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Cricut Automatic Paper Cutter - Hackable?

Posted by jcabrer 
Most game consoles take about 1-2 years to crack, hackers have had two years since the thread started and still cannot crack it. LOL
The SCAL software does NOT change the firmware on the Cricut. But it only works on Cricut firmware v1.1 and v1.3 (Personal Cricut) and also works on v1.32 which is the current version. All you need is the Demo of Cricuts own software to upgrade the Cutter. Then SCAL works, no hacks, no firmware from a 3rd party.
Re: Cricut Automatic Paper Cutter - Hackable?
July 25, 2009 09:54PM
Quote
Andrea
I AM GLAD TO SEE THAT SOMEONE IS STILL READING THIS! I MYSELF DO NOT OWN THE CRICUT, BUT A GOOD FRIEND OF MINE DOES, AS I STATED EARLIER, I OWN THE CRAFT ROBO. I USE FREEWARE CALLED INKSCAPE TO HELP CREATE FILES AND CONVERT CLIPART INTO VECTOR BASED FILES SO THE CUTTER CAN CUT THEM.. I AM BY NO MEANS A COMPUTER WHIZ SO DONT KNOW MUCH OF WHAT I KNOW CAN HELP YOU. I DOWNLOADED THE FREE VERSION OF THE DESIGN STUDIO AND TRIED CONVERTING THE .CUT FILE INTO SOMETHING THAT INKSCAPE CAN READ (TIF, GIF, BMP, JPG) I CAN COVERT THE FILES BUT THEY ARE BLANK WHEN I OPEN THEM IN THE CONVERTED EXTENSION. I HAVE MY BROTHER WHO IS MUCH BETTER WITH COMPUTERS WOKING ON IT RIGHT NOW. I HAVE WRITTEN TO PROVO CRAFT AND ASKED THEM WHY THEY DO NOT MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR PEOPLE LIKE ME TO USE THE SOFTWARE(GREEDY I KNOW IS THE ANSWER,BUT ASKED ANYWAY) WILL BE CHECKING BACK TO SEE IF YOU HAVE ANY PROGRESS IN THE MATTER. I WILL BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO PURCHASE A CRICUT IF ANYONE CAN FIGURE OUT HOW TO GET THE DESIGN STUDIO TO WORK WITHOUT BUYING THE CARTRIDGES! GOOD LUCK AND I WILL BE OF ANY HELP I CAN!

Here's some advice for you:


FYI, I hate it when someone caps-locks. Not to be mean or anything, just don't do it.

Anyways, about the Cricut, if one used a fine-tip sharpie on a piece of unetched copper circuit board, one could etch a pattern/circuit. I would just use the Reprap Stepper Driver boards and the motherboard, though.
Re: Cricut Automatic Paper Cutter - Hackable?
July 26, 2009 03:50AM
WTF, someone delete this thread PLEASE!


Cameron

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Re: Cricut Automatic Paper Cutter - Hackable?
July 26, 2009 04:19AM
If this thread degrades into trash talking and bickering I'll take steps. Otherwise, it may be worth keeping around. The cricut is much like its vinyl cutter big brothers, and people use them in fablabs to make pcbs. (They cut out traces from adhesive-backed copper foil, peel away the waste coper, and then solder smd onto the copper.)
X-Ravin
Re: Cricut Automatic Paper Cutter - Hackable?
August 19, 2009 10:40AM
Well maybe I can grant some wishes for you soon. I'm a grad student in electrical engineering and my wife has a cricut on the way! If the USB port is an FTDI chip, and the Sure Cuts Alot software can send cut data via USB, then I should be able to intercept the outgoing data to the cricut and sniff out the cutting commands. Then I should be able to write a program that lets you control it however you want. I've sniffed data out of an FTDI device before, so hopefully this won't be to bad.
Flipper
Re: Cricut Automatic Paper Cutter - Hackable?
September 02, 2009 12:40PM
Can any of the Adobe programs send cut commands to the Cricut?
Sarah
Re: Cricut Automatic Paper Cutter - Hackable?
September 29, 2009 12:05PM
There is a program on www.surecutsalot.com that will allow you to hook the cricut up to your computer and cut any font you like. (there are tons of free fonts dowloadable from the internet) The program is about the same as 1 cricut cartridge so may be worth the investment.
I too am looking to repurpose (hacksmiling smiley. I was looking more like laser added or
I have scal and use it always.
I thought about sniffing the USB to see if gcode was the output.
I no longer have software for windows to do such.
Just a note: I bought the Cricut to do vinyl resist for sand blasting. I do that for a money making hobby.

I am very interested in hacking it and once it arrives I will send you what I can determine. I am a Systems Architect with a background in ECE. This looks like a good project for a sideline. I have ordered SCAL (Sure Cuts A Lot) and an extra cartridge. Mine didn't come with the Goerge Cart so I will make on of those ASAP.

There is a You-Tube video where someone took the whole thing apart as well as the cartridge. It looks as though there is a uprocessor on the board. More research into that will be forthcoming.

RAH
RAH, that would be very much appreciated. I am extremely unhappy with Sure Cuts A Lot, and would love an alternative to that.

Thanks in advance for all your efforts!
Re: Was: Cricut Automatic Paper Cutter - Hackable?
November 03, 2009 02:14AM
Any interest in doing up a vinyl cutting head to put on a RepRap? I'd assume it is doable, but I've never looked very hard at a vinyl cutter.
VDX
Re: Cricut Automatic Paper Cutter - Hackable?
November 03, 2009 03:36AM
... here are two images of a DIY vinyl-cutter head and the result - should be doable with the reprap too ...

