Studio 8 Cutter Support

Studio 8 Cutter Support

Legacy Product · No Longer Active

Tech Bulletins

Studio 8-Cut Quality Problems
File: Studio_8-Cut_Quality_Problems.pdf
Studio 8-Dimensional Calibration
File: Studio_8-Dimensional_Calibration.pdf
Studio 8-End Cover Bottom Cover Screw Locations
File: Studio_8-End_Cover_Bottom_Cover_Screw_Locations.pdf
Studio 8-Installing Pinch Wheel Assy
File: Studio_8-Installing_Pinch_Wheel_Assy.pdf
Studio 8-Memory Reset
File: Studio_8-Memory_Reset.pdf
Studio 8-Plotter Port Test
File: Studio_8-Plotter_Port_Test.pdf
Studio 8-Programming Parameters
File: Studio_8-Programming_Parameters.pdf
Studio 8-Replacing Wheel On Pinch Wheel Assy
File: Studio_8-Replacing_Wheel_On_Pinch_Wheel_Assy.pdf
Studio 8-Traverse Bearing Adjustment
File: Studio_8-Traverse_Bearing_Adjustment.pdf
Studio 8-Troubleshooting Error Conditions
File: Studio_8-Troubleshooting_Error_Conditions.pdf
Legacy COM Port Test
Suggestions for testing serial COM ports on legacy equipment.
File: Misc-Com_Port_Test-25_and_9_Pin.pdf


Studio 8 Service Manual
File: Studio 8 Service Manual
Revision: 1
Posted: September 23, 2002
Size: 4 Mb


Legacy Utility Software
Many software applications for unsupported Ioline equipment, including past versions of the Control Center, are available in the Legacy Software section of the support website.


Cutting quality problems.
Due to high use or unusual operating conditions, the Studio 8 carriage assembly may need periodic cleaning. Symptoms:

  • Corners not meeting on square cuts
  • Blade misses parts of the plot
  • Blade pierces into or through the vinyl

Ioline recommends the following process to eliminate cutting problems associated with a dirty linear slide:

Tools Required:

  • # 1 Phillips head screw driver
  • One (1) can of compressed air or contact cleaner (available at any major hardware stores)
  • One (1) can Contact cleaner with Silicone or some other kind of synthetic lubricant (usually found at bicycle shops)
  • Paper towels

Cleaning the Mechanism:

    1. Turn off your Studio 8.
    2. Remove the pen from the jaw assembly.
    3. Remove the carriage return spring from the jaw assembly.
    4. Loosen the two (2) phillips screws from the jaw assembly. Gently move the jaw to the left. Let the jaw hang in the voice coil. Caution: Be careful not to damage the voice coil. Do not place any pressure on the jaw or voice coil assemblies.
    5. Place some paper towels on the surface of the plotter underneath the carriage assembly.
    6. Move the linear slide to the upper stop. Generously spray the slide with the Electrical Switch & Contact Cleaner. Move the linear slide to the lower stop. Spray again. Move the linear slide to the middle position and spray again once more.
    7. Move the slide to the lower stop. Lightly spray the linear slide with silicone. Move the slide to its upper stop and repeat. Wipe off any excess spray from the slide mechanism and the surrounding carriage surfaces.
    8. Move the slide to the middle of the race. Carefully position the carriage jaw over the mounting holes in the slide. Install the upper screw, but do not fully tighten. Next, install the lower screw and firmly tighten. Caution: Do not over tighten the carriage jaw screw or else the threads may strip. Now firmly tighten the upper screw. Install the carriage return spring and pen assembly.
      Ioline Studio 8 Carriage
    9. Test the plotter.
Job shifts or plots incorrectly using CASmate®.
These problems most likely stem from a communication problem between CASmate® and the Ioline plotter. CASmate® recommends checking the following order:

  1. Sorting – Make sure the SORT command is turned OFF in the Plotmate dialog box. If you want to sort the file, you should select the Automatic Ordering command located under the Edit, Arrange menu option.
  2. Check the Config.sys to make sure FILES is equal to 50 or more.
  3. Remove any temporary files in the TEMP directory.
  4. If running Windows® 3.1 or 3.11, go into the Control Panel, select Port, highlight the port the plotter is connected to, then click Settings. Make sure Handshaking is set to Hardware and not Xon/Xoff. If you are running Windows® 95, go into the Control Panel, System, Device Manager, highlight the port, then click Properties. Click on Port Settings tab and make sure Flow Control is set to Hardware. You should also click Advanced and turn OFF “Use Fifo Buffers”.
  5. In CASmate, select Setup from the MISC menu into the Setup in CASmate, highlight the driver, click Communication and change from Hardware to Polling.
  6. While in the Setup menu you can switch from plotting via the Job Manager to Plot Direct.
  7. If you are using Windows® 3.1 or 3.11, CASmate® recommends replacing the COMM.DRV in the Windows\System directory with the one on the CASmate® Disk #1 or CASmate® CD (either in the root directory of the CD or the OTHER directory). If you are running Windows® 95, CASmate® recommends the new Job Manager in #8 before replacing the COMM.DRV.
  8. If you are running CASmate® 6.0 – 6.04, you can replace the JOBMAN.EXE located in the CASWIN directory. This file is in the OTHER directory on the newest CASmate® CD.
Plotter COM port test.
If you do not have the loop-back diagnostic module, complete the following steps:

