Printing and cutting seems to be at a different scale

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futurshox
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2021 7:55 am

Printing and cutting seems to be at a different scale

Post by futurshox »

Hi,
Thanks for having this forum. It was the activity here that convinced me to buy SCAL.

I'm trying to use Print and Cut. I'm printing the file from SCAL first. It was created in Affinity Designer if that makes any difference. Then I come back to cut it, and go through all the lining up on the registration marks. I did the 'calibrate laser' thing. I'm using a KNK Zing Air.

However it seems like the circles that it cuts are sized smaller on the page than the print. So the only ones that are even slightly centered are those in the middle, whereas the corner circles are pulled towards the center and not lined up on their printed equivalents.

Can anyone advise if I'm doing something wrong? Thank you.
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SandyMcC
Posts: 998
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 7:01 am

Re: Printing and cutting seems to be at a different scale

Post by SandyMcC »

I should be able to help you figure this out... this is definitely my area of expertise. :)

First of all, any chance you turned on Borderless printing in your printer settings? Whenever you do that with something like a print and cut application, the registration marks are actually moved by your printer. There's a second setting somewhere in your printer's Property window to prevent this but the name of that setting varies from one brand of printer to the next.

If you're positive you're not turning on Borderless printing, then please do a sample PNC project like the one I have here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/17COkFX ... sp=sharing

Report back the results and then I'll figure out what to do next. :)
Sandy McCauley
Owner of http://www.iloveknk.com/

futurshox
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2021 7:55 am

Re: Printing and cutting seems to be at a different scale

Post by futurshox »

Thank you Sandy. You put me on the right track.

(story time; and let this be a lesson for those, like me, who come to SCAL from a different kind of cutting software)

OK, so I dug about and found the printer paper settings and manually forced it to be US Letter, not borderless.

Tried printing just the cut lines on my file with a standard bit of paper and it worked just fine.
Got all enthusiastic at this point, so put some sticker paper in the rear tray (it's too stiff to go through the main tray) and printed the logos; tried P&C. Same failure as before.

So, I thought - hey, maybe it's the rear tray. Printed a bit of plain paper again in the main tray instead, P&C failed again.

Tried your arrows in the rear tray. They worked just fine. Then I made them as big as they'd fit on the page and tried again. Cut just fine again.

AND THEN THE PENNY DROPPED.... I have been getting success when I print only the cut circles. Failures when I print the logos. Which are smaller than the cut circles! So the registration marks move closer in, which offsets the cut circles....

Fast forward an hour or so and I have finally figured out that SCAL has an assignment capacity to tell the different layers whether to print or to cut. This didn't exist in my previous software, which is why I was treating them separately. Printed the logos, cut the circles on some plain paper (from the rear tray) and it behaved perfectly.
Did the same with the heavyweight sticker paper and the circles are a little offset again, but uniformly so this time. Not sure why they are still offset; could this be the difference between heavyweight paper and printer paper? I did the alignment carefully. It's way better than how it was before though.

Thanks again Sandy!

TLDR;
You need to assign print and cut types to the different layers in your file in order for it to print the registration marks in the right places!

SandyMcC
Posts: 998
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 7:01 am

Re: Printing and cutting seems to be at a different scale

Post by SandyMcC »

Very good job testing and reporting. :)

I assume you have SCAL5? If so, you have another option that will prevent the reg marks from moving based on whether you have your logo layers showing or hiding. You do NOT need to do this... just as an FYI. Go to Cutter>Cutter Settings and you'll see an option to change the reg marks from being based on the design boundaries to a distance from the printed edges. But again, now that you understand the assignment options (Print+Cut Cut versus Print+Cut Print), that should work fine.

If you NEED Borderless printing at some point, refer to this document:

https://www.iloveknk.com/Support/Tutori ... th-PNC.pdf

Back to your last issue. If ALL of the cuts are inaccurate by the same amount in the same direction, then you just need to tweak the calibration values as covered in the user manual for your Zing Air. I urge you to use that same double arrow file because it allows you to see actual vertical and horizontal results as opposed to circles. Note that I also urge users in the manual to perform the Sizing calibration prior to tweaking the laser calibration because it also affects the results you get. That calibration is covered in Section 2.08 and needs to be done on any and every cutter brand/model when someone is trying to get very exactly cutting.

If you do the sizing calibration and the laser calibration and the arrows are cutting perfectly, then there will be no need to do any further calibrating. However, WRITE THOSE CALIBRATIONS DOWN. You will need to reenter them any time you've updated the software or you get a new computer or your cutter has been transported and possibly jolted by some force.

If you find that the accuracy in cutting many shapes, like your circles begins to drift as the cut progresses, you'll need to look at cut settings (not calibrations). You may need a slower speed, a check of your blade exposure, and anything else that is introducing friction which will cause drift over the course of the cut. That can come from many factors such as dirty pinch wheels, sticky grit shafts, sticky or warped mat, etc.

Hope this helps!
Sandy McCauley
Owner of http://www.iloveknk.com/

futurshox
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2021 7:55 am

Re: Printing and cutting seems to be at a different scale

Post by futurshox »

Thank you so much, Sandy.
Yes, I'm on SCAL5. I have found the bit to move the registration marks - very handy - and will go through the calibration in your excellent manual.
Might be time to give my machine's rollers a bit of clean, too ;-)

Thanks,
Jo

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