Set Up Your Machines With Ease By Correctly Configuring Output Ports!

Getting an output device attached to your production process can be a bit more intensive than simply plugging a USB cable in. Check out our guide on configuring your ports and getting your machines running properly.

Use the information below to help choose ports when connecting your output devices. If using TCP/IP, you must know the IP address and port number of your output device.

We recommend plugging in your output device prior to starting your (missing or bad snippet) program to ensure the connections appear as expected. USB hubs have been known to cause issues. If you are having trouble with your connections, contact us.


The main methods to connect your system to an output device are USB, USB to Parallel converter, USB to Serial converter, Serial-Serial, Parallel to Parallel, Ethernet/Wireless TCP/IP.

Note: For clarity, refer to the device user manual.

For USB to USB connections to cutters, when outputting from SignLab directly, depending on the driver being used, the port to select is External DLL or CADlink USB or just the “nameofthedevice”_USB00x+.

For USB to USB connections to cutters, it is necessary to install the manufacturer drivers to communicate with those devices. Verify the driver is installed in Device Manager (in the Control Panel).

You may be using an adapter, such as a Serial-USB converter, to connect the desired device and there may not be drivers installed. The device, in that case, will be listed within Other Devices in Device Manager and you will need to confirm the device version and find drivers online that are compatible with the operating system.

Note: SignLab registers the Parallel as LPT and the Serial as COM.

Serial connections use communication settings shown for the required device within the Setup dialog (found via Cut > Plotting Defaults., click Setup and open the Port tab). Current COM settings are provided on the right, below the Port location and will be populated when the desired COM port is selected.

Default Serial COM settings (will be different depending on the driver used):

  • Baud Rate: 9600
  • Parity: N
  • Data Bits: 8
  • Stop Bits: 1
  • Flow Control: Hardware OR Xon/Xoff

Note: Baud Rate may differ depending on the device. Refer to the device user manual.

Note: If you set Flow Control to Xon/Xoff, data is sent to the device without the requirement of the device sending data back to the system. By default, Flow Control may be set to None. Check this within the Port tab for SignLab and within Device Manager.

Another common issue is the installed driver is set for a configuration of GPGL or HPGL when the configuration set within the device is the opposite. The solution is to either change the configuration on the device (refer to the user manual to change the configuration for the device) or install the correct driver.

Note: If there is a driver related issue, confirm the driver version (found in Cut > Plotting Defaults, click Setup).

Port Setting
TCP/IP To use a device accessed across a TCP/IP network, you’ll need the IP AddressProtocol, and Port Number.
USB For USB port connection, no configuration is needed. Choose the device’s USB port from the drop-down list.
COM The COM port is also known as the Serial port (commonly used to send data to a cutter or plotter).
FILE The FILE port sends the output data to a file in the chosen directory. This file can be transferred to another workstation for output to a device.

Note: Ensure you set a name and location.

NULL The NULL port is a test setting. NULL is equivalent to no printer. The data is processed and discarded upon completion.
Enable printer pooling Select multiple different ports.