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Setting MTC ruler: zero origin at same spot as Zing origin?

morganphalenmorganphalen Member Posts: 3
edited April 2015 in Wishlist!

Is there any way to shift the MTC rulers to start at the same spot as the Zing?

Zing starts cutting at bottom right hand corner and MTC's ruler origin is upper left or upper right, based on landscape or portrait modes. My new project would be much easier and more accurate if I could snap and measure from the Zing starting point.

I'd appreciate any input on this.

Post edited by SBryanW on


  • GabeGabe Moderator Posts: 4,596
    edited March 2015
    @morganphalen, welcome to the forum. :) I'll start with this: do you have a copy of the MTC and Zing user manual? If not, you can get it here: http://www.iloveknk.com/support/user-manuals/zing-user-manuals/

    In the beginning of the manual SandyMcC goes into good detail on how to know exactly where the Zing will start cutting, based on whether you are in WYSIWYG or Knife Point mode.

    Once you get that internalized, you'll be able to accurately place your material so that it will cut perfectly.

    As far as I'm aware, the onscreen rulers are static and their position can't be changed. However, it really isn't necessary. Use the grid lines on the virtual mat and the physical mat to place your material both digitally and physically. Then pick your mode. Read section 2.07 of the manual to learn about cutting modes.

    Check the manual to see how to set the origins based on the mode you want to use and the orientation you're using. Personally, I always use Landscape orientation. Keep in mind that there is a big arrow on the virtual mat that helps with understanding the orientation. If the arrow is pointing straight up, the orientation is portrait. If the arrow is pointing to the left, the orientation is landscape.

    No matter which orientation you pick, always place the physical mat into the Zing with the the words "Klic N Cut" going in first. That will make the word "Zing" the "bottom" of the mat.

    (Edited to note that I have older mats that do not have the arrow at the top. SandyMcC just told me that the newer mats do have that arrow.)

    The difference is the direction the Zing will cut. For portrait it will cut from left to right and for landscape it will cut from top to bottom.

    WYSIWYG uses the laser to set the origin point. Knife Point uses the tip of the blade (or pen) to set the origin point.

    Either mode is very accurate. You just have to know where to put your material and how to tell the Zing where the material is on the mat.
    Post edited by Gabe on
  • morganphalenmorganphalen Member Posts: 3
    Thanks so much for the detailed reply and welcome Gabe.

    I'm making something slightly untraditional that could have benefitted from a bottom corner snap as the top of the project has a varying bleed off the page from file to file and there are 240 files in all! It struck me that it would be nice to have a consistent origin from software to machine, and that maybe there was something that could be done to adapt the software that I wasn't aware of.

    I appreciate your comments. In the future I will plan my work to match the parameters of the machine better.
  • grummangrumman Member Posts: 11
    My wife wanted a Cricut. Did my research and bought her a Zing Air instead. Easy decision. I have many, many years and a massive background in "computerized cutting" of all sorts. I wanted something "easy" for her as well as easy for me to show her what she can do. I had an awful time figuring out WHERE things will cut via MTC / Zing, and that is primarily because I find no way to orient the rulers the way I need to.

    I am puzzled to why they are not configurable in MTC given that after all these years and the use of perhaps 100+ different Cad/Cam and graphics programs, I can not name you even ONE other program where you could not identify a zero position in your drawing via ruler location such that the output to any machine is truly wysiwyg.

    Please give me adjustable rulers and a program that then creates cutting code for the machine BASED ON those locations after setting a program zero.
  • GabeGabe Moderator Posts: 4,596
    @grumman, sounds like a wish to me. By that I mean you should post your message in the Wishlist category so that the programmers will see your request.

    I think that one of the issues people have, especially people who have a lot of experience with other software, is that they want MTC to operate in a manner that they are familiar with. A manner that makes perfect sense to them and they feel it is only common sense to do it that way.

    However, there are several points to take into consideration. One is that the programmer who created MTC started with the idea of helping his wife, who had a Cricut at the time. So it wasn't a team of programmers with reams of reverse engineered code to cherry pick from. It was just one guy who said, "I want it to do this and this is the way *I* know how to do that."

    Then things began to grow. Other people heard about the program, the author began to sell it and began to add more features to the original code. That approach has some consequences. One of them being that it is somewhat difficult to make major changes to the code without rewriting everything from scratch.

