I've had this vinyl cutter for 6 years and in all of that time its probably only clocked up a handful of hours. It's essential like new. The reason for this is due to the crappy software that was supplied with the machine. The manufacturers supplied 'Make-the-Cut', a buggy, non-intuitive, non-metric, not-supported-since-1882, java based program that was simply awful. What's worse is that the machines are not supported by other regular programs so options are limited.
Recently I upgraded my Mac and found that Make-the-Cut did not 'make the cut' as it will not work on a 64 bit machine running Catalina. What's worse is that a trip to the MTC website showed me that MTC appears to be no more as the website is dead. Great!
So a while back (6 months back in fact) I took a look at Inkcut, a cutter program that can be used with inkscape. I was unable to get it working at the time but now faced with no option other than to cough up AU$300 for 'Sure Cuts a lot' I decided to have another go.
After a bit if a hiatus from looking at this it didn't actually take that long to get it working. Fortunately there are enough parameters in the Inkcut setup to cater for a variety of setups including the KnK Zing Air machine that I have. For anyone else who wants to have a go, here's the setup I used. Essentially you have to manually create a printer driver using CUPs. Then setup Inkcut to use the appropriate protocol and commands to be able to talk to the cutter.
On my machine the printer was not automatically detected as a printer and so did not appear in the OSX 'add-a-printer' dialog. So you need to manually create a printer driver using CUPs - a web based printer controller built into your mac. This may be different on other KnK machines.
First find the path to your USB connected printer:
- open terminal and use the following command 'ls /dev/tty'
- connect printer and turn it on
- use the 'ls /dev/tty.' command again and note the difference - that's the path to your printer
- note the path - for me it was 'dev/tty.usbserial-A603LB0M'
Install printer driver via cups:
- Go to http://127.0.0.1:631/admin in your favourite browser
- Click 'add printer'
- Select LPD/LPR Host or Printer
- For connection use: usb://dev/tty.usbserial-A603LB0M (or whatever YOUR connection path was - NOTE you need to add usb:// to the front to declare that it's using the USB protocol)
- For 'Make' use: RAW
- For 'Model' use: Raw Queue
Then in Inkcut:
- OPT+CMD+P to open device setup dialog on MAC (the file / settings menu's do not show on my mac)
- Go to Driver > Select 'Inkcut Generic Driver'
- Go to Device > Connection commands and add: ZG;
- Go to Connection > port: select usb://dev/tty.usbserial-A603LB0M (or whatever YOUR printer is) from the drop down
- Set Baudrate to: 57600
- Set the Protocol to: HPGL
Save by clicking 'OK'
To open a file to print, use the CMD+O shortcut to open the file dialog. Don't forget to tweak the speed / force / etc to suit your setup.
Happy printing :)
I've also discovered how to control the alignment laser;
You can issue commands directly to the printer via the serial monitor which can be found under the 'monitor' tab. Simply use the following commands
Laser on - SLN;
Laser off - SLF;
Thanks to Rob Hawkes for this info - https://knkusa.com/forums/topic/documentation-for-creating-a-custom-interface-with-the-zing/