I’ve never owned (or even used) a cutter before, but I’ve been wanting to for years. I’ve finally saved up and researched and plan to get a 15″ Orbit, but I’m really unclear on the software situation.
I’ve used Adobe Photoshop for years and for most of my projects. One of the key things I will be doing is print-and-cut around images, so this is a make-or-break issue for me.
I see people talking about MTC vs. SCAL, but never about whether it is essential to have one of these. I will be doing all my work in Photoshop, so I’d like to avoid buying a second design program I don’t need.
What I can’t tell is whether one of these programs is actually necessary to either communicate with the cutter in the first place or to print/line up registration marks for cutting around a printed image.
Does the cutter come with basic cutting software I can use, or do I have to buy a full design program for it?
Sure Cuts a Lot is a required purchase if you don’t already own it. It’s an optional purchase in the ordering process to avoid double-charging existing users.
While Photoshop can create png/jpg images that you can use in print and cut projects, you’ll need SCAL import that image and create the necessary cut lines around your shapes. SCAL is also the software that controls the actual cutting, hence the requirement.
Don’t worry about the Pro version; the standard version is all you need.
Currently, SCAL is the only full-featured software that will cut to the Zing Orbit. There’s a program called Make The Cut that will also cut to the ZO using the older Zing Air Plugin, however you won’t be able to connect via Wi-Fi nor use the Print and Cut capability.
If you’ve not yet ordered your ZO, then SCAL only costs $47.99 when ordered with it.