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Is the Zing Force what I should get, or something else?

matanimatani Member Posts: 8
edited January 21 in General
Hello all,

I must admit I'm a newbie when it comes to cutting machines, but I am reluctant to invest in something such as a Cameo or Cricut when I know better machines are out there. However, when it comes to what most of you use these machines for, I must say I feel like a lightweight!

I'm starting a small business where my primary needs are going to be to cut paper and cardstock, score folding lines, and kiss cut sticker sheets, and often two of these functions on the same project. Everything I do will also be a Print and Cut and no larger than 13" wide.

I have used Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop before and own copies of both so I am not too worried about the learning curve for buying SCAL or MTC.

From what I understand, the dual heads on the Force would allow me to do both types cuts at the same time/without switching out tools, correct? I also see the Skycutter's name and Duo thrown out there. These models, along with the Orbit, all seem to have better PnC capabilities than things like say the Silver Bullet, but as far as the differences between them I'm not entirely sure which will allow me to do things faster. From this thread (https://forum.make-the-cut.com/discussion/46512/zing-orbiit-vs-knk-force) it seems that the Orbit, and possibly the Force after calibration, is better at finding the registration marks on its own. 

In the same thread Sandy advocates waiting for the Maxx Duo, but perhaps this is outside my needs?

Any advice or suggestions would be very welcome! I've been getting overwhelmed with all the information I've been taking in lately!br>
P.S. Do these machines have the potential to cut all the way to the edge? This is a very basic question, but I've only seen videos of people doing cut outs from the center and one of the things I want to cut is envelopes similar to this template from Neenah: https://www.neenahpaper.com/-/media/files/storefront/dielines/envelope/announcement_a7.ashx?la=en&hash=12E5487E6064FF28B14317B4BB652A688C7C66DB
Post edited by SBryanW on

Comments

  • Liz_ALiz_A Member Posts: 10,230
    @matani - the Force may be a bit overkill for your needs. I see that a dual head cutter would be best, really a need for the tasks you have described. Kiss cutting is a cat walk for most cutters (once the owner has learned how to manage the cut), and your other needs are easily accomplished with most of the cutters discussed here. You might want to look at the Maxx Duo which is a bit of a high end cutter, and due to be released in springtime. Look here: Maxx Duo - it uses a camera for PNC, which is similar to what the Force uses (which by the way is no longer available and off the market, you would need to source a used one). It may be a bit overkill, but it is something one could grow into, and who knows what you might like to be doing in a couple of years =).

  • Crazy_Mr_ZingCrazy_Mr_Zing Member Posts: 3,493
    edited January 16
    As make the cut software has not been updated to include full compatibility with the new KNK machine there are not so that members here that have these machines

    So Scal maybe a better option

    You may find you will get more answers to you question about user experience on the following Facebook Groups



    https://www.facebook.com/groups/KNKForce/

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Skycut/

    The KNK force in not longer manufactured so your only purchase option would be a used machine

    The KNK force differed from all other cutters in that is had a z axis  so rather the tool raised or lowered movement of a regular solenoid type cutter The the tool could be moved to a set height . This made it possible to have the option of a rotary tool attachment But also add a extra complexity to its operation of a blade cutter
    The Force used a camera to detect the registration marks use in the print and cut function  this feature work extremely well

    (The Skycut and Soon to be available KNK Maxx Solo / Duo use a camera as well)

    The KNK Zing Orbit uses a optical sensor to detect reg marks I have no experience with this machine

    As you Say dual head allow the use of 2 tools in a single cut process
    eg cut and crease
    There are method of doing this with a single head but it involved changing the tool

    The KNK Maxx Duo will have to heads

    The link you posted does not work ?
    Cutting for material edge to edge is possible providing it is within the maximum cutting size of the cutter
    I Use Zing Air, Make The Cut - Pop Card Studio, WinXP- Win7 -Win10
    Paper Modellers I Revere Marc Hagan-Guirey ----- Yoshinobu Miyamoto ----- Peter Dahmen
    Gallery ID #26944 ----- Link to My Cloud Have a Look your Welcome to Make Use of the Files
  • matanimatani Member Posts: 8
    Wow! Thanks a bunch Mr. Zing! (And Liz too!) I'm already finding some great stuff on those pages!

