Contour Cutting with Laser Point 2 and SC series
- Locate the pen tool that came included with the cutter and scribble on something to get the ink flowing, then install it into the carriage arm. Be sure that the flange on the tool goes into the groove of the arm or it will not touch the paper for calibration.
- Take a regular piece of printer paper and load into the cutter with at least two pinch rollers on the paper. Make sure the the paper is loaded on the right side of the machine with the pen over the paper at its home position after turning on the machine. Press the reset button after doing this to make sure that the carriage is at its absolute home position before continuing.
- Press down on the carriage arm a few times so you make a visible dot on the piece of paper. Be sure not to move the carriage or you will mess up the manual calibration of the cutter.
- Press the “ENTER” button on the machine with “LOCAL” highlighted. The machine will then display “ORIGIN CURRENT ON”. Use the left arrow key on the machine to move the carriage roughly around the center of the entire machine.
- Press the reset and right arrow key at the same time (I find using your thumbs for this is the best method) and then only, release your thumb off the reset button, holding down the right arrow key, until the carriage moves all the way back to the home position and the laser on the carriage turns on. The screen of the cutter will display “OK?”. If the laser does not turn on, repeat step 4 and 5.
- With the laser on, use the arrow keys to line the laser up with the dot you made on the paper. Make the laser on the dot as true as possible and then hit the “ENTER” button. Congrats, the machine is now manually calibrated!
Sure Cuts A Lot 3 Pro
- After installing and activating the software, click on “CUTTER” on the top of the software and then click on “MY CUTTER” and then “MANAGE CUTTERS”. From here, choose the “company/brand” of “USCUTTER” and then choose either the SC or Laserpoint 2 for your model of cutter and then click on “ADD TO LIST”.
- Click on the circle in the shapes library and then use the alignment buttons in the properties window to put the circle in the middle of the virtual cut mat. Make sure the the virtual cut mat is set to 8 ½ by 11. (you can change this under “Cutter” menu and then “Mat Size”)
- Click on the icon that looks like a pair of scissors to bring up the cut menu. Then click on the button in the bottom left of the software that says “PRINT + CUT”. This will bring up the print and cut menu.
- Click on the “Calibrate Laser” button and then click on “Edit Values”. Make sure that the values are set to “0.00” for both the X and Y axis’. Since you have done a manual calibration on the machine, there is no need for any laser offset values. Then click on “SAVE”
- Click on “PRINT” in the print and cut menu and print it to a regular printer. Once printed load the printed paper into the cutter. The printed image will have 3 registration marks around it that are numbered 1 through 3. Load the paper with points 1 and 2 toward the back of the machine, with point 3 closest to you.
- At this point, we will turn on the laser. Press the “ENTER” button with “LOCAL” highlighted and then press the “SELECT” button a few times until “ON” is highlighted and then press “ENTER”. The laser should then turn on. If it does not, then you have a defective laser or a broken connection on the laser component.
- After the laser is turned on, you will still be in the offline mode so you will be able to use the arrow keys to move the carriage and feed rollers. Move the laser so it is lined up a little bit down and a little to the right of registration mark 3. Press the “SELECT” key a few times until “CURRENT” is highlighted and then press “ENTER”. The screen should now say “LOCAL TEST COPY”.
- Return to your computer and then press “Next” in the print and cut menu. The machine should move so that the laser is close to registration mark 1. Use the keyboard on the computer to adjust the machine so the laser is exactly on registration mark 1. You can hold down the CTRL key on the keyboard to move the laser in smaller increments. Then hit “Next”.
- The machine should move the laser to registration mark 2. Repeat step 8. After hitting next it will move to registration mark 3. Repeat step 8 and then click “Cut”
- The cutter should then draw around the outline of the circle that was printed. If the draw is off, repeat manual calibration of the machine and/or check the laser offset values to make sure that they are set to zero. If the draw is flawless, congrats! The machine is now calibrated and set up for contour cutting.
- After installing and activating the software, click on the icon in the upper left corner that looks like the blade holder. The software should ask you to install a cutter. Select maker of “Uscutter” and then choose your model in the drop down menu for “model”. Be sure that the connection type is set to “Direct COM” and the port is set to the COM port the computer has assigned to the cutter.
- Click on the “Calibration” tab of the vinyl spooler and then click on “Laser Offset (FULL)” and then click on the tick box for “Edit offset values”. Make sure these values are “0.00” for both the X and Y axis’ as you have already manually calibrated the machine.
- Click on the icon on the left hand side of the software that looks like a circle, triangle, and square and then click on the circle tool. Make a circle in the middle of the virtual cut mat.
- Click on the icon that looks like an apple on the top of the software and then click on “Contour cut wizard”.
- Within the contour cut wizard menu, there should be a button in the bottom right hand corner that says “BUILD”. Click on this. Reduce the outline percentage to “0.00” so the contour is lined up exactly with the shape then click on “accept”.
