboards that are similar to Saga cutters. This allows for the cutters to be auto-connected to DragonCut or VinylMaster without the need for installing hardware drivers.

Creation cutters disappeared from the lineup but came back due to popular demand. These specific creation cutters, the CR series, use sandbars to drive the material. The sandbars used have a very mild grit on them. In addition, they have a vacuum which pulls down the material right around the sandbar drive rollers. Because of this design, these cutters are very good at cutting delicate materials. This is especially true for window tint and other delicate materials. From our testing, we have found these to be the best lower priced cutters for cutting window tint. The downside is that the cutters need hardware drivers to connect to the computers. The CR630 and CR1200 use an FTDI chipset with drivers supplied by FTDI. This allows them to connect to either a Mac running SignCut Pro or a PC with SignCut, VinylMaster or Flexi. They will show up as a COM port in device manager and will need to have settings set manually for proper connection with similar setting setup in the software. The CR631/CR1201 are similar to the CR630/CR1200 except that they have motherboards similar to the CR730/CR1300 so they connect they are driven by the ATMEL chipset. The ATMEL chipset will connect to the computer using a Bossa driver by default. We recommend installing the Windows 64 bit drivers that we wrote for these cutters for best performance. There is no driver for Mac for these so the CR631/CR730/CR1201/CR1300 cutters only work on PC at this time. We highly recommend VinylMaster for running the cutters. We have thousands of these cutters in the field for over 10 years and they are still cutting. They are stepper motor driven. They are very robust and are now warrantied for 5 years.

Saga standard series cutters are offered in stepper or servo motor drive systems. They all come with either a laser dot for semi-manual contour cutting or with a fully automated ARMS system. They are offered in 12”, 15”, 24”, 48” and 64” widths. They work with several sign cutting programs including DragonCut, VinylMaster, SignCut Pro, Sure Cuts  A Lot Pro, Flexi, WinPC Sign and others. They are resold under various brand names by other resellers. Saga strikes a good mix of higher quality with moderate price points. These cutters connect to Mac and PC with the standard printer drivers so no hardware drivers are needed. The servos are very fast and powerful. They have a higher force carriage than the steppers. The ARMS system and the tracking is very good making these a very popular choice. The Saga cutters use a grit roller to drive the material. As such this design is better suited to more robust materials and not thin materials such as window tint. These are also warrantied by Saga in the US for 5 years.

Available in 15”, 24”, 48” and 64”, the Saga Precision is the next generation of Saga cutters. The Saga Precision series cutters have a redesigned carriage that is more rigid. The frame is also redesigned to be more rigid. The drive rollers were repositioned relative to the deck plates for less puckering of the material when it is driven. These enhancements allow for less bow in the frame and slightly better tracking of the material. Less bow is important for larger cutter sizes such as 48” or 64” because it allows for more uniformity in cutting force over the length of travel of the cutter. This enhancement is less noticeable in the smaller cutter sizes. This also allows for a flip up top. The motors, electronics, power supply and several other internal components are shared with the standard series cutters. The redesign also results in a different industrial design with blue for the servo systems and purple for the steppers. These are also warrantied by Saga in the US for 5 years.

GCC cutters have long been an industry standard. They have similar features to the Saga cutters for many of the models offered and they have other features such as perf-cut capability for some of the higher end models. These cutters are offered for legacy customers that want to stick to the GCC cutters that they are familiar with.

Teneth vinyl cutters were add to our lineup to fill in for features that customers are demanding. Color touch screen LCD displays, WiFi and BlueTooth compatibility, illuminated cutting area and other bells and whistles are the hallmarks of Teneth cutters. They are also very good at cutting fine detail and smaller text sizes. From our experience we have found they can cut finer details than the Saga cutters.

The Vinyl Express cutters are offered as an in-between step from Saga or GCC to Graphtec. These are very good cutters offered at a really good price point and have very similar features and capabilities as the Graphtec cutters do.

Graphtec vinyl cutters are industry leading professional quality cutters. They are on-par with the other industry leaders such as Roland, Mimaki, Mutoh and Summa. We find ourselves privileged to now offer Graphtec cutters in our portfolio.

