Zing Orbit Settings? HELP


This topic contains 24 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Sandy 4 months, 3 weeks ago.

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    I’ve got my Zing Orbit and now I feel the pain of setup process. I followed all the documentation regarding the blade height, the blade holder spacing (the post-it thing), everything that can be read has been read (whole Chapter 2 read and read again for few times ), seen and noted but still can’t make a clean cut. I must agree that I came from a simple Silhouette that can cut my cardstock like butter. My Zing on the other hand just tear the cardstock like doesn’t care no matter how much I try too get a balanced ‘distance’. It’s true that does wonderful drawing with the included pen but that was not my intended use for this machine.

    I do believe that the post-it setup it’s a bit naive. They may have different height depends on the manufacturer and even the country you’re in. Some simple plastic spacer are not that expensive for this kind of machine (probably will add few cent on overall production costs …just saying) For example 10 post-it’s here means 1mm (0.1/post-it) and so on… 1.5mm, 2mm… etc.

    I’ve gone so far that I measured my Silhouette Cameo blade distance to match with the Zing. Yes I’ve used an caliper so the distance was right. But nope.. still tearing the paper, cardstock, everything.

    So .. considering this should be an ‘pro’ grade machine the setup it’s way way tooooo empiric. FRUSTRATED. Oh yes. I’m have lot of experience but this machine looks like have his own mind. To find the perfect balance to the sensitive blade height, holder distance and machine pressure it’s to much a ‘guessing’ game … Disappointed … YES .. and that’s capital YES.

    My Process: I’ve set the Red bLade offset to 0.25 , Overcut 1.00, one cut. Red blade height set to cut thru one sheet of cardstock without noticeable cut traces underneath, followed the video 🙂 and seems logic. What I want to cut -> Astrobright Cardstock 65lb (widely available) Settings I’ve tried: Presure from 20 till 130 (in 5 incremens) speed (from 1 to 15 2-3 increments) and almost all reasonable variations with 10, 15, 20 and 25 pot-it notes spacers. That’s a lot of testing but still no success. Oh.. almost forget, second blade swap to be sure first it’s not chipped. Blue blade used in few tests also.

    So I want to start from scratch ..

    Everything reseted. Just wait for any input. Till then I just can’t stop thinking why the KNK Team did not try do build any kind of system other than ‘guessing’ the settings.


    With all respect, Someone who just want to love this machine ….



    In the first section of Chapter 2, I refer to a flow chart in the Appendix that will help you optimize settings.  It’s the method that I’ve been using for years and it works really easily. Try that first because it’s based on starting with convervative settings and increasing the blade exposure and the pressure until you get a clean cut and then observing the mat below for evidence of the blade cutting too deeply. Also, remember that your material should be pressed down well to a clean and sticky mat.

    A few settings to NOT change while testing:  no need to change the Blade Offset, the Overcut, or the number of post it notes.  Note that the Post It notes is just to give you some punch room above the material so that the blade isn’t too close or too high… but it doesn’t have to be, for example, 17 vs 15 vs 13 or whatever. There’s a wide range you can use… just be consistent once you pick what you want to use.

    Post back after you give the flow chart a try and feel free to ask for clarifications regarding the chart, as needed.



    Hi Sandy,

    First thank you for your fast reply. I really appreciate your input.

    I will post tomorrow my tests for different settings successfully or not. Photos and screenshots will be attached as well. I’ve already tried without success an ‘quick/short’ version of your chart but I’ll start from scratch tomorrow … patience and perseverance it’s the key for success 🙂



    Unless it’s a difficult material, I can knock out my settings in usually 3 tests. So, don’t be disheartened by the fact it seems complicated. It just takes some practice and then it suddenly seems quite easy to “get there.”  I will check back later to see if you’ve posted.



    Hi Sandy,

    Here’s my ‘journey’ in testing the Zing Orbit.
    So … Started from scratch. I’ve pre-cut some squares from the Astrobright Cardstock 65lb ~ 6pieces from letter size.
    The blade was exposed and made a clean cut without cutting the one underneath.
    Start with recommended settings for all purpose cardstock.
    Here’s my journey in pictures from 0 to zero.