    An example: metric values. As the program took off, people in different parts of the world began to purchase it. And in different parts of the world, very few countries use the Imperial measuring system of feet and inches, ounces and pounds. Some of those people, who own MTC, have asked that a simple way to change all measurements and displays into metric could be added. But, as it turns out, this would require the complete rewrite of the program, as mentioned above. Not to say it can't be done. Since I am not part of the MTC team, and they don't clear anything with me, I have no idea if Andy is in the middle of rewriting all the code right this minute.

    The point being that the MTC software was absolutely a labor of love from Andy to his wife. And it just grew from there. Andy has put a lot of work into adding great features to the program, such as several methods of doing pixel tracing, support for importing a good selection of file types, easy to use routines for conforming vector images to tapered objects, and the same for making duplicates of an object that follow a vector path. And it goes on and on - more great features than you can shake a stick at.

    True, no matter how magnificent Andy makes MTC, it will never have all the features that everybody would want. Which means that, for those who are seriously dissatisfied with MTC, which I can not imagine, there are two choices. Either get on the bus or get off the bus. If you just can't deal with the current inflexibility of the ruler position, or the lack of metric support, or whatever it might be, then the best thing is to save yourself from ongoing frustration by finding software that you like better. Or you can say, "I don't really like this or that in the program, but for a cutting and design program that costs less than $75, overall it is pretty good. So I'll just learn how it works and get used to it."

    I'm not trying to be flippant, or sarcastic, or mean in any way. I personally have been waiting for a significant time for a couple of features that haven't shown up. Yet. I'm ever hopeful. :) And while I am waiting I have found other ways to accomplish those tasks and I continue to be an evangelist for MTC. I think it is the best thing since sliced bread. An excellent program that does so many things so well, that the few things I think could be improved are insignificant for the most part. But that's just me. YMMV
  • Liz_ALiz_A Member Posts: 10,670
    @Gabe...you have elegantly and succinctly explained the whole history of MTC!!! I do sometimes wonder how people could ever imagine a less than $60 program to be able to do the things that a great than $600 program does!

    @grumman...so to understand our little most favourite program in the world, and how orientation works...for your Zing, the bottom right of the physical mat held as you would put it into the cutter, matches up to the top right of the virtual mat on the screen when the vm is in Landscape, so turn your head to the left to look at the screen and it all works out! Oh, that gives you a crick? OK, turn the mat to the left then. Or better yet, make the virtual mat Portrait. Problem solved.

    The only difference, since its a 12 x 12 mat, is that arrow is now at the top on the vm - and orientated as to how you put the mat into the cutter. The VM bottom right is the real mat bottom right. (By the way, the virtual mat in MTC was designed to work exactly the way mats work in a Circut...the change to Portrait only came when too many people had cricks in their necks. :)) )

    Does that help at all??
    Still using MTC but slowly migrating to SCAL. KNK cutters including the Force and Maxx Air continue to be my favourites. Fluent in other cutter languages.
  • Liz_ALiz_A Member Posts: 10,670
    PS @grumman - very well kept fact, unless you read the forum a lot, but you can use Inkscape to cut to your Zing.
    Still using MTC but slowly migrating to SCAL. KNK cutters including the Force and Maxx Air continue to be my favourites. Fluent in other cutter languages.
  • grummangrumman Member Posts: 11
    Thank you all for your replies. I completely understand what MTC is and how it is a steal for the money. I have figured out everything I need to know at this point and have asked KNK if they would share with me the machines full code subset so I can explore getting a really good working Signlab driver I can use as well as attempt to get VcarvePro to post code as well. I am aware of inkplot and the other (tuxplot?), but did not find specific discussions yet with full code examples.

    In the end, you can still put me down for manipulable rulers.... even the mats have the alternate options printed on them. Lots of uses for such a feature as obvious as to why everything else on the planet has this.

    I only have one more constructive criticism to which I will post a new topic for soon.

    Again, thank you everyone.
  • Liz_ALiz_A Member Posts: 10,670
    @grumman - you might want to contact Andy the programmer/developer for the code you are seeking. I am not sure, however, if his code is open source or not.
    Still using MTC but slowly migrating to SCAL. KNK cutters including the Force and Maxx Air continue to be my favourites. Fluent in other cutter languages.
  • SandyMcCSandyMcC Member Posts: 7,718
    KNK USA freely shares the SDK for the Zing. If you don't hear back from them in a day or two, let me know and I'll get it for you.
    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/
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