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FC7000-75 Mark Scan Error

Got yet another question, when I try to do a contour cut, I align the knife the way it says to in the manual, set new origin mark and click send, then feeds out and head goes side to sid elooking at the marks, then it says "mark scan error"
I got it to work once but I am having problems now, any suggestions?
Thanks for all your help guys!


It's better to have two hands than one glove.

What software are you using?

What registration mark type? You want to use type 2 if you can.

Does it read any marks at all? If so, on which mark does it fail? Do you have sufficient space betwen the pinch rollers and the marks?

If you're using Flexi, it seems to have some problems from time to time dealing with the auto registration marks. Very frustrating since if it can't read the marks you can't save the print. You're basically SOL. From your description you're doing it exactly right, locate the blade within the legs of the first mark, set the origin, and dismiss the dialog. You have to set the origin or it will never work.

I gave up on using the auto registration with flexi. I use either the 4 point manual marks since the FC7000 has a built in light pointer or do it this way, mostly I do it this way...

This sounds really complicated but once you do it a couple of times, it becomes a no-brainer.

Set the plotter up for mark type 2 with a size of 1/2" . Set Axis/RMS->Auto Reg. Mark->Distance Adjust->OFF.

Then create a set of registration marks where the line are .013". Do this by constructing a rectangle .5" x .013". Duplicate it, rotate the duplicate, select both rectangles and aligh left edge and bottom. Weld them and separate the weld. Not you have the lower left registration mark. Make three copies and rotate each copy such the you have a mark for each corner. Save the file, you can import it into subsequent jobs and re-use the marks.

Ok, now draw a rectangle around your print. Try to make it an integer number of inches wide and high, or at least a sane height and width. Position each registration mark in its appropriate corner. Set the fill of this rectangle to 'no fill' or 'white', depending.

Now seperate your contour cut line or lines, select them and do Arrange->Contour Cut->Release Contour Cut for all of them.

Now print the job and the registration marks. Don't print the contour cut lines.

Now load the print into the plotter and press Axis/RMS->Auto. The plotter will read each mark, excruciatingly slowly, and pause on the 4th mark, the upper left one. The display will show what the plotter things is the distance between the marks, if it's not quite right which it won;t be, use the up and down arrow keys to set the distances whic should be excatly the same as the size of the bounding rectangle you drew way back when. That's why you want it to be some sane dimention. Corret the length and width as necessary and press enter. The plotter will go to the bottom right mark and wait there.

Now send the registration marks and all of the contour lines to the plotter via the Cut/Plot NOT the Rip and Print. In the cut plot hake sure that the panel is set with 0 margins and no weed border. Very important, 0 margins and no weed border. Select 'Send all colors'.

Send the job and the plotter should cut all of the contours as well as each of the 4 registration marks.

You can get clever and set the fill for all of the contour cuts to white and select 'Seperate Jobs, Same Panel' on the Cut/Plot Advanced tab, make sure the white is cutting first, then the plotter will cut just the white and not the registration marks. I kind of like to cut the marks, it tells me just how accurate everything turned out. Your choice.

If you're nervous, change the plotter to use the built in light pen and watch it to see if it's going to cut ok. If it's OK then do it all again and use the blade. At least when you do it this way you can retry if it gets screwed up.

As I said, it sounds really complicated and horrible, but once you do it a couple of times, it'll become second nature to you.
HI Bob, I tryed doing what you told me to do, but I must be missing something, when you say type 2 I am good, but you say size of 1/2" I am lost about that. So if I have printed something with auto reg marks, I will not be able to contour cut these items with your set up? And I know nothing about the light pen. I think I have thought to hard today on this, my head is spinning and I can not even think strait about anything!!

Howard Keiper

New Member
You'll need at least an inch between th pinch roller and the reg mark.
You'll need to be in GPGL command mode
Depending on the version of Flexi, it will configure for Graphtec type 2 marks automatically.
If you're using ONYX you don't have to establish Origin after initialization...in fact, you shouldn't.

You paid for the convenience of RMS, use it. The exception would be if you're attempting a countour cut on reflective. RMS won't work with reflectives.

Howard Keiper

New Member
Actually, I think I may be wrong about needing to be in GPGL mode. That is so if you're using Cutting Master or Quick cut. Try it anyway, it's easy to do.


It's better to have two hands than one glove.
Ok, heres a copy, with dimensions, of the reg mark I was talking about. The width of each leg wants to be .013". You put one of these in each corner of the rectangle that bounds your print. They MUST be square with each other.

The light pen is easy, try this...

Load some media, any media.

Select, say, condition 2 or whatever condition you want to use.

Press the Conditions key

Press the F4, Offset, key

Press either the left or right arrow until the pen says 'light point'. It should start saying something like 'CB09Ux' which is the standard blue pen holder blade.

Press Enter.

Now that condition number is set to use the light point instead of the blade. You can select that condition to use anytime you wnat to use the light point instead of the blade.

