Frequently Asked Questions

My USB connected cutter has communication problems with Windows XP Service Pack 2.

Download the latest Summa Cutter USB driver from our Support section. Unzip the files and update via Windows Control Panel, USB Driver for Summa Cutter.

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My USB connected cutter has communication problems with Windows Vista.

Download the latest Summa Cutter USB driver from our software pages. Unzip the files and update via Windows control panel the USB driver of the Summa Cutter.

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Where are the drivers for my Summa cutter?

Drivers for Summa cutters are included in most leading sign-making and cutting programs. Summa does not make or supply the drivers that are included with your software. If you cannot find a specific driver for your Summa cutter, other Summa cutter drivers should work. If not, please contact us so that we can offer recommendations based on your specific sign or cutting program.

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Can I share my cutter over a network?

Your network, due to its many variables and complex settings, is not something we, as a cutter maker, can support. However, we can suggest two methods for sharing your Summa cutter with multiple users:

  1. Your sign-making software may support cutter communications over a network. If so, your Summa cutter must be correctly configured in your software’s network options. Contact your software maker for more information.
  2. The Summa Cutter Control gives you the option of creating a Hot Folder. Files saved to the Hot Folder, which are a recognized plot file type such as .PLT, are automatically send to your cutter. By making the Hot Folder a shared folder on your network, other users in your company can plot to your Summa cutter by saving compatible plot files to the Hot Folder, provided the Summa Cutter Control program is actively running on the computer to which the cutter is attached.
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Does my cutter require routine maintenance?

Your cutter should be cleaned on regular basis. Regularly check the cutting head, keeping it free of any debris; you can do this by blowing it out with a can of compressed air. Next, and less frequently, you should clean your drive drum (also called grit rollers); this can be done using scraps of adhesive-back vinyl, with the adhesive side facing the drive drum. (this procedure is also outlined in your on-disc manual) Note: do not use anything abrasive to clean the rollers. It will damage the special coating, which is critical in preserving the diameter of the drive drum. Changes to the precise consistency of the drive drum diameter will result in poor tracking. Aside from regular cleaning, there is no set maintenance schedule. Simply use your best judgment on replacing consumable parts, such as blades, blade holders and platen protection strips.

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I have everything connected correctly but my cutter will not cut.

Different software programs communicate in different languages (cutter commands). The two languages we support are our own, Summa DM/PL, and the generic, HP-GL. Summa cutters are shipped in DM/PL mode, by default. If your cutter does not cut when files are sent, the most likely cause is software sending HP-GL plot data. Setting the cutter in HP-GL mode, or alternatively, selecting a specific Summa driver in your software’s plotter set-up, should solve the problem.

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My manual seems very brief and doesn’t cover all the cutter features.

The booklet that came with your SummaCut or SummaSign Pro cutter is a “quick start guide,” which is designed to get you up and running quickly. For more advanced features, a complete User Guide with detailed explanations and photos can be found on the Manuals & Drivers CD-ROM that came with your cutter. It can also be downloaded from the Support section of this Web site.

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Where is the Windows USB driver for my SummaCut cutter?

It is on the Manuals & Drivers CD-ROM that came with your cutter. With your cutter powered on, attach the USB cable. Windows should automatically recognize the cutter. (If not, restart your computer). An Add New Hardware wizard will appear. Simply follow the on-screen instructions. The driver can also be downloaded from the Support section of this Web site.

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How can I get more cutting area on the material I have loaded?

The physical cutting area is determined by the placement of the cutter’s pinch rollers. For proper tracking the pinch rollers should be placed at least 6 mm (1/4-in.) from the edge of your material. The roller itself also occupies approximately 6 mm, which means that about 12 to 13 mm (1/2-in.) of material on each side is needed to insure proper tracking. Therefore, you should assume that at least 25 mm (1 in.) of your material is unusable. So you’ll have approximately 975 cutable millimetres (39 in.) on a 1 metre (40 in.) wide roll, as an example.

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How do I run a longer Serial cable between my cutter and computer?

The serial cable that came with the cutter uses a unique configuration (also called a “pin out”). Therefore you cannot simply purchase a longer serial cable at a local computer supply store. You must extend your Summa cutter cable by purchasing a “strait-through, pin-to-pin serial cable.” Then connect the straight-through cable to your computer and the Summa serial cable between it and your cutter. Note: extending the cable length too far may result in data loss and drop out.

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How can I get new Firmware?

We dissuade upgrading firmware if your product is working fine as is. Nevertheless, new revisions can be downloaded free-of-charge from the Support section of this Web site.

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How can I get my cutter working on Macintosh OSX?

In order to work on Mac OSX, install the MacSign Cut version which is delivered with every new unit (see also: how can I get MacSign). MacSign includes the USB driver for Summa cutters. Do not use the USB driver downloadable from this site. It is only for lower Mac OS-versions. The use of MacSign is fully described in the users guide (see document section). Summa Cutter Control for Macintosh can not be used on Mac OSX. For Firmware upgrades use the ‘file transmit tool for OSX’ in the software section. Of course Summa Cutters are also compatible with other cutting programs. Contact your software supplier for more info.

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Printer frequently asked questions:

If you can’t find an answer to your questions listed here, please email so that we can respond to you personally.