    The Skycut auto-feeding label cutter looks seriously amazing! (Although it is missing some very obvious features I wanted.)
  • SandyMcCSandyMcC Member Posts: 7,516
    Currently, if you need dual head functionality AND you plan to do a lot of score and cut, then the Maxx Duo is your best choice.  While I've only been able to test the Skycut D Series, which is the factory's generic version of the Maxx Duo, I can say without hesitation that it's a dream machine for anyone needing to do both.  The calibration for both dual head and for PNC with the camera is incredible easy compared to a laser light.  The camera developed by this factory is phenomenal... much faster than their first version which was used on the Force and more capable... as in being able to recognize registration marks on colored, transparent, and mirrored materials. Also, since you mention you're starting a small business, that usually means you're planning to do a lot of repetitive cutting. Another really nice feature is the ability to save a cut file WITH the cut settings onto a USB flash drive and then load that file whenever needed to do repetitive cutting.  I could actually list another dozen things I like about this D Series / Maxx Duo cutter but I'll await questions first. 
    Sandy McCauley
    Cutting with KNK Force, Maxx Air, Zing Orbit, Skycut C and D
    Over 90 free MTC videos: http://www.iloveknk.com/support/mtc-support/
    Latest MTC User Manuals: http://www.iloveknk.com/Support/user-manuals/
  • matanimatani Member Posts: 8
    edited January 17
    Thanks, Sandy! I understand that you're quite famous on here, and with good reason!

    Sticker cutting is going to be my main business, while everything else (such as the score and cut stuff) is likely going to end up being secondary (but the involved projects are something I love nonetheless). I saw on the Facebook pages when I took a look that there is such a thing as the auto-feeding label cutter for stickers, and it definitely caught my eye.

    However, from your description of the Maxx Duo's save feature and camera ability, it sounds like, aside from the obvious human effort to put new sticker sheets in, getting the cut started again wouldn't involve anything too arduous like exact or excessively nitpicky placements?

    And really, I would love a list if it didn't hassle you to make it. I loved your input on the last thread I read and there were certainly things I wrongfully assumed all cutters should be able to do before realizing only this one or another one did.
  • Di-liteDi-lite Member Posts: 3,467
    I'm with Sandy and am waiting with bated breath for the new Max Duo.  I've become addicted to two head machines and currently own a Force.  The fact that you can cut and score in one go is great.  The Force is a beast of a machine but getting a second hand one I think would not be of benefit to you whereas the Max Duo looks like being the ticket.  Hope you find the perfect machine for your tasks.  By the way if you put A4 (lettersize) on a 12 x 12 mat you can cut to the edge as you mention above.  Also since there are 15 inch mats you could cut to the edge of wider card as well.
    Have fun, Di, ID 14610
    UK, Cameo, Serif Draw, Win10.
    Link to My Craft Bazaar | Link to Skool | Force Bazaar - Archimedes
    Feel free to use anything in these links.
  • matanimatani Member Posts: 8
    Di-lite said:
    By the way if you put A4 (lettersize) on a 12 x 12 mat you can cut to the edge as you mention above.  Also since there are 15 inch mats you could cut to the edge of wider card as well.

    Perfect! I'm excited to see more stuff when the machine gets released. 

    Definitely not getting the Force now. Even if you all hadn't wisely warned me away from it I'd have been scared off after seeing that there were a lot of software woes. At least the unfortunate situation with C3 and all that shouldn't affect the Maxx Duo.
  • SandyMcCSandyMcC Member Posts: 7,516
    That't correct... the Maxx Duo doesn't have a Raspberry Pi computer running it, like the Force does.  Anyhow, here is a complete list. I relisted the 4 items I mentioned above just so I have them all in one place:

    (1) Calibration is super easy for both dual head and PNC.  The camera used for PNC projects a photo onto the control panel screen and you just move a red + to the center of the image in the projected photo.

    (2) The camera is really fast in finding the reg marks. It doesn't have to scan up and down and back and forth several times, like optic eyes require.  It just moves over to the mark, takes a photo, and determines immediately where the mark is in the photo versus where it expected it to be and then compensates.

    (3) The camera can identify reg marks printed on dark, transparent, and mirrored materials.

    (4) You can save cut files with their cut settings as PLT onto a USB flash drive and load that file into the control panel for cutting. Now, this IS something that has been around before on other cutters, such as the original 24" Maxx, however, with the new control panel, you can now set up an array of repeats that weren't originally part of the cut file you saved.

    (5) One lever is used to raise and lower all of the pinch wheels instead of having individual levers on each pinch wheels.  There's nothing worse than starting a cut and realizing you forgot to lower one of them. 

    (6) You can connect 4 ways:  (a) Wi-Fi (much much easier to set up than on the Force) (b) USB  (c) stand-alone wireless,  (4) USB flash drive, as mentioned before

    (7) The dual heads allow you to score and cut at one time... and SCAL makes it very easy to assign layers to the right or the left sides, as needed.