    Note: tired writing by hand, shortened pressure to (1) speed to (2) and blade exposure to (3)

    Results? Not something that I can use. I’m confused and disappointed. Maybe my machine is broken .. dunno but setting a Zing should not be rocket science. Just saying.

    Attached pictures taken in order…

    Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 5.39.13 PM

    Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 5.06.26 PM




    Pictures intended to be in order but the drag&drop upload messed up…

    Anyway .. Not even one cut that goes thru. None. Nada. Keiner. никто.

    Picture at the end show how much blade exposure I end up having. One thing that I noticed. If I increase the pressure the cut blade just drag the cardstock and tearing is assured. Lower pressure not going anywhere as will not gonna cut thru the material. (tested as well)


    Marci Pie

    I am a new Orbit owner (Christmas gift). I too was having problems cutting cardstock and I actually changed to the blue blade and was able to get successful cuts.

    I am still toggling in deciding if I am going to sell this machine. I think this machine is too much for me and the learning curve is practically vertical. I am very stubborn and want to “master” this machine and love it like everyone else.

    Before I go back to my Silhouette I am determined to try everything. So I have ordered the Sizzix eclipse holder to use with Roland blades to make it easier. I read this on the Make the Cut Forum. This holder has settings so I just want to make life simple for the repetitive vinyl cuts that I do.

    I do know that Sandy is the best at helping us newbies and has helped me on the MTC site.

    I am waiting to learn from her response here as well. Please share the outcomes as this helps other too.



    Sorry to hear another ‘unhappy’ user story.

    I also consider to return the machine or sell it, loosing some money, and not being able to do a test for possible buyer. This is not acceptable for a machine that frankly said it’s not that cheap. Blue blade (from my understanding) should be used for thicker materials. Card-stock it’s not thick, or heavy in cutting for the blue blade but I’ll give it a try. Card-stock also should be an easy to cut material and that’s why were my first choice in test material ‘saga’. I’ve choose this machine for the advertised specification but I don’t even try to go with an more difficult materials as the machine for now don’t want to make a clean cut even on regular paper (Yeah tried just to make sure) DISAPPOINTED!!  REALLY DISAPPOINTED!! Marketing it’s what seller sell not the actual product, and for the few that are not lucky (maybe the machine it’s faulty or dunno) SILENCE it’s the word that you get in reply. As previously stated cutting card-stock with Zing Orbit should not be ROCKET SCIENCE. Vertical leaning curve? Yes agree! And that mean each experience depend on karma/date of birth/location/user height/car brand/hair colour multiplied with some random value from 1 to trillion. When something it’s not replicable 100% then you don’t have a method, and the KNK Zing Orbit for sure doesn’t have one. Just try and don’t get frustrated like I’ve buy an bad tasting sandwich and I can trow it without feeling the bad taste.

    One side note for Sure-Cuts-A-Lot .. it’s not user friendly to fiddle the little slider dot in order to get a precise value on Pressure/Speed. An simple input for desired value would be useful(some other settings have that) . I’m an designer/programer, don’t want to emphases my skills here, and I KNOW that this is an MISTAKE. (Or they don’t care)



    Hello again,

    Did more tests on Zing Orbit. I’ve tried the a new KNK blue blade without success. I gone even further and tried a new blade from my Silhouette Cameo. The cut were sharp but no matter what changes I do in Pressure/Speed settings will not do an even cut. Looks like the head it’s not applying constant pressure . I’ve check the screws to be sure that the blade is not slipping. Nope .. everything looks tight and correct. I may have a faulty machine. Contacted support and wait for their input.

    Attached image with Silhouette blade cuts. Pressure 50, 110 & 160 and speed 15 & 8. Blade distance set to 15 post-its. Silhouette blade on 7 (will cut the card-board smooth on my Silhouette Cameo). Mention again this is a new blade same as the KNK blue blade. No tearing .. just cuts that does not go thru on parts of the arrow. If constant pressure then this should not happen. Also I’m in doubt with KNK the blades quality. They should cut without tearing same as the Silhouette.





