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823 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you currently own a cutting machine?

    • Yes
    • No, but I want to in the next 12 months
    • No, I have no plans to buy one
    • I'm undecided at the moment


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I'm starting to wonder if I need a separate computer running Windows for my Portrait now. It looks as though I just need it for Windows stuff I can't get to work in Wine!

As I've mentioned in another thread, it's not too difficult to run multiple operating systems on a single computer, either through multiple boot or by setting up a virtual machine.

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As I've mentioned in another thread, it's not too difficult to run multiple operating systems on a single computer, either through multiple boot or by setting up a virtual machine.

I've got no intention of doing that. My main computer is now happily running Mint, and I'm not letting Windo$e any closer to it than the other end of a network cable! Except for a few programs installed in Wine, that I can remove if they cause trouble!

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  • RMweb Gold

My Silhouette Portrait arrived this afternoon.  Ordered Tuesday evening from Yolo and paid for 2nd class delivery and it arrived this afternoon! Whilst I was waiting for it to arrive I produced a design for some GWR 6'4", 8'6 and 10'0" Dean coach bogies using Studio3 using 4 x 0.25mm laminations for each part other than the end tie bars and steps. I did a test cut of the 8'6" bogies this evening using some 120gsm copier paper.

 

post-7649-0-90181300-1488495088_thumb.jpg

 

Very happy. Now waiting for the styrene sheet order to arrive from Station Road Baseboards so that I can have a proper go at it.

Edited by nickwood
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My Silhouette Portrait arrived this afternoon.  Ordered Tuesday evening from Yolo and paid for 2nd class delivery and it arrived this afternoon! Whilst I was waiting for it to arrive I produced a design for some GWR 6'4", 8'6 and 10'0" Dean coach bogies using Studio3 using 4 x 0.25mm laminations for each part other than the end tie bars and steps. I did a test cut of the 8'6" bogies this evening using some 120gsm copier paper.

 

attachicon.gifIMG_2245.jpg

 

Very happy. Now waiting for the styrene sheet order to arrive from Station Road Baseboards so that I can have a proper go at it.

Hi Nick,

 

I'm impressed, may I ask what setting you use with the blade to achieve the cuts for the styrene please.

 

Grahame

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  • RMweb Gold

Hi Nick,

 

I'm impressed, may I ask what setting you use with the blade to achieve the cuts for the styrene please.

 

Grahame

 

Read my post again Grahame, this is a test cut using heavy copier paper.

 

My styrene sheets haven't arrived yet but I'll post results and settings when they do.

 

Nick

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Read my post again Grahame, this is a test cut using heavy copier paper.

 

My styrene sheets haven't arrived yet but I'll post results and settings when they do.

 

Nick

Oops! Sorry Nick I guess I got carried away with the pictures!

Thank you

 

Grahame

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Hi Nick,

 

I'm impressed, may I ask what setting you use with the blade to achieve the cuts for the styrene please.

 

Grahame

 

Page #58 has the answers. I will be starting with those settings when I attempt the station canopy supports.

 

Thinks - plasticard is expensive so why not cut your sheet in half (A5) and if, like me you have the studio page set to A4 portrait only have your design in the top half of the page and place the plasticard on the carrier so the long edge is across the width. At least you will only waste half a sheet when it goes wrong!.

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Very happy. Now waiting for the styrene sheet order to arrive from Station Road Baseboards so that I can have a proper go at it.

Have you considered just making the bogies from card?

 

...R

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I ve been back to page 58 and done some reading about cutting depths etc. Thanks for the heads up about that page containing cutting depths etc

 

I noticed that the new Cameo 3 comes with what they call an autoblade. Would that work when trying to cut directly from inkscape without the Studio program intervening or should i buy a non-auto blade like a deepcut or a premium blade instead which both have manual adjustments? Silly question but i want to make sure i order all i need with the 1st go.

 

I assume that aftermarket engraver tips / etching tools do work with a Cameo 3 (and not only Curio or older Cameo machines) right?

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  • RMweb Gold

Have you considered just making the bogies from card?

 

...R

In a short answer, no.

 

It would take quite a leap of faith for me to believe that card would be a stable enough material to use for bogie construction.

