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MH 721 Vinyl Cutter

Updated from the google thread

To use the cutter you just need to make sure everything is converted to paths in Inkscape and then go to Extensions→Cutter/Plotter→InkCut 1.0. InkCut will come up with a preview of your toolpath and you can send it to the cutter from there, no more messing around cat-ing HPGL files to serial ports :-D

Specific runthroughs available from atrophy on request.

Usage

Setup The Machines

Turn on the computer, turn on the vinyl cutter (on the left hand side).

Position the roll by holding the paper and releasing the rollers by pulling the four latches just over the top towards you (ie pull them closer to the machine) Verify that the material is straight by aligning with one of the horizontal marks, then lock the rollers by pushing the latch away from the machine back towards the wall.

Setup The Image

Then you need a vector image - AI, SVG, DXF and other formats are supported. SVG will open in Inkscape by default, no idea on the others.

When printing, the left edge of the plotter is the top edge of the image. Inkscape has been configured to display mm (except the cutter plugin, which uses a mixture).

The image will be printed with the sticky side of the vinyl down, so if you want it (for example) on the inside of a window then it should mirrored horizontally before cutting.

Once the image has been sized and positioned on your page you are ready to cut

Setup The Cut

control-A to select all vectors, then Extensions → Cutter/Plotter → InkCut 1.0

By default it will cut the image at the bottom right (with the left hand side being 'up'). To print further to the left, change the position of the Y-axis (in cm). If you look at the cm measure on the vinyl cutter, it is offset by (around) 24cm so to set the top of the cut to 90cm on the measurement, enter 66cm (90-24) into the Y-axis position in the cutter settings. Have a look at the other settings (eg Box around in the options tab) but they are not always required.

Click 'Plot Path' then 'Send' on the new dialog then sit back.

Material

Spandex in Malaga, 1.2m wide at about $13 per meter for the cheaper stuff. Cash sales OK. Most stores on-sell from this shop.

Now working! This machine works from a com port wich accepts text based HPGL commands. Inkscape can save a HPGL file, wich is just a text file with these commands. The HPGL (Hewart Packard Graphics Language) format was originally created to drive plotters.

RTFM Device Manual: www.mystat.com/user-guide-tips-fixes-uscutter-mh.pd

If you have a problem; open the .hpgl fine in a text editor and add/remove the following as the first ine in the file:
IN;

No printer driver is necessary, to use the printer: * setup the com port * send the commands to the printer via the com port. * WAIT; the machine will do nothing for up to minute(s) * Enjoy your new cut stuff
Some Newer HPGL commands are often not supported on old printers, and vinyl cutters don't like certain HPGL commands (like changing pen). This utility: http://pldaniels.com/hpgl-distiller/ will clean up your HPGL filesfor better vinyl printing.


Console commands to do the printing follow. First line sets up the com port, second line does the printing. This assumes the hpgl file is called test.hpgl.

Linux:
For a usb to com port addaptor
stty -F /dev/ttyUSB0 speed 9600
cat test.hpgl > /dev/ttyUSB0
For a real com port
stty -F /dev/tty speed 9600
cat test.hpgl > /dev/tty
Windows (not tested yet):
MODE COM1:9600,N,8,1,P
type test.hpgl > COM1
Mac:
(No idea)

/var/www/wiki.artifactory.org.au/htdocs/data/pages/tools/mh721.txt · Last modified: 20140715-1431 by davo