If the software fails to detect the auto reg mark that is printed you're pretty much out of luck. There is a way to save it if and only if you know EXACTLY the size of the rectangle of which each reg mark is a corner. Other than that, there is no way whatsoever to salvage a job that craps out reading the auto reg marks.

Alternatively, you can specify to use the 4 point registration marks and manually set all 4 corners. On the Rip and Print Advanced tab invoke the 'Contour' button and select '4 point' from the menu of registration mark types. It should be the first one on the list. This will print a little bombsight looking thing at each corner of the print. When you load the print in the plotter to cut the contour job and send the job to the plotter it will ask you if you want to do interactive or digitize. Chose digitize [bombsight]. It will ask you if you want to use the light point, select 'Yes'. with the plotter's arrow keys move the media and the carriage until the light point is dead nuts centered on reg mark #1 [they're numbered 1 thru 4]. When you get it where you want it, press Enter or whatever its called on the dialog on the computer NOT on the plotter. The software will move to where it thinks mark #2 is. Using the plotter's arrow keys you move thing until the light point is smack dead center on mark #2, 'Enter' on the dialog once more. Ditto for #3, adn #4. Then the software will tell you to replace the light pointer or something like that, just select whatever means 'Continue' on that dialog, you don't have to physically change a thing, the machine will use whatever condition you've selected. The plotter will take off merrily cutting the contours. If you were accurate in your positioning, it will be right on the money. Hint: Set the disposition of the cut job to 'hold' instead of 'delete'. Then, if you should need to restart, like you wanted to select the light pen to see if all was correct, you can resend the job using the blade when you're statisfied with the setup. You'll have to re-register the job every time, that's the penalty for uncertainty.

But, back to doing it manually...

What you're doing is forcing the print to be located between the registration marks that you manually created. You use the plotter's, NOT the software's, automatic regstration mark sensing apparatus to let the machine set and deskew it's own plot area from the marks you printed. Once it does that the origin should be right at the bottom right point of the bottom right registration mark. Once that's done, it really doesn't matter about the other three registration marks, everything will be relative to the origin. The you send the contour lines as a plain old cut job. If the print is properly registered and and the bottom right reg mark on the print is the bottom-most and right-most object on the cut, the contour will cut perfectly. That's why you want to set a 0 margin for the panel as well as set the location of the cut to be the right side, not in the middle, not moved either up or to the left.

I do this all the time, most every day, and since I went to this method I've never had to toss a print away. It takes a little more forethought to set the job up for this sort of manual registration, but you never lose.

If any or all of this is still not clear I understand, this is one of those things that it's far easier to do that to tell someone how to do. If you like, PM me and I'll tell you how to get hold of me and I'll try to talk you down.


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Howard Keiper

New Member
The best way to solve the problem is to call Graphtec Tech Support and get another pair of eyes on the situation. The RMS feature works very, very well. You're probably looking at a procedural error, not a software or hardware malfunction. Tech support # is: 888 318 3247. You may find that the most exasperating part of solving the problem is getting tech support...but be patient, the techs are brialliant.


It's better to have two hands than one glove.
Howard Keiper said:
The best way to solve the problem is to call Graphtec Tech Support and get another pair of eyes on the situation. The RMS feature works very, very well. You're probably looking at a procedural error, not a software or hardware malfunction. Tech support # is: 888 318 3247. You may find that the most exasperating part of solving the problem is getting tech support...but be patient, the techs are brialliant.

You're absolutely correct, the Graphtec ARMS works incredibly well. But Flexi has problems with it, that's why it's quite common to be unable to register a print created with Flexi. The anomaly seems to be directly proportional to the length of the print. Anything over 3 or 4 feet stands a real good chance of erroring out on the registration. Flexi doesn't seem to be able to reliably drive to the second, third, and fourth marks. Call for support on this and you'll end up in the center of a giant finger-pointing match between Scanvec and Graphtec.

Myself and at least one large shop in the area that's also a Roland, Mutoh, and Flexi distributor have pretty much given up on doing it that way. We either use the 4 point marks and bombsight, or engineer our own registration and contours.

Howard Keiper

New Member
If you have the latest version of Flexi (7.6 something or other) and have v1.4 or better in your 7000, then you shouldn't have any difficulty with print-cut at all.
But Bob is right in that the manual technique is good to know in those situations where RMS (or ARMS) won't work...Reflectives fake out the sensors, that see-through material with all the little holes doesn'twork either, and some clear laminates seem to be troublesome.
Which method to use, light source or Loupe is usually dictated by the width of the material and the desired accuracy. The loupe...with crosshairs and an $80 price tag...is by far the most accurate, but unless you've got arms like an orangutan you won't be able to see and operate on points 3 & 4 at the same time; then the light source is the only way to go, but is not particularly accurate.