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Sorry for the delayed reply as I have not viewed this thread for a while.

I have tried to draw a view of the tool which I agree is not easy to show so I have added cross sections of a normal cutter and of the skrawker. I ground off the end of an old cutter at an angle and then made the cut curved so that the end was nearer to vertical. I thought that if the end was at an angle it would tend to push the tool out of the work piece. The cut is made by the flat face which gouges out the plastic and does not try to cut through it.

​Note that the skrawker mentioned in post #1823 is a hand held tool, however my tool is made to work in the same way.

 

​Regards Roger

 

Thanks for that Roger. I had been considering making one of these but was not sure where to start. Can you help a little more?

 

About how much did you grind off the tip of the blade? Also, about what sort of angle did you grind it off at?

 

Regards

David

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I noticed that the new Cameo 3 comes with what they call an autoblade. Would that work when trying to cut directly from inkscape without the Studio program intervening or should i buy a non-auto blade like a deepcut or a premium blade instead which both have manual adjustments? Silly question but i want to make sure i order all i need with the 1st go.

 

All the 'autoblade' feature means is that the cameo can adjust the depth of its own blade, but it is also possible to manually adjust the depth. I assume the inkscape plugin doens't have the ability to adjust the blade depth but as long as you remember to set it yourself there shouldn't be an issue.

 

Rather than the rotational mechanism of the old-style ratchet blades, the new autoblades are adjusted like a clicky biro - each progressive click makes changes the depth of the blade by 100 microns, and they have a little depth meter on the front of them.

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Is there no end to the versatility of a Silhouette Portrait ?

 

Yesterday I used it to cut some sticky-backed vinyl to make a mask for etching some 10 thou brass and this is the result - I was really thrilled. I had never etched anything  before as I had always thought of it as complicated and messy with nasty acid to dispose of, or retain safely. But all I used to etch these coupling rods was salt water and 12v DC electricity. The etching took about an hour.

 

The discoloration is where the vinyl did not stick to the brass properly - probably because I forgot to de-grease the brass and also perhaps because the vinyl has been lying around unused for a few years.

 

I drilled all the 1mm holes using part-etched pips as a guide.

 

...R

post-10065-0-47161400-1489176256.jpg

Edited by Robin2
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I'm not sure what you want more info about. I got the idea from a few web sites that DuckDuckGo found with the search term "electro etch brass" including this Instructables link

 

Some of them recommend using a Copper Sulphate solution as the electrolyte but I used kitchen salt - as much as I could get to dissolve in the water. I have not tried Copper Sulphate and it may be better because the essential reaction involves copper. I will probably get some in the next few days.

 

The Instructables link uses steel for the negative electrode and recommended stainless but when I tried stainless nothing seemed to happen. Again, I suspect copper will be best.

 

I soldered a piece of wire to the corner of my brass strip and connected that to the 12v positive. For the negative electrode I just stripped about 3 inches from the end of copper multi-strand wire and put the stripped end into the solution.

 

When I put the masked brass strip and the negative "electrode"  in the salt-water there was a nice fizz of fine bubbles from the negative end and an orange scum collected on the water.

 

The current through the electrolyte was well below 1 amp -probably well below 0.5amps. I presume it would increase if the area of brass exposed for etching is bigger. I drew my mask so as to minimise the area that needed to be etched.

 

For obvious reasons DO NOT allow the brass strip to contact the negative electrode.

 

Let me know if I have answered the wrong question :)

 

...R

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Presumably you put an etch resist on the back of the brass - another sheet of sticky-backed vinyl? Boots (the chemists) used to sell copper sulphate, and much other useful stuff, including plaster of Paris, but not any longer, afaik. I purchase copper sulphate from the local agricultural merchant, but on-line will do. If you reversed the current, you could build up the thickness of the rods, once they are etched, if you wished. They make the foils for electric razors in a similar manner - electroplating that is. Salt water is easier/safer to dispose of cf ferric chloride (the usual copper etching fluid), and it doesn't stain fingers/clothing.

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Presumably you put an etch resist on the back of the brass - another sheet of sticky-backed vinyl?

