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HP Designjet 500 and 800 Series Printers - Problems With the Automatic Cutter


When the printer is not cutting the media at the end of a print, it is important to diagnose whether the issue is with the hardware or the software. To determine this, load roll media and press the FORM FEED AND CUT button. If the carriage moves to the left side of the printer but fails to pick up the cutter, the issue is with the hardware. If the printer cuts the media, the issue is with the software.

Software troubleshooting

Follow the steps below to check the software settings.
  1. Select Start, Settings, and then Printers.
  2. Right-click the Designjet 500 or Designjet 800 printer icon and select Properties in WIN95, Document Defaults in WINNT/2000
  3. Select the Advanced tab and verify that there is not a check in the Disable Automatic Cutter checkbox.
  4. Select the General tab and click the Print Test Page button.
    If the printer cuts the media after sending the test page, but does not cut from the software application, check the settings in the software application.
  5. If the cutter still does not work (with internal or software application prints) unless the FORM FEED AND CUT button is pressed, continue with the remaining steps.
  6. Using the Arrow button, highlight the Ink menu icon on the printers front panel and press Enter.
  7. Scroll to Replace printheads and press Enter.
  8. When the printhead carriage becomes accessible, remove the power cord from the printer.
    If you simply power cycle the printer, the carriage is parked in the Service Station and the printer does not perform a Y-axis home position calibration. The carriage must be in the middle of the printer during bootup in order to force a new Y-axis home position discovery, which thereby resolves any cutter related positioning problems.
  9. Ensure the printer has been unplugged for at least ten seconds.
  10. Plug the power cable back into the printer.
  11. Send an internal test page and a test file from the application to verify cutter functionality.
  12. If problems persist, continue with the hardware troubleshooting steps listed below.

Hardware troubleshooting

The cutter may not be in the correct position to be picked up by the carriage. Try the following steps to correct the cutter positioning.
Do not touch the flat metal strip that runs the length of the printer behind the carriage. Its edges are sharp and can cause injury.
  1. Open the top cover of the printer.
  2. Reach into the left side of the printer and manually move the cutter to the right about an inch. The cutter unit is attached to the printer by a black cutter holder that runs along the metal guide rail and is hooked onto the edge of the black drive roller at the front of the printer.
    Do not move the cutter into media path or a media jam will result.
  3. Press the FORM FEED AND CUT button.
If the carriage does not pick up the cutter, the issue may be that the cutter is off its track. Follow the steps below to reseat the cutter.
  1. Reach into the left side of the printer and manually align the cutter with the notch in the media deflector. This notch is located about 4.5 inches to the left of the blue media release lever.
  2. Lift the small handle on the cutter holder and gently pull the cutter toward the front of the printer to release the cutter from the cutter holder. Do not remove the cutter holder.
  3. Insert the bottom part of the cutter into the notch in the media deflector.
  4. Align the cutter with the cutter holder and push the cutter gently toward the back of the printer until the cutter snaps into the cutter holder.
  5. Manually push the cutter just to the left of the media path.
  6. Press the FORM FEED and CUT button.
If problems persist, click here for additional troubleshooting information at http://www.hp.com/cposupport/printers/support_doc/bpp03601.html.
If unable to resolve, cutter may be in need of replacement (HP part number C7769-60163).






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