Foison C24 Vinyl Cutter
Chris' Notes from getting it back up and running
For anyone interested, it's a Foison C24. There's a CD with drivers and although the instructions suggest it should, we couldn't get it working as a virtual printer. It is, however, a serial device, running at 38400 baud and there's plenty of vinyl cutting software out there that works with it (we used the demo version of SignCut for testing).
On powering up the machine kept sending the carriage all the way to the right and crashing the carriage as if the end stop limit switch wasn't working. If this happens to you, hit the "zero" button on the top of the machine (the one with the little target icon). This should stop the carriage moving. Take the cutter offline (hit the green button, and the LCD display will read offline and display X/Y co-ordinates). Jog the cutting head to where you want to start then hit the "zero" button again to make the current head position the origin. Press the green button to take the cutter "online" again.
That's really all there is to it. The SignCut website says it has plug-ins for Inkscape and Corel but we couldn't find them. I'll see if there's any alternative software out there for it - but we now have a working 24" wide vinyl cutter which can easily by turned into a large format plotter (by shoving a pen in the holder in place of a drag knife). It doesn't have a magic-eye for lining up with pre-printed paper (for cutting out shapes) but you can easily do this by eye (providing the paper is loaded squarely).