Yes. I should have mentioned that. I had a reversed image on the back so the etching worked from both sides. The mask on the reverse must be carefully aligned with the mask on the front. Where I had a mask on one side only (for locating tabs) it only etched half-way.

 

From what I have read the design of the mask is just the same as for ferric-chloride etching - however I have no idea if a vinyl mask is suitable for use with ferric chloride.

 

I plan to look for copper sulphate where they do garden stuff - just not near one at the moment.

 

The idea of reversing the current is interesting - but I reckon it would be copper that is deposited rather than brass. And I wonder if the deposited thickness would be sufficient to make the process worthwhile.

 

...R

Edited by Robin2
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I 'm certainly pleased to have purchased my cutter its been a real life saver producing all the parts to make this...

 

post-20303-0-40758700-1489258614_thumb.jpeg

 

post-20303-0-84688000-1489258635_thumb.jpg

 

Please excuse the image quality, taken on my iPhone,

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Just beautiful  :sungum: . A fine piece of modelling

 

Ron

Thank you Ron, I feel rather humbled when compared to your masterpieces, it was actually down to reading your excellent thread on Manchester Central that made me buy a cutter, so thanks for that.

The bridge has still a way to go before finishing and the photos are just to illustrate the current state of play.

 

Grahame

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Something slightly different, some basic (cheap) corridor connections in 4mm.

 

The basic elements. From left to right two sets of bellows cut from Canford Jet Black paper, an end plate cut from 20thou black styrene (there is a second plate without the fancy profile at the bottom) and a small piece cut from a cheap black plastic bin bag:

post-3717-0-73528000-1489426375_thumb.jpg

 

The two bellows are folded up and slotted together thus:

post-3717-0-51614200-1489426376_thumb.jpg

 

The bellows are then stuck to the endplates using UHU solvent free adhesive and left to dry. Finally the small strip of bin bag is glued to the top of the end plates to produce a top cover:

post-3717-0-22425900-1489426377_thumb.jpg

 

Thanks to Sylvian Tennant whose idea for producing the top cover I have blatantly ripped off!

 

Edit: The files provided previously result in an undersized item so if anyone has downloaded them please ignore them. I will revise them and re-upload in a few days. Apologies.

Edited by MikeTrice
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I'd better own up to being the biggest duffer on this thread!

I had this Silhouette Portrait for my birthday last week and have had a week before flying off to Malta on holiday tomorrow (taxi at 5.30am) and in this very last day in my rush to give the machine a try have made every mistake possible.

1

I loaded the cutter capsule upside down and after 3 blank cuts of a sheet of card, convinced myself the actual blade assembly must have fallen out in my rush to open the tiny cutter capsule package. An hour of fruitless hunting around under the desk ended with me searching out a Utube video to see what I had actually lost.

How grateful I was to the Chinese lady who showed me I was all upside down !

2

With the cutter right way up I produced an excellent card cut out of my first project - an Art Deco 1930s open charabanc.

Funny I thought - it is very small.  Then I reallised that my conversion from Inkscape via dxf format to Studio had resulted in a perfect little N scale set of cut  components.

So I doubled it all up in Studio and by 6pm this evening loaded a classy sheet of styrene in the cutter and set it going.

3

Having packed my holiday bag I came back to find a perfectly scored sheet of components to the right size - but nothing cut out.

So without ejecting the sheet, I reset the cutter deeper and had another go, then another...and another. Finally I realised I was attempting the impossible on a 20 thou sheet (thanks to Jason's invaluable index on page 1 of the thread and Mike Trice's posts on blades).

4

I am now off to bed having finally achieved my first very exciting cutting project.

The difficult task of laminating, assembly and painting awaits return from holiday.

 

A big thank you to all who have created this thread.

 

dh

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We all make mistakes, it is part of the learning curve. While trying to resolve earlier issues with Silhouette Studio crashing I followed Silhouette's recommendation of installing the latest version and clearing the preferences. I did something similar with Inkscape. As a result I failed to spot that when opening the dxf in Studio it was resizing it hence my undersized corridor connectors. I won't tell you how many I have cut before realising. Enjoy your holiday.

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