My USB connected Summa printer has communication problems with Windows Vista.

Download the latest Summa Cutter USB driver from our Support section Unzip the files and update via Windows control panel the USB driver of the Summa printer.

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What is the proper file resolution for best output?

For most large format prints, sizing your bitmap images to 100 dpi at output size delivers the best results. But that is not to say that a small bitmap image can be blown up to many times its original size and still look good. Good printing results require that the graphics is created at or close to its final output size. If creating a file in Photoshop, for example, create it at your output size and 100 dpi. If scanning an image, or taking a digital photo, also keep in mind the size at which it will be printed. Scaling an image up, and even down, reduces image quality and sharpness.

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How often do Summa printers require maintenance?

Summa DC4, Summa DC4sx, Summa DC3 Plus, Summa DC3, Summa DC2, DuraChrome and SummaChrome do not require scheduled maintenance. Most parts have been in real world conditions for many years without a maintenance requirement. Routine cleaning of the internal print and media feed areas with a vacuum is suggested to reduce the chance of dust contaminating your media. Cleaning the printhead with denatured alcohol and a lint-free cloth is required for SummaChrome; the same technique is recommended for DuraChrome, Summa DC2, Summa DC3, Summa DC3 Plus, Summa DC4 and DC4sx in the event their automated printhead cleaning routine is not sufficient due to excessive printhead build-up.

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What color mode is best when printing?

Printing in 3-color (CMY) is most economical. However, 4-color CMYK printing tends to offer more accurate color and subtle black areas. To have the best color accuracy it is recommended to determine to color of vector objects by using the CMY(K) color charts. For bitmap images it is recommended to use the respective CMY or CMYK color profiles.

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How long do resin cartridges last?

On Summa DC3 and Summa DC3 Plus, a single roll prints a minimum of 33 square metres (369 square ft.). DuraChrome and Summa DC2 two-roll refill packs print a minimum of 28 square metres (316 square ft.) when printing with process colors; spot colors vary in length. SummaChrome ribbons print a minimum of 25 square metres (273 square ft.) when printing with process colors; spot colors print 23 square metres (252 square ft). Please note that these specifications are based on 100% coverage. All Summa printers utilize ribbon-saving methods, in which the print head skips portions where a specific color is not required. Thus, you should anticipate even greater square metre coverage per ribbon refill, depending on your image.

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Is a chart available for color matching?

Yes. Go to the Color Charts section to download a printable chart that can be scaled to any size. By printing the charts with your own equipment, you are assured of offering your customers repeatable and accurate colors without wasting time and materials on trial runs.

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What color mode is best when creating an image?

For vector images is CMYK (CMY) recommended (Selecting vector fill colours from the charts we provide in the Colour Charts section of this website is by far the best way to print vibrant, saturated and repeatable colours). For spot colours, colour mode is irrelevant. For bitmap images it is recommended to use the respective CMY or CMYK colour profiles.

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How can I get new Firmware?

We dissuade to upgrade firmware if your product is working fine as is. Nevertheless, new revisions can be downloaded free-of-charge from the Support section of this Web site.

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Sofware frequently asked questions:

If you can’t find an answer to your questions listed here, please email so that we can respond to you personally.

My letters have lines going through them when I cut from WinCut 3.0 from within CorelDRAW.

Export your CorelDRAW file in an .AI (Adobe Illustrator) format with the following settings in the export options window: version 7 checked on; destination to PC checked on, and; simulate complex filled curves checked off. Doing this only once changes the default .AI export options, and in turn will make the WinCut macro perform correctly. If for any reason the settings in the CorelDRAW .AI export should change in the future, simply redo this procedure.

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I connected my SummaCut via USB but the red “active connection” light next to the port won’t stay on.

Unplug USB cable from your cutter. With your computer on, place the Summa Manuals & Drivers disc into your CD drive. (If the Auto Start window displays automatically, close the window) Turn the cutter on. Then reattach the USB cable. Windows will auto-recognize the cutter and start the “Add Remove Hardware” Wizard. Just follow the simple on-screen instructions to complete the plug-and-play USB installation.

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When installing my software in Windows XP, I get the warning message “This product has not passed Windows testing.”

Choose “Continue Anyway”. Our software has been tested internally and no Windows XP problems have yet to be reported.

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How will I know if new software is available?

New versions of the software can be downloaded from the Support section of this Web site.

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Why does my speed and pressure change when I send a job to the cutter?

Many sign and cutting programs can include speed and pressure settings in the plot data. That will override the current settings in the cutter. You can either disable the speed and pressure settings in your software, or simply be sure that the speed and pressure setting being sent by your software are the same as the settings you wish to use for that specific job.

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MacSign doesn’t work anymore?

MacSign needs to be registered within 30 days. Go to Softeamweb.com. First register yourself as a user. Once registered, go back to Softeamweb.com, login and register your license. Note: the licence can only be registered if your Summa Cutter originally included a MacSign Cut version. The licence will not be accepted if an invalid serialnumber is used.

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Where can I find Macsign?

MacSign Cut is included with every new Summa Cutter. In case of loss or damage, go to Softeamweb.com. First register yourself as a user. Once registered, go back to Softeamweb.com, login and go to the download section where you can find MacSign Cut for Summa users. See also MacSign Registration.

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