Vinyl Cutter Questions

Frustrated newbie here. I’d like to use the vinyl cutter. I’ve read the wiki. I’ve bought blades AND a blade holder.

The wiki is not particularly friendly to a noob. It talks about software, but it doesn’t say WHAT software one uses, nor does it say where that software is loaded.

I’m sitting next to the USCutter machine right now, the computer that appears to be connected to it has a few different programs installed on it… Corel draw, which asks for a license key when you attempt to run it, Inkscape, but not “Sure Cuts A Lot”, which I think the wiki is implying is the software.

I wouldn’t even begin to guess how to actually send the project to the cutter… I’m guessing it’s set up as a printer maybe?

Is anybody on here able to use the vinyl cutter and also able to give some pointers? If I were pointed in the right direction, I’d be happy to update the wiki to make it a bit more noob-friendly.


I’m sorry! The vinyl cutter hasn’t gotten used a lot lately and hasn’t gotten the kind of love a lot of other machines at the space have. I think @wynd and @jamesfreeman are probably the most familiar/have used it most recently. @JoeN might also be able to help. Hopefully we can get some clearer documentation on this.

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Thanks for the reply… I’d really appreciate any help to get up and running with it!

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The last time I used it, I used SCAL on my laptop. Im noy sure what computers at the space are setup with.
This is something that is part of the textiles plan, so it should be figured out soon.


I could bring in a laptop, but I’d still have to figure out how to set up the vinyl cutter on it. I’m sure I could install SCAL on it, too.

It looked to me like the cutter was plugged into a desktop right next to it, but SCAL was not installed, and the wiki wasn’t very forthcoming about how to use it.

I’m happy to provide any feedback needed to make it easier for a newcomer to use it.

Thanks for the reply!

@jamesfreeman if I were to bring in a laptop, do you know how I’d set it up to print to the cutter? Is it pretty much a plug-in-play type of thing, where you plug the vinyl cutter into the computer, and the computer automatically recognizes it as a printer?

@twall88 SCAL is a plug and play from my laptop, but I do have a paid version. If you have a paid version, it should be plug and play as well. I can meet you at the space sometime this week if you’d like to.


Came in tonight to help @JoeN cut some heat transfer vinyl, figured some things out about the cutter.

The usb port on the vinyl cutter has failed. The serial port does still work, and we verified that with Joe’s cables. I’ll get cables for the shop ordered. FWIW, the usb failure on the cutter seems to happen to them all, but the serial seems to last forever.

We tried to install SCAL on to the computer in multi purpose room, but the key with the cd wasn’t working. I’ll email them and see if we can resolve that. If not, we’ll explore software options.

Once we got the speed and pressure settings figured out, the cutter worked very well.

As we get the textiles room going, it should be setup more permanently and functionally.

Let me know if you have any questions. P.S. we did move it into co-working, which is still a locked door area. If you’d like to use it, let me know so I can pull it back out.

Tagging @stepho for reference to the textiles area.


Thank you @jamesfreeman for the help.

Thank you for looking into all this… I’d been out of town for the past 2 weeks, I’m sorry for the late reply! I’m still very interested in working with the vinyl cutter.

I’m going to be in the workspace this afternoon working with the Pearl laser cutter, hopefully we can come up with a time that I could try out the vinyl cutter too.

What time be there?

2pm-5 or so

I should be up there before 5.

I missed you… are you normally there on weekdays?

Sometimes. I’ll be there again Wed, but morning to a little after lunch.

Just following up here - it sounds like James set all this up with the serial cable and a dedicated machine in the textiles room (thanks!). I am wondering - does it already have a copy of “Sure Cuts A Lot” or “VinylMaster” (or something else)… or does that still need to be purchased?

SCAL pro 5 is installed.

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Side note and a heads up that the computer in textiles is being a bit unreliable.

Ok. I will replace it. I thought is was just the initial start up needing to hit F2. Are there more issues?

We’ll need to deactivate the license for SCAL to transfer it to the new one, if you change hard drives.