    (8) Like other KNK cutters, the Maxx Duo will have fully adjustable blade holder seats so you can directly insert tools of all kinds. And with the calibration being so easy for dual heads, it's not a big deal to have different diameters of tools, as in the past.

    (9) The Maxx Duo will have a new table design with mat guides that will adjust for different widths of cutting mats or you can forgo using them, if needed.

    (10) All calibrations are stored on the cutter itself. Thus, no need to worry if buy a new computer or software updates, like SCAL's, wipe out your calibrations.

    (11) You can set up intermediate registration marks if you have a really long cut and then set how often you want intermediate marks to be read. Note that this does require using the USB flash drive for cutting since it's part of the firmware versus being a part of SCAL.  But I've tested it and it works great.

    (12) You can set End of Cut action on the Control Panel:  (a) return to origin  (b) go to the end of the cut and advance x inches  (c) go to the left of the cut an advance x inches.

    (13) You can change how the up/down arrows work on the Control Panel. This one made me laugh because all users, including myself, will push the up arrow on a control panel, expecting one thing and getting the opposite.

    (14) Also on the Control Panel, you can set the cutter to NOT go all the way to right upon power up. Thus, if you have set the head in a certain position for always using that position as the origin, then it will stay there even after you turn off and turn the cutter back on. 

    (15) 2000 g of cutting force... powerful enough for "all day long" cutting.

    (16) Extremely high cutting resolution... can cut very accurate lettering at small sizes. 


    Sandy McCauley
    Cutting with KNK Force, Maxx Air, Zing Orbit, Skycut C and D
    Over 90 free MTC videos: http://www.iloveknk.com/support/mtc-support/
    Latest MTC User Manuals: http://www.iloveknk.com/Support/user-manuals/
  • matanimatani Member Posts: 8
    I can't thank you enough for putting it all in one place for me, Sandy! I couldn't ask for more. Thank you!
  • SandyMcCSandyMcC Member Posts: 7,516
    You're welcome!
    Sandy McCauley
    Cutting with KNK Force, Maxx Air, Zing Orbit, Skycut C and D
    Over 90 free MTC videos: http://www.iloveknk.com/support/mtc-support/
    Latest MTC User Manuals: http://www.iloveknk.com/Support/user-manuals/
  • SampheapSampheap Member Posts: 122
    So all the lists above are also the features of SkyCut D?
  • SandyMcCSandyMcC Member Posts: 7,516
    @Sampheap ;  Yes, for all but #8 and #9.  Those two are specific to the Maxx Duo. The Skycut D does come with tables but they are just regular tables and do not have adjustable guides.  
    Sandy McCauley
    Cutting with KNK Force, Maxx Air, Zing Orbit, Skycut C and D
    Over 90 free MTC videos: http://www.iloveknk.com/support/mtc-support/
    Latest MTC User Manuals: http://www.iloveknk.com/Support/user-manuals/
  • SampheapSampheap Member Posts: 122
    edited February 5
    (8) Like other KNK cutters, the Maxx Duo will have fully adjustable blade holder seats so you can directly insert tools of all kinds. And with the calibration being so easy for dual heads, it's not a big deal to have different diameters of tools, as in the past.

    SkycutD cannot accept all kinds of tools?

    I found it here as it's close to me in Cambodia: https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z0k.7386009.0.d4919233.58bd2b789JlvRf&id=557889823208&_u=t2dmg8j26111

    Is this the one?
  • SandyMcCSandyMcC Member Posts: 7,516
    In the Skycut models, you must use their blade holder, embosser, engraver, test pen. You cannot, for example, insert a Sharpie marker or other brands of blade holders and tools... only what Skycut sells. You MIGHT get lucky to find something that has the exact same diameter but their blade holder seat isn't fully adjustable like a KNK's. 

    Sandy McCauley
    Cutting with KNK Force, Maxx Air, Zing Orbit, Skycut C and D
    Over 90 free MTC videos: http://www.iloveknk.com/support/mtc-support/
    Latest MTC User Manuals: http://www.iloveknk.com/Support/user-manuals/
  • SandyMcCSandyMcC Member Posts: 7,516
    Yes...I would expect you to be able to find it more affordable than a KNK if you live in Cambodia. Skycut is now doing a LOT of trade shows around the world to market their new product line and picking up distributors in lots of locations. Be sure to also check out which software programs will work with a Skycut because MTC cannot... Skycut has true USB connectivity, not the USB-Serial type that the Zing, Maxx, and other KNK's use.

