Vinyl Cutter issue

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?



Thanks for evaluating @clayD. As it’s the one piece of equipment in textiles that I’ve never used, it’s great to have such deep expertise


I definitely noticed issues during the class. It seems to be consistently slipping off the track. Also the cutting strip needs to be replaced or reattached.

I have another class for this Saturday so ideally it would be great to have it in service at that time, even if still in its less than ideal state.

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.

I was just about to order that motherboard part you sent. Is that still what we need here?

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 and I’ve used this one

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 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.

@EricP or @JoeN - any sense of the vinyl cutter’s age?

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.

Thanks for the extra perspective @HannaKessler. I’m going to discuss with the leadership team. I’ll likely have more questions

I would highly recommend staying woth a wider cutter if we do upgrade. Vinyl and woodworking can go well together, and having 25 in or more of cutting is helpful.

Fair enough

My guess is 10 years old; I believe it says it on back plate

Replacement part is expected to arrive Tuesday


Look what I found

Currently available at Austin Creative Reuse. Not sure of condition but no sign it’s not working

Ok was told it is working. I’m gonna pick it up. If the space wants it I can bring a receipt or we can talk about me hosting it


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!


Glad you’re on the mend, Clay. Yes, please go ahead and install the new motherboard. Thank you!

I left the new mobo sitting by the vinyl cutter in the box.

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.

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