This morning the vinyl cutter carriage had one wheel off track. Once I figured that out it cut but lost steps in the X (carriage) direction as it cut. I cleaned the wheels and the track but the problem persisted. If you set max speed it stalls just using the manual control to move the axis. Makes the classic rattle or grind sound of a stepper missing steps. The carriage is smooth when operated by hand. Based on online diagnostic instructions I swapped the motor cables between the rollers and the carriage drive. The theory is that if the same axis still failed then it was a motor or belt or track issue. If the problem swapped axis then it is an electronic issue. The result is the carriage works perfectly when connected to the roller motor drive on the motherboard and the rollers chatter but don’t stall.
My conclusion is the stepper motor driver chip for the carriage has one or more bad channels (out of 4).
A new motherboard is available for US Cutter for $81.95 and will ship the day it’s ordered if ordered before 4pm. Typical UPS delivery is two days. Or we can pull the motherboard and remove the heatsinks and see if we can replace the driver chip. Maybe we do both?
Thoughts? Is it worth putting a scope on the motor drive lines or was the swap test clear enough?
I reassembled it but it’s not working. Probably can’t have it up by Saturday at this point. The driver ICs are A3955SLBT. There are two per axis. I can replace the two for the X axis but haven’t found a source with short delivery times yet.
How old is this cutter? Curious because it feels considerably jankier than the one I’m used to using. Upon doing some research it seems like the Titan brand which I am used to is also made by US Cutter. They’re just the higher end version. I think the model we have is this one https://a.co/d/dO7VVYt and I’ve used this one https://a.co/d/5qd4XjK
There is definitely a price difference, which explains the quality difference on a lot of the components like the rollers which keep falling off and jamming. The machine we have barely seems like a step up from the discount Vivor offering. Perhaps a good compromise of price vs quality would be something like this https://a.co/d/3LagvMS which does have the limit of 15in wide cutting but that’s a pretty standard size vinyl for pretty much anything most people would be making.
I’m just concerned that even after fixing the board there are other issues with the vinyl cutter that were making it less than ideal. It might be something to consider totalling it and upgrading rather than spending 30% of its new price to fix it. Or even just replacing it with a new version of the same model since most of the components are in bad shape.
Sorry I’ve been down with the flu. Should be safe to be out and about this weekend. I’ll come to install the new motherboard Sunday or Monday if that’s still the plan. Excited to see the new unit Hanna found!
New motherboard is installed and appears to be working correctly. Unfortunately the driver config in sure-cuts-a-lot for the cutter was removed and the make/model options are gone from the add a cutter menu. Maybe a license issue?
My time is pretty well spent till until at least next week (11/28.) if someone know about the driver config please let me know! I’m anxious to cut my decals.