All Saga, Boyi, Teneth and Creation cutters can be traded up to Saga, Teneth, Creation, Vinyl Express, GCC or Graphtec cutters. You will find trade-in credits available on our website.

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How To Install A Cutting Strip For A Creation CR Series Cutter

We have tried many methods for installing Teflon cutting strips in the CR series cutters. The strip is trapezoidal and is retained by 2 legs of the strip sitting underneath flanges in the aluminum deck plates. At the factory, the strips are installed from the end and slid into the channel along the length. In the field, this is not practical as removing the end plate is quite an undertaking.

We have tried heating the strip up in boiling water, poking it in with a screwdriver, cutting off one leg and using tape to retain it and other methods. As it turns out, the most effective method for installing the strip is to tap it in with a hammer. See this brief video for the how-to.

Use this method on CR630 CR631 CR730 CR1200 CR1201 CR1300

How to install a cutting strip for a Creation CR series Cutter

 

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VinylMaster Setup for Creation CR630 CR631 CR730 CR1200 CR1201 CR1300

First step, install a cutter driver.

Go to the Vinyl Spooler. This can be found under Tools, Plugins & Modules, Vinyl Spooler…

In the Vinyl Spooler, go to Cutter, Install Cutter Driver

You will now be able to select the cutter from a list.

Under Maker, select CutterPros (Not CutterPros (Legacy))

Here you will see the cutter driver options listed:

CR730-CutterPros
CR730-Bossa
CR1300-CutterPros
CR1300-Bossa
CR631-CutterPros
CR631-Bossa
CR1201-CutterPros
CR1201-Bossa
CR630
CR1200

The drivers ending in “CutterPros” use the 64 bit CutterPros.msi driver with the following settings. The driver must first be installed and you may need to manually select it from device manager. By default, most computers will install the Bossa driver even if the CutterPros 64 bit driver has already been installed.

The CutterPros driver will not auto-detect the cutter. You need to manually select Windows Port and PCutLib as the Port.

The drivers ending in Bossa, use the default Bossa driver.

If you did not install and set your device to use the CutterPros 64 bit driver then your computer likely auto-installed the Bossa driver. Select the appropriate Bossa driver for your cutter.

The Bossa driver will auto-detect the cutter.
Once you select the Bossa driver, select Direct COM Port from the Port type.
Next select the Auto Detect button under the Port Name. VinylMaster will ask you to turn off your cutter and turn it back on again. It will then find the cutter port from this action.

The CR630/CR1200 are the older drivers that support the FTDI chipset and require manual configuration. 9600/8/none/1/hardware in both device manager and in VinylMaster will allow you to connect to the CR630 and CR1200 cutters.

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CutterPros Walk-In Customer Policy

Effective 3/1/18 we will no longer support taking orders on store premises or email orders.
We will try to provide a laptop on-site to allow you to place orders in store online should you wish to do so.
We will continue to allow in-store order pickup and payment only.
Please place your orders online on our website at www.CutterPros.com
When you checkout, select the in-store pickup button at the top. This will allow you to check out without any shipping charges and alert us that the order is for in-store pickup.
Accept the terms and conditions.
Under payment method, we strongly prefer that you pay in advance if possible. If not, you may select PayInStore and we will collect your payment when you pickup your order.
When paying by credit card, please make sure the billing address matches the address the bank has on file for your credit card so we get an address match on the card.

After your order has been accepted, it will be placed in Packing status. This means your order has been accepted and it has been sent to the warehouse for packing. You will get an automated email stating that your order is in Packing status.
After your order is complete and has been racked for pickup, your order will change to Ready For Pickup. You will get an automated email notifying you of this. This means your order is ready for pickup and you can pick it up any time we are open.
Our hours for pickup are Mon – Friday 8AM to 4PM. We are also usually available for pickup on Saturday from 11AM to 4PM (call us or chat with us to verify we are available for Saturday pickups).
We receive a significant number of questions regarding how to order on our website and why prices are all $0 for our products. All our prices are associated with the color of the product as sometimes costs vary by color. All materials with multiple colors have a quantity order box at the bottom of the page next to the name of the color and the price for that color. Scroll down below the color pallets to find the color you want in the size you want and place a quantity in the box. Then select the add to cart button at the bottom of the page. This allows you to order multiple rolls of various colors of material quickly. We will be happy to show you how to place orders online. If you need assistance please ask and we will walk you through it.