    1. Turn off your plotter.
    2. Remove the serial cable from the back of the plotter.
    3. Using paper clips or short lengths of wire, jumper pin 2 to 3 and also pin 4 to 5. Make sure you get the wires in far enough to make a good connection. The pin holes are labeled on the com port. The top row is 1 through 13, from right to left.
    4. Turn on the plotter while you hold down the Test Cut key on the keypad. Continue holding down Test Cut key until the plotter beeps and the light flashes three times. This places the plotter in the diagnostic mode.
    5. Press any Arrow key on the plotter keypad to transmit and receive characters. Verify that the plotter beeps and the light flashes each time an arrow key is pressed.
    6. Turn off the plotter after the test. This will take the plotter out of the diagnostic mode.
    7. Remove the jumpers from the serial port.

If this test passes, then the serial port of the plotter is communicating properly. However, if you continue having problems communicating with the plotter, you may need to verify that the cable is in good condition and the COM port on your computer is working properly.

Diagram for jumping pins to test serial port.

Ioline loop back jumper positions

No communication with the computer.
If your plotter can’t establish communications with your computer, please follow these steps to help identify which of your system’s components may be the source of the problem. The real key in nailing down the problem is this process of elimination. Removal of each separate component from the list of key variables, gives you the clues necessary to determine the actual cause of the communication problem.

      1. Make sure the serial cable is the correct one for the plotter. Look to make sure it is not damaged.
      2. Make sure the cable is connected properly to one of your computer’s serial ports. The Studio 7 can’t work on a parallel port.
      3. Make sure the plotter is in the READY mode with the green light on.
      4. Make sure the correct communications protocol is being used by your computer. The mode command statement for a PC is MODE COM2:96,N,8,1,P (If you are using COM2, otherwise replace 2 by the number of the COM port the plotter is connected).
        If available, try another COM port. If unsuccessful obtaining access to a second COM port, try another computer.
      5. Make sure the correct driver is selected in the plotter Setup Menu in your design program. Contact Ioline Customer Service for alternate driver choices if no Ioline plotter driver is listed. Make sure to note the name and version of the design program.
      6. If operating Control Center under the Windows® environment or using a Windows®-based application, try switching to DOS® version 2.4 of the Studio 7 Control Center to send your file. If the machine works in DOS® then you know the plotter, COM port and cable are operational.
      7. If using a Windows® program application, try saving a file to disk and using the DOS® COPY command to output the file to the plotter. For example at the DOS® prompt:
        A) Type: Copy filename.plt com2
        B) Press: Enter
        If the plotter does not start plotting, it means one of the following conditions exists:
    • Plotter is not connected to that port. Consult your computer manual.
    • Plotter is not configured correctly. Consult your software manual.
    • Plotter cable is bad. Try another RS232 cable.
    • Try port you have the plotter connected to is bad. Try another port.
    • The plotter’s port is bad. Note: Refer to Chapter 8 in the User Guide for the serial test procedure.
    1. If you have a bus mouse, check that the IRQ setting is not on three (3) or four (4), but set to five (5). The dip switches are usually right in the middle of the bus mouse interface card. If you look at the center of the mouse interface card, you will see a set of pins labeled 2, 3, 4, and 5. In most cases when you purchase a bus mouse, the default IRQ settings is three, which is the SAME as COM2. If you have your plotter configured to COM2, you will have problems with the mouse and the plotter. We recommend that you always set the bus mouse to IRQ5.
    2. Many software manufacturers recommend the removal of a fax or modem card when using their products. Ioline suggest customers contact the appropriate software company for advice about custom computer configurations.
Registration shift (media skewing).
We have found that good tracking is as much a factor of technique as is one of hardware. Feeding material off the roll, using proper acceleration and speed, optimizing your plots, and implementing alignment guides will give you excellent tracking. If persistent tracking problems exist, please check the following:

  1. Check the media; is one side heavier than the other? Variations in media quality will affect the performance of the machine. Buckling vinyl can also cause skewing. Make sure the vinyl is feeding smoothly.
  2. Closely inspect the chart wheels, look for uneven wear or damage. Foreign material like paint, paper, and dirt, or flat spots from prolonged chart wheels exposure to clamp down positioning while the machine is idle, will contribute to media shift.
  3. Check the four grit shaft set screws, two in the center, one on each side. Make sure they are tight. These screws may loosen during shipment or after excessive use.
  4. Inspect the grit shaft. Look for any foreign material, damage, or unusual wear.
  5. Check for square shaft side play. There should be none.
  6. See the Cutting Long Designs section of the SmarTrac User Guide for universal information on cutting long signs.