- In the contour cut menu, make sure your printing device is set to “Print Direct” and that it is selected to a regular desktop printer then print the document. If the shape is not in the middle of the page, you can click on the “Print Options” tab and manually adjust where the shape is going to print on the document prior to printing.
- The print will print out with 4 registration marks around the image. Since we are using a circle, it does not matter how the print is loaded into the cutter. Be aware that on most other prints that there will be an orientation that it needs to be loaded, but the software will show you prior to starting the contour job.
- Click on “Cut” in the contour cut wizard. The software should prompt you to set your origin point on the bottom right hand registration mark. To set your origin point, press “ENTER” with “LOCAL” highlighted to put the machine in the offline mode then press the select button so “ON” is highlighted and then press “ENTER” on the machine. This will turn the laser on. Then use the arrow keys to move the laser so it is located on the bottom right registration mark. Then press the “SELECT” button a few times so “CURRENT” is highlighted and then press “ENTER” so the machine displays “LOCAL TEST COPY”.
- Click next within the software and follow the prompts. You will use the keyboard on your computer to move the laser so it is located in the center of each registration mark. The machine should start by going to registration mark 2, then 3, then 4, then 1. You will line up the laser with each one and then click “CUT”.
- The machine should then do a perfect outline of the circle we printed. If it does not, go through the machine calibration steps again. If the laser turns off immediately when starting this process, contact JoeM@uscutter.com in our TSD department, as that issue is caused by a bad cutter profile which will need to be corrected and one imported into the spooler.
- After following the manual calibration as described above, open the flexisign software. Using the shapes tool on the side, create a circle that is around 5” by 5”. Select the circle using the selection tool then click on effects at the top of the program and then “contour cut”. This will open up the contour cut tool. On the third field from the top of the tool, make sure the values are “0.00in”. This will make the contour of the circle exactly up against it.
- Once you have set up the test contour cut pattern, click on the icon that looks like a wide format printer. This will open up the production manager and the send menu within the cutting software. If you do not have a wide format printer or cutter installed, it will ask you to do so. Typically, people will already have a printer installed, but if they don’t, they will need to do this as well as figure out the port that the printer is on. To install the cutter, right click on the left partition of the production manager and then click on “add setup”. Select the bubble for “vinyl cutters” and then choose the manufacturer or “LiYu” and then the device of “SC series”. You will choose “SC series” even if you are working with a LaserPoint 2 cutter as it is the same profile. Click “next” and it will ask you for the COM number that the cutter is on. If you do not know the COM number, open the device manager and look for a section called “ports”. In the drop down the device will be called “USB to Serial (COM X)” where “X” is the COM number. You will not need to change anything else in the setup for the port in the production manager as the stock settings are fine. Then click on “finish”.
- After adding the cutter to the production manager, go back to the main window of flexisign. You should still have the send window open. There should be 5 tabs at the top of this window. Click on the far right one that looks like the tip of a blade holder to get to the contour cut settings. Make sure the you have the SC series selected in the drop down for the cutter. You will also want to change the registration mark settings to “4 point” for better accuracy when aligning the laser. Under the send in the drop down menu, select “as separate jobs” and then click on send at the bottom of the menu. This will send the print job to the printer and then spool the contour job in the queue for the SC/LP2 series.
- Please make sure that prior to sending the job, that you have the pattern in the lower right hand corner in the send page. If you move the design anywhere else, it will screw up the alignment when trying to line up the laser, as it considers the bottom right hand corner to always be the origin point.
- Once the job is printed, load it anywhere into the cutter with at least 2 pinch rollers on the material. You will then want to turn on the laser and then set a new origin point on the machine. To do this, press the enter button with local highlighted, then press the select button so “on” is highlighted and then press “enter”. This will turn the laser on. Once the laser is on, you should still be in the offline mode, so use the arrow keys to put the laser roughly an inch down and an inch to the right of the bottom right registration mark. Once you’ve moved it to this location, press the select button a few times so “current” is highlighted and then press enter. The machine should now say “local test copy”.
- Go back to your production manager and click on the queue for the “SC/LP Series” profile. Right click on the job in the queue and then click on “send”. An alignment window should pop up. Make sure you have “interactive alignment (manual)” selected and then click on OK. The software will have you use the arrow keys on your keyboard to align the laser into the center of the first registration mark. Once you have moved the laser to this area, click on OK or hit the enter key on the keyboard. The cutter should move the laser roughly around registration mark 2. Align the laser and then click ok or hit enter. You will do this for registration mark 3 and 4. Once they are all aligned, the software will tell you to put your blade holder back into the carriage arm and then click OK to start cutting. Click OK and the cutter should then start cutting the contour of our calibration pattern. If the contour is off, go over the manual calibration steps again at the beginning of this document.