    Someoneonline, you have way too much blade exposed. Once the blade can penetrate the material, you never want to increase it. Only increase the pressure. Also, with a material as easy-to-cut as 65 lb cardstock, you only don’t need to be adjusting speed in an effort to improve the cut. Just leave it at like 10 or 15 throughout the testing. Later on, once you’re ready to do a project, you may find that 10 works better for intricate cuts.

    Also, don’t adjust the Overcut setting. That also has nothing to do with getting a clean cut. That setting only needs to be changed if you’re cutting something like, say, a 10″ circle and you find that there’s a tiny gap between the start and the end of the path.

    Since you have a Cameo, do the EXACT same cut… using the EXACT same cardstock to verify that your cut is perfect. Then, look at how much of the blade tip is exposed on your Cameo blade holder. That’s how much you also need on the Zing Orbit holder.  The exposure isn’t something that varies from one brand to the next.  You might be able to get away with a tiny bit less because that’s the value in owning an infinite blade holder… you can set the blade to not cut into the mat, thus increasing the life of your blade holder and your mat.

    Also, make sure your cardstock is stuck down really well. By lifting each test cut, you risk pulling the cardstock away from the mat which can result in inconsistent cutting, as well.

    I wish I could just beam myself into your home and help you in person.  I thought the steps in the flow chart were sufficient to help anyone with optimizing settings. It really is just a case of increase pressure, increase blade exposure until you get a cut that you can pull of the mat. Then examine the mat to see if there are cut lines. If there are, then back off on the blade exposure and cut again. I never suggest changing the speed or the Overcut in that process… only exposure and pressure.  Now, if the cardstock has been exposed to a lot of humidity then the result might be the rough corners I see in some of your arrows.  That’s another reason I’d like to see the same exact sheet of cardstock cut with both the Cameo and the Zing Orbit.  You should definitel be able to get identical cuts from both machines given the same circumstances.



    Hi Sandy,


    Did not get time to do the test earlier than today.

    Here’s my findings:

    1. Inconsistent pressure on cutting. (Above comment/& picture). The cutting blade should give a constant cut when pressed and as you can see from the pictures it’s looks like it’s loosing pressure at the end of the cut. The arrow corners were lifted to show that the cut goes thru then loose the depth. Also the adhesion on the mat it’s perfect. Did not made any more intensive tests but the result it’s not looks good.


    2. There few screws that I tighten (on cutting head) that were loose .. I mean loose. I did not expected that. Maybe the one that assemble it forget some of them.

    3. The resolution adjustment it’s huge. 1 – 0.88. Considering combination between stepper motor and belt this error value is huge. I cannot rely on a machine that came straight from fabric with this huge misalignment. I cannot know what else is not in place or why this difference. (see attached pictures). I understand there’s some adjustments the should be made in order to get a perfect square but this just straight of production line it’s inadmissible. Considering that the resolution have a round value 1 inch = 1.125 inch that may mean that something else is wrong with the machine, not just an adjustment on belt tension.


    4. My finding after hours and hours of testing and frustrations it’s that the first holder it’s not ok. Fortunately I’ve had another one and everything changed. I cannot believe that for something that suppose to be more or less non consumable item this came straight out from factory.  Also in my ‘test saga’ I’ve used the same paper/card stock and my Silhouette cut in thru flawlessly.

    Silhouette Cameo with default setting for card stock 65lb.


    Zing tests (1st blade holder) Blade holder adjusted at 15 post-it notes.







    5. The included power cable stop working, or maybe I should say that work randomly, after few days .. I’ve found this issue when I’ve moved the machine to a different spot. Changed the cable and everything it’s ok now. I’ve tested the cable continuity and for my surprise fount that ~30cm from plug if I bend slightly (barely bending) will loose continuity. Not a big deal .. but common …. COMMON. That was cherry on top ….