Viktor
Attachments:
open | download - Schleppmesser.jpg (22.5 KB)
open | download - Folie.jpg (35.6 KB)
Re: Cricut Automatic Paper Cutter - Hackable?
November 03, 2009 10:36AM
Hi Victor,

Schleppmesser looks like its a stationary head i.e. it is not spun round.?

I gues that it must pivot so as to keep the blade in line with the direction of the cut ?


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VDX
Re: Cricut Automatic Paper Cutter - Hackable?
November 03, 2009 11:04AM
... it's a small knife rotating free in two ball-bearings in the middle of the holder.

Atached is another type with similar behaviour ...

Viktor
Attachments:
open | download - PICT1935.jpg (33.6 KB)
open | download - 00.JPG (116.7 KB)
Re: Cricut Automatic Paper Cutter - Hackable?
November 03, 2009 12:02PM
Re: Cricut Automatic Paper Cutter - Hackable?
November 04, 2009 02:19PM
As of this date SCAL works on firmware up to 2.34 on the Expression and the others for the cricut and cricut create.
Re: Cricut Automatic Paper Cutter - Hackable?
November 04, 2009 02:22PM
If you want to cut your teeth into something cricut wise get a hold of the Gypsy which is a portable design studio program and allows the linkage of cricut carts to it never having to load another cart in your cricut, a jukebox or use the desktop software Design Studio.

It is set that once you link your cartridges to the Gypsy you cannot link them to another Gypsy.

This prevents users sharing carts and loading them onto the Gypsy.
Many issues here.

I just got the Expressions Machine and 3 carts. Looking at them there is a JTAG interface that needs a 6 pin header soldered onto it. 1st task. There are also 2 extra pins there, probably data. I am looking to get the font data off the cart first then look to make a device that will just read the data off the cart.

SCAL has the ability to use TTF fonts not cart data. At least YET. I am looking to do that as well.

The Gypsy is VERY pricey. Around $300 that can be better spent going the route that I am trying to go.

I am looking for the JTAG cable/ICE and someone with more expertise then I have to assist with the debugging/reverse engineering.

More later.

RAH
I've made some headway on hacking the cricut via USB. I wrote a custom DLL to sniff out the commands coming out of SCAL. I've written a separate program which can duplicate the output of SCAL, but I'm having some trouble deciphering the actual commands to move the cutting head. I was hoping it would just be a simple x,y movement and I'd be able to figure out the packet structure. However any changes to the data and it seems to skip over that command.
I'm wondering if maybe it's calculating some kind of hash based on the position and sending that down the pipe. Anyways it'd be cool to hear if any of the previous posters have made any progress.
I'm gonna keep plugging away at it though, hopefully I'll make a breakthrough!
I recently picked up a cheap cricut personal cutter. The reason it was cheap is that after 2 or 3 cuts the power magnet stops working. Has anyone repaired one of the mother boards before? Appears to be J6 with a plain red/black wire that drives the magnet ( which still works fine with a 9v batt.)
I noticed a fair bit of sloppy soldering on the motherboard, eg not machine soldered. If there is any interest here I can post a few pics of the board.
serial to scal would be helpful. i downloaded the trial and it expired before i could use it of course. i already have design studio so i don't want to have to purchase yet another cutting program for the only project i need it for....
looknig for some help in repairing cricut create
Re: Cricut Automatic Paper Cutter - Hackable?
November 28, 2009 03:27AM
I have some dead Cricuts that I'm trying to give new life. Is it possible using jtag interface to find out if processor is dead. It does get a nice clean +5volts.
Re: Cricut Automatic Paper Cutter - Hackable?
November 29, 2009 03:40AM
Bdanyeur, any interest in designing a vinyl-cutting head to mount on a RepRap or dedicated vinyl cutting machine?
VDX
Re: Cricut Automatic Paper Cutter - Hackable?
November 29, 2009 11:52AM
Hi Sebastian,

... maybe this is a proper design for a DIY cutting head?

Viktor
Attachments:
open | download - Schleppmesser-Foto.jpg (33.6 KB)
open | download - Schleppmesser-Zeichnung.JPG (116.7 KB)
Re: Cricut Automatic Paper Cutter - Hackable?
December 02, 2009 09:56PM
Viktor,

It's probably perfect. What's the license on the design? And who's the author?
(I'd like to put it up on the wiki, if we can cite it.
VDX
Re: Cricut Automatic Paper Cutter - Hackable?
December 03, 2009 03:28AM
Hi Sebastien,

... it's a creation of one of our german CNC-folks - i try to ask him about property rights, but i think it's free ...

Viktor
VDX
Re: Cricut Automatic Paper Cutter - Hackable?
December 04, 2009 10:20AM
Hi Seabstien,

... i've got the answer - the design is free and you can use it as you want smileys with beer

For referencing you can mention the user "fanti" in the german CNC-forum "Peters CNC-Ecke"

Viktor
Re: Cricut Automatic Paper Cutter - Hackable?
December 05, 2009 03:41PM
Thanks Viktor.

I created the page "Vinyl_Cutter"
[objects.reprap.org]

I still need to upload the drawings, and I'll populate it with information as I get around to it.

There's obviously a lot of demand for small cutting machines, as this thread's view count and posting rate indicates.
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