But accuracy is a sometimes thing anyway over lengths of 12 feet or more, in my estimation. It strikes me that applying corrective procedures which involve linear distance adjustments in both axes to media that's been distorted by the printing process doesn't make much sense. Distortion, by definition, is not linear. You can get much better and faster results by placing reg marks around smaller segments of the overall graphic.
In any case, use tech support or, as has been suggested, let your dealer walk you through it.
Well I have got it to notice all the reg marks automatically, but only when it has about a 1.5 " margin between pinch roller and reg mark, I about to print a peice about 12' long and 21" wide and I need 4 of them so I will see.
Bob & Howard I really want to thank you, for your guys help, I hope there is something I can help you all with sometime.

Howard Keiper

New Member
I never did learn for sure if you were using Fexi. If so, besure to use "Graphtec Auto Type Two" in your set up.
Be sure you have 1.5 -2 inch clearance between the reg mark and the pinch roller.
Flexi will tell you what to do from there. However if the sensor does not aquire the 1st mark, put the knife about 1/8" or so to the right and down from it.
If THAT fails, clear the NOVRAM (turn off the machine, hold the UP arrow while restarting), Choose HPGL, INCHES, and try again.

Neal Baessler

New Member
I can help you with your problem. I hope i am not too late. Bob made the statement above "Anything over 3 or 4 feet stands a real good chance of erroring out on the registration. Flexi doesn't seem to be able to reliably drive to the second, third, and fourth marks. Call for support on this and you'll end up in the center of a giant finger-pointing match between Scanvec and Graphtec."

He is right ... once you go beyond 3 or 4 feet there is a likely chance that the sensor will not pickup the second point giving a "Scan Mark Error" ... but this is neither the software nor the cutter issue (although this helps me with future changes in the firmware and software).What is happening is the media is shrinking or expanding to the point where the length distance between the 1st and 2nd mark distance is off from the original intended distance. Prior to the scan the software will send the intended distance (in the test I did it was 67" ... there is no way you can obtain this since Flexi does not publish it in the software). It sends this data over to the plotter where the plotter, after scanning the first mark, will move 67" from the first mark and start scanning the second mark. If there is a considerable amount of shrinkage (or expansion) the mark will not be at 67" but at a shorter distance (once again, in my case 66.1") and thus, the sensor bypasses the 2nd mark before it starts searching resulting in the dreaded "Scan Mark Error".

Production Manager for both FlexiSign and PhotoPrint has an menu option called "“Output Size Compensation” (Setup>Output Size Compensation). What this feature is for is to make sure that your printer will print the exact size it is suppose to. This will increase the accuracy of your prints but, more importantly, this will create less havoc when contour cutting a printed image. It is simple to use and takes relatively little time. You enter in the distance you want to check, click 'TEST PRINT'. After it print you measure the lenght on the line and enter it under "MEASURED SIZE". Make sure "Enable output size compensation" is checked (If you no longer need the compensation you again un-check this box). NOTE: Before measuring, make sure you lamination or any other process after printing is done so that the compesation is correct.

Print the job and then contour cut. Once I discovered this feature everything fell into place.


It's better to have two hands than one glove.
Hah. I experience this error and my size compensation is right on the money. Or as near as I can determine with manual measurement. Moreover, when I use my own manual registration marks the plotter detects them within 2 or 3 1/100's of an inch of right where they're supposed to be. I know this because the plotter reports the distance it measured and asks that I correct these to the proper measurements if necessary. If the cause is as you state then just what, exactly, are the limits of deviation below which the marks will be detected and above which it will fail? Not only in length but in angle? The must be minute beyond the ability to manually cope with them.

The problem is easily solved. By Flexi. They need to build in a recovery mechanism. Right now the software does not allow for failure. At cut time you get a dialog telling you to set the pen to the mark and set the origin. The only option on this dialog is 'continue' or words to that effect. You invoke the only option you have and the plotter is directed to read the marks. There is no way to say 'Whoa there, it didn't read the marks, let me try again". Whether the marks are successully read or not, the software sends the cut to the plotter and the job is done as far as it's concerned.

What needs to happen is Flexi needs to pause with another dialog that has three, or better four options: "All is ok, continue", "the marks weren't read, let me try again", "the marks can't be read, lets convert to manual mode and use the marks with the Axis/RMS options on the plotter", or "let's cancel this pooch-screw and think about it some"

If that were the case, the I wouldn't hesitate to use the auto mark feature. As it is right now, I have way too much time and matertial invested in the typical print to chance irretreivable failure from the auto sensing system.

The Big Squeegee

Long Time Member
Interesting thread.... I gave up on my automatic sensors and set it up manualy. Takes less time than waiting around for those spots to be recognized by an idiot light. I figured that the print will be .6% bigger than what my cutter sees so I make the ajustment in the cutting program. I use CiberPrint.


New Member
Please.... does ANYONE have any other information on how to get this problem fixed. This is going to cost me a LOT of money if I don't get it figured out. Anyone... anyone at all? What do I do to get rid of this stupid mark scan error message?