If any of the above tips do not help you to solve the problem, you can always contact Ioline Customer Service.

Plotter calibration.
After replacing the logic board, the first thing to do is to reset the plotter calibration. To accomplish this, turn on the plotter while pressing down the UP arrow key. When the red light comes one, release the up arrow key and press Start Point. There are two ways to calibrate the plotter:

  1. In order to remove the bottom cover to replace the logic board you have to remove the right and left end covers. Before you put the plotter back together, take a look at the inside right end plate of the plotter.
  2. There, you should find a label which will provide you with the X- and Y-axis factory default calibration settings. Write these numbers down, and move to Step # 3.
  3. If you don’t find the label with the calibration settings, put the plotter back together, turn it on as stated at the beginning of this note, and load some media, at least 42″ x 22″.
  4. With the plotter online and a green light illuminated on the keypad, open the Ioline Control Center. Once you are in the Control Center, select Calibrate from the menu bar.
  5. Select Calibration Cut. The plotter then will draw four ruled lines: 40 inches (101.6 cm) and 20 inches (50.8 cm) wide. For sign cutters with 40″ width or wider, the calibration plot measures 28″ wide by 40″ long.
  6. Measure the length (X-axis) and the width (Y-axis) in either inches or centimeters and record the results.
  7. Enter the measure values and select SET CALIBRATION.
  8. Your sign cutter will now calibrate itself, and the new CALIBRATION SETTING will be displayed.
  9. Click DONE when you are finished.

Only use Reset Factory to restore original factory calibration settings.

How to Plot from CorelDRAW® 7.
Note: Make sure CorelDRAW!® is open, and the drawing you intend to cut or plot is ready.

  1. Make sure all of the objects to be plotted/cut, are grouped together and selected. Place the drawing in the lower left corner of the page.
  2. Go to the file drop-down menu and select EXPORT.
  3. Name the file, and pick the folder where you want to put the file. Below the file name under Save as type, select HPGL plotter file (PLT) from the drop-down menu. In the bottom right corner, check the box that says Selected only—make sure your drawing has been selected first—and hit the EXPORT button.
  4. HPGL Export dialog box: Under the PEN tab, make sure all of the pens are Unused. Save those settings in the box marked Pen Libraries.
  5. Under the Page tab; Plotter origin should be Page Center. Plotter units should read 1013.
  6. Under the Advanced tab; Curve resolution should read 0.001 Inches. Nothing else should have a check in it.
  7. Hit the OK button. Your plot file has been saved to the folder, and name of your choice.
  8. Turn the cutter on, and setup for a new plot. Press the Start Point button. Open the Ioline Control Center.
  9. Click on the Options drop-down menu, and select the HPGL Setting. Select the Center origin, and click OK. It will ask if the panel size is right, click OK.
  10. Next, change the panel size to reflect the size of the plot. (For example; If the drawing size in CorelDRAW!® is 100 long by 24 wide, then make the X-axis panel size in the control center 100.0, and make the Y-axis panel size 24.0. Now send the settings to the plotter by clicking on the Temporary button.
  11. Now, click on File, then Send Cut/Plot file. Find your plot file (the one you saved from CorelDRAW® earlier). Click on it, and click OK. The cutter will now start to plot or cut out the drawing.

Special note: When you send the plot file to the cutter, the first thing it will do is find the center of the page you selected in the control center. For example, if the X-axis panel size is 100″, the first thing the plotter will do is scroll out 50 inches of vinyl, then return to the start and cut out the design.

How to Plot from CorelDRAW!® 9.
Note: Make sure CorelDRAW!® is open, and the drawing you intend to cut or plot is ready to be exported.

  1. Make sure all of the objects to be plotted/cut, are grouped together and selected. Make sure your drawing does not have any fills in it, and select the Hairline pen outline for all the objects. (If it doesn’t have an outline, it won’t plot). Place the drawing in the lower left corner of the page.
  2. Go to the File drop-down menu and select EXPORT.
  3. Name the file, and pick the folder where you want to put that file. Below the file name under Save as type, select HPGL plotter file (PLT) from the drop-down menu. In the bottom right corner check the box that says Selected only—make sure your drawing has been selected first—and hit the EXPORT button.
  4. The next window to come up will be the HPGL Export screen. Click on the Page tab, make sure the Plotter Origin has Bottom Left checked. Plotter units should read 1013.
  5. Click on the Advanced tab, and make sure none of the boxes are checked. Curve Resolution should read .001 inches. Click OK.
  6. Make sure the Ioline cutter is powered on, and is setup with a start point. Open the Ioline Control Center.
  7. At the main screen click on the File drop-down menu. Select Send Cut/Plot File.

In the Send Cut window, locate the file that you named in Step 3, and select it. Then choose OK. The plotter should start cutting or plotting if everything was set up right.