As a reminder, here is a list of items we carry on-site. All sign vinyl is carried in 24” width roll. We cut down to 12” x 12” squares. Everything in our craft section is carried on site. Other items are shipped-in as ordered or drop shipped.

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

Paper backed transfer tape
All ThermoFlex Plus Heat Transfer Vinyl colors
All The Magic Touch 123 Flex Heat Transfer Vinyl
Some GlitterFlex Plus colors. See the list here at the bottom of the page:

http://www.cutterpros.com/specialty-materials-glitterflex-ultra-with-easy-to-use-sticky-carrier-rainbow-neon-holo-12-inch-x-19-5-inch-craft-vinyl

All Oracal 651 colors
All Oracal 631 colors
Many Griff Decorative Film colors:

http://www.cutterpros.com/griff-decorative-films-craft-vinyl

All TapeTechnologies 4000 series colors.
Most TapeTechnologies 2000 series cast colors.
All Kapco calendared colors.
All Saga Vinyl Cutters (we are the US distributor for Saga vinyl cutters) and spare parts.
Creation Vinyl Cutters CR630 CR730 CR1200 and CR1300 and spare parts.
Numerous other squeegees and other tools of the trade and software.
Coming Soon: Tape Technologies decorative sign vinyl and expansion of the GlitterFlex Ultra series.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this. Unfortunately, we cannot afford the expense of supporting in-store ordering as we are constrained by price competition on a national level for the products we offer.

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Saga Standard Series Carriage Replacement

Here are the replacement steps:

1) Remove the left and right end caps. There are four flat head fasteners for each end cap.
2) Remove the front two fasteners of the top cover plate. The cover plate can then pivot upward. Put the fasteners back in the holes so the cover plate doesn’t fall forward and pinch the keypad cables on the right side. This will expose the top of the carriage.
3) Loosen the carriage belt tensioner all the way.
4) Remove the carriage cover screw in the front and on the left side. The carriage cover screw in the front locks the carriage on the rail. Remove the carriage cover.
5) Push down on the carriage and pull the bottom towards you carefully just enough so the wheels clear the rail. The carriage wheels on the bottom will unhook from the rail and pivot out allowing the carriage to lift vertically. Be careful not to over-rotate the carriage so the carriage position sensors at the top aren’t damaged. They straddle the rail at the top.
6) Loosen the belt fasteners on the back side of the carriage so the belt may be removed. In some instances, it may be necessary to remove the fasteners. Sometimes the clips will clear the fastener heads and the fasteners won’t need to be removed.
7) Remove the fasteners at the top that connect the carriage position sensor board to the carriage. Note how the cable is sandwiched between the bracket and the PCB so it is stress relieved. You will want to reassemble the same way. I recommend taking a couple pictures so you can see how it currently is assembled.
8) Exchange the wires in the terminal block one by one with the new carriage noting which wire goes into which position in the terminal block.
9) Reverse the steps above to reassemble.

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DragonCut Vinyl Cutter Cutting Software Sale

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April Madness Advertisement

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Vinyl Cutter Setup – Creation CR730 / CR1300 / CR631 / CR1201

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

In some rare instances, if the CutterPros driver does not show up to select for assignment then you may need to navigate to the driver saved on your computer and assign it directly. The file is stored here: C:\Program Files (x86)\CutterPros\Drivers\Cr730_1300

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.

Note, if you do not see the CutterPros Creation USB driver in this list it is possible that it may need reinstalled. We have seen on some recent Windows updates that the driver may no longer show up in the list. If it is not there, go to Add / Remove Programs (or Programs and Features depending on your Windows version). Find the CutterPros driver and remove it. Then, start the process again above with reinstalling the driver.

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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