    Contacted support five days ago .. finally someone replied today, but I’m afraid that at this pace we will find a solution right when the machine will be close to out of warranty and then BAM!! no more caring…




    First, the cutting resolution settings under Cutter>Cutter Settings should be VERY close to 1.000. The range should be between 0.995 – 1.005.  So, please change those to 1.000 again and then repeat the instructions in Section 2.08. If you make changes, then immediately check your large square again.  You want to make sure you’re able to get the correct sizing after changing those numbers.  Or you can leave them at 1.000 each because it usually doesn’t matter unless someone is doing very precise print and cut applications.

    Also, looking at your cutting mat, it appears you’ve been using way too much blade. I mentioned this before I emphasize it again. The amount of blade showing should be the tiniest bit. I just did a quick test cutting 110 lb Index (74 lb cover) Georgia Pacific cardstock. Here’s my blade exposure: Blade Needed for Cardstock

    Again, since the blade can penetrate the cardstock with this much exposure, then just increasing pressure is the only setting change that is needed to get a nice clean cut.





    Hi Sandy,

    First. The 1.000 x 1.000 resolution will cut a square to 1.000 x1.125. (see pictures from my previous post with 3×3 and 2×2 inch square on 1.000 resolution). If I change resolution to compensate the misalignment then 1.000×0.8888 will cut an 1x1inch square, which is way far from 0.995-1.005 suggested resolution. My guess is this is an mechanical problem. This issue should be found on Quality Control if any… I’ve reseted everything  and also I’ve even reflashed/upgraded the firmware. No changes, the problem persist. I did not observed this issue as my test were stars and arrows and not pay attention to accuracy, if this big error can be named accuracy. Test cuts I did before realizing that the holder was the one that caused the problems were just something I cannot judge/look at.

    Second. The cut mat in the pictures it’s an old Silhouette mat that I’ve use for testing. The blade for the test cuts did not make any marks on the mat. The blade exposed in the picture from previous post from my Blue Blade Holder it’s just to prove that the cut blade it’s not chipped. Now I can make a clean cut with a another Zing holder. Luckily, in my initial order I’ve added the Yellow Holder to have a spare. Both holders are NEW. BRAND NEW! Same for blades. Same for Orbit. They are only used for this tests. Please, don’t tell me that the mat for Zing Orbit should be the 15×15 one that came with the Orbit. There’s a difference in thickness between 15×15 and 14×24 sold both for Zing Orbit I’ve ordered that as well and I did noticed the difference. The KNK 14×24 have almost the same thickness as Silhouette 12×24 mats. Anyways the thickness of the mat should only affect the ‘post-it spacer’. Also, I’ve made tests with the Zing 15×15 mat… but for safety and while I supposed to get to know the machine an old mat should work.

    I wait on reply on my support ticket from KNK USA to see how we can solve this. If you’d like we can schedule an Skype Video session (or any other remote/support with screen sharing) to convince yourself.





    Just wanted to add some pictures after SCAL cutter setting reseted to default values 1.000 x 1.000 resolution. Square 1 and 2 inch and 1 and 2 inch circle. Results: 2×2.25 square and an eclipse 🙂 Also one picture to show the blade exposure for this cut, which in my honest opinion it’s good, no marks on double fold test.

    Judge yourself.

    Screen Shot 2018-06-21 at 10.09.04 AMScreen Shot 2018-06-21 at 10.09.00 AMScreen Shot 2018-06-21 at 10.09.23 AM







    I sincerely apologize if I offended you. It was never my intention.

    Yes, if your resolution test square is that far off, then that suggests to me there is a problem somewhere.  Chad is contacting the factory engineer to find out what would cause that to happen.

    The KNK mats do range in thickness and we have customers who successfully use other brands or even make their own. A change in thickness can change the pressure required to cut a particular material but as long as the mat is sticky enough to keep the material stabilized, it shouldn’t affect the cutting.

    Since you are now in contact with Chad, I’ll let him take over helping.

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