    Sandy McCauley
    Cutting with KNK Force, Maxx Air, Zing Orbit, Skycut C and D
    Over 90 free MTC videos: http://www.iloveknk.com/support/mtc-support/
    Latest MTC User Manuals: http://www.iloveknk.com/Support/user-manuals/
  • matanimatani Member Posts: 8
    Hey Sandy, I had a quick question and I figured you might be able to help.

    I'm currently prototyping some sticker designs to cut on a Cameo I have access to and I realized that although my print lines are 1/8 of an inch away from the edge of the page, but the registration marks won't go any further than 3/8ths so I'm losing a whole 1/4 inch of space!

    Do you know how the Maxx Duo will fare in this realm for the total size of PNC ability? I haven't been able to find any info on their official website, although I may have overlooked something. 


  • Di-liteDi-lite Member Posts: 3,467
    I not sure but you could try - put your reg marks in the usual place and the cameo should be able to cut outside the reg marks as well as inside.  The reg marks are for location purposes.  On the Max you should not have a problem as the reg marks could be further in on the page and it will cut outside of them.  Also I've just seen what Sandy has achieved with pnc with the KNK machines she is testing stuff on - it's fantastic.  @SandyMcC ; Will be along in 8 hours time and will explain more fully
    Have fun, Di, ID 14610
    UK, Cameo, Serif Draw, Win10.
    Link to My Craft Bazaar | Link to Skool | Force Bazaar - Archimedes
    Feel free to use anything in these links.
  • matanimatani Member Posts: 8
    Hmm! That's good to know. I'll be able to at least make the sheets either wider or taller, though I can't do both because I don't want to leave the registration marks on the final sheet.
  • Di-liteDi-lite Member Posts: 3,467
    Might I ask why the reg marks on the sheet are a problem if you are cutting out the contents?  Sorry just trying to understand.  Since you could place the reg marks in a position that is outside the cutting lines but inside the margin of the page I can't picture how they would still be visible.  
    Have fun, Di, ID 14610
    UK, Cameo, Serif Draw, Win10.
    Link to My Craft Bazaar | Link to Skool | Force Bazaar - Archimedes
    Feel free to use anything in these links.
  • Di-liteDi-lite Member Posts: 3,467
    A picture of where you could place reg marks.  
    Have fun, Di, ID 14610
    UK, Cameo, Serif Draw, Win10.
    Link to My Craft Bazaar | Link to Skool | Force Bazaar - Archimedes
    Feel free to use anything in these links.
  • matanimatani Member Posts: 8
    The sheets are four little sub-sheets of sticker sets and almost the entire area of the sheet has a printed design. The only thing that's coming off is the area around each sheet.

    Now that I think about it, staggering the designs so that each design is shifted towards one of the four edges may increase the size enough that it may work. I'll probably take a look tomorrow, but regretably the Cameos do not allow cutting beyond their registration borders.
  • Di-liteDi-lite Member Posts: 3,467
    That's very true of the Cameos but the KNK's do.  I'm hoping the new Max Duo will be along shortly - it looks like a good buy but if all else fails there will be the Skycut.
    Have fun, Di, ID 14610
    UK, Cameo, Serif Draw, Win10.
    Link to My Craft Bazaar | Link to Skool | Force Bazaar - Archimedes
    Feel free to use anything in these links.
  • SandyMcCSandyMcC Member Posts: 7,516
    What Di wrote is ONLY true for the KNK Force cutting from C3.  It's the only software/cutter I've ever used that will allow the registration marks to be located within the printed design and, even then, the reg marks can't be located too close to the print or the camera will confuse the two.  

    Regarding the newer cutters that are using SCAL for print and cut applications, you can enter the offset you want for the reg marks relative to the printed images. Now, as with what I just wrote, you can't have the reg marks too close to the printed design, thus, note these two cases where in the first one, the reg mark offset can be 0. However, in the second case, you need the reg marks further away because the camera (or any optic eye in the case of some brands/models) can't distinguish what is the design and what is the reg mark.  

    So, in this case, the reg marks are too close:







    But in this case, the shapes are arranged such that the reg marks are set at the minimum and the shapes are arranged such that the scan of the reg marks will be fine:


    Sandy McCauley
    Cutting with KNK Force, Maxx Air, Zing Orbit, Skycut C and D
    Over 90 free MTC videos: http://www.iloveknk.com/support/mtc-support/
    Latest MTC User Manuals: http://www.iloveknk.com/Support/user-manuals/
  • Liz_ALiz_A Member Posts: 10,230
    A suggestion on facilitating the printing of reg marks, but not having on the finished product (although I would not consider this detrimental, I have purchased products where you can see these marks, I totally understand their necessity), is to put small removable white labels or stickers where they would print before you actually print. After printing and cutting, remove them.
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