Jump to content

  

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


Recommended Posts

Mike,

 

I had a few minutes spare so I selected one item of text to which I applied your action. Here is the result. The text did appear in SS.

 

 

 

 1311916212_TestfoMTaction.png.2a386894b99951f22c2a7e241c613629.png

 

I didn't time the loading of this modified file in to SS but I estimate it doubled the load time. But it worked! Thanks.

 

Ian.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Ian Major said:

Mike,

 

I had a few minutes spare so I selected one item of text to which I applied your action. Here is the result. The text did appear in SS.

 

 

 

 1311916212_TestfoMTaction.png.2a386894b99951f22c2a7e241c613629.png

 

 

 

You might want to turn on 'show print area, and show cut border from that menu.

 

Jon

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Jon,

 

The image above is a tiny part of the A3 document so the cutting area is well off screen. However, I checked and the cutting area display was indeed switched off. I turned it on and checked the effect on the cutting area red box of turning the registration marks on and off. With them off the cutting area is close to the page boundary. With the registration marks turned on the cutting area box shrank to line up with the "L"s. 

 

I still need my "mask" for when creating cutting files in Inkscape but your advice has been most helpful.

 

Ian.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • RMweb Gold

Apologies if this has been asked before.

 

i am having a few issues importing drawing (dxf) into the cutting software.  Hoping someone could please offer some advice 

 

 

first the  Silhouette Software keeps messing with the scaling, I thought dxf was supposed to be a definitive format and hence not change scale?

 

secondly it’s randomly deleted some lines.  I am trying to cut a frame for a grill, an ellipses with cross.  The outer line has copied across ok, as had the 8 lines for the cross.  But the 4 inner curves have vanished.

 (All show ok in autocad, and worked ok using a constant curved arc)

Edited by The Fatadder
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't own a Cutter (yet), but my memory of the preceding 97 pages suggests incorrect scaling can be fixed by removing "fit to page" when importing.

 

In regards to your missing curves, Studio only has partial support for DXF.  As MikeTrice said ...

 

On 27/02/2020 at 07:21, MikeTrice said:

Before exporting as DXF try selecting all text and then Path-> Object to Path

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • RMweb Gold
3 hours ago, aardvark said:

I don't own a Cutter (yet), but my memory of the preceding 97 pages suggests incorrect scaling can be fixed by removing "fit to page" when importing.

 

I must be doing something completely wrong then, in that I’ve just been clicking open then selecting the dxf file. 
 

will have a play with the settings, but again so far I have just been saving in autocad as a dxf not exporting, but will look and see what options I can find. 
I found a partial solution, it was a compound curve that caused the issue, redrawing it as about ten different  constant radius curves seemed to do the job

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...
On 07/03/2020 at 07:40, aardvark said:

Here says SS assumes 1 unit = 1 inch.

 

I have the same problem. Trial and error shows that it depends on the units that the software that is generating the file uses as well as the units that SS is set to.

 

I set Inkscape and SS to both use mm and select mm when exporting the DXF. Despite this, I am still finding my drawing about 20% under scale in SS.

 

Grrrr!

  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have started building up experience in cutting plastic sheet with my Cameo 4.  

 

I successfully produced some end panels for the Kirk GWR Dia E131 carriage that I am building. These parts were simply to be used as skins so I cut them from 10thou plastic sheet.

 

1298434247_Build008.JPG.47a72d6b202d8be13e09fab00e730571.JPG

 

1035709848_Build009.JPG.2937d1cc5e54f2e04885f06e6b71f252.JPG

 

I then tried producing roof formers in 20thou sheet.  The cutter only cut about 2/3rds of the way through. I  looked up and used Rob Pulham's  settings but still had no joy. I am using the auto blade that comes with the unit. It cut the parts sufficiently for me to  break them out of the rest of the sheet  which produced a uniformity far better than I get by simply cutting by hand.

 

471297540_Build010.JPG.d7d88b91d04a86a251501bdbc3c3f3b0.JPG

 

 The auto cutter fits in to tool holder one. Tool holder 2 appears to have more grunt. So I ordered a Silhouette Craft Blade which is chunkier and fits in holder 2. It arrived today. I will try it out on different thicknesses of plastic over the next few days. The blade itself has a bigger profile than the auto blade and looks more like a scalpel blade. I am guessing it will not cut out such fine detail as the auto blade. Results to follow - hopefully.

 

Ian.    

 

Edited by Ian Major
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Ian Major said:

So I ordered a Silhouette Craft Blade which is chunkier and fits in holder 2. It arrived today. I will try it out on different thicknesses of plastic over the next few days. The blade itself has a bigger profile than the auto blade and looks more like a scalpel blade. I am guessing it will not cut out such fine detail as the auto blade.

 

Looking forward to your results, Ian.  I've yet to purchase a Cameo 4, but it's definitely on the shopping list.

 

BTW: I also recall a deep cut blade.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well the Kraft Blade arrived and I have carried out the first of my tests. The results are not, shall we say, totally encouraging.

 

To summarize. My Cameo 4 came with an AutoBlade which produces very good detailed results in plastic sheet up to 15thou. I was looking to cut up to 40thou and deeply score components for 7mm scale waggons and carriages.

 

In the box containing the Cameo was this illustration of Cameo 4 tools:-

 

239963891_Toolstest001.jpg.78711a7649a88a5919f3b73cbb0f7154.jpg

 

On the left is the AuotBlade which goes in tool holder 1. The remaining tools fit in holder 2. The rotary blade is suitable for cloth. The punch tool looks like it could make a handy rivet punch but Silhouette Studio appears to restrict its use. 

 

The last blade is the Kraft Blade, though the one illustrated is a 2mm one as opposed to the 3mm Cameo 4 version. Adjustment of the depth is achieved by unscrewing or screwing up the end cap. The thread is 1mm pitch so one revolution exposes or covers up 1mm of blade.

 

The next picture shows a comparison between the Auto and Kraft blades. Both have the blades set at maximum depth. To adjust the Kraft blade the end cap is screwed up as far as it will go, then unwound three revolutions, then a bit further until the "1" is in line with the red mark. The blade is then set at 0.1mm depth. (The 3mm blades have three rings of numbers).

 

275076471_Toolstest002.jpg.cb6fce694a358aa5f591c3ce6b8815aa.jpg

 

The next two photos show the blades with the end caps removed. 

 

1837702172_Toolstest003.jpg.6ddc4b36b1083a95e8975f08d484bd5c.jpg

 

860357004_Toolstest004.jpg.694fef32f1e88515141ebb5f12be5792.jpg

 

It is worth noting how much wider the Kraft blade is. Also note the trailing edge of the Auto blade is vertical whereas that on the Kraft blade is about 20 degress off vertical. Before starting the test I came to the conclusion that I was not going  to cut any small radius arcs, and that it would be difficult to cut right in to the corners of internal rectangles. One of the tests I have yet to do is cut various diameter circles to see what can be achieved.

 

The two tool posts have different operating mechanisms. You can press down post 1 with your finger, but post 2 will not move.

 

134996135_Toolstest005.jpg.683edcd7d82de3ec3e98e8d62942520b.jpg

 

The reason is that tool post one is pushed in to the material by a soleniod and returned by a spring. Tool post 2 has a motor and some form of transmission that winds the blade in to the material then winds it back giving it far more power.

 

Finally I fitted both tools and it was ready to go.

 

730093232_Toolstest006.jpg.2f316e632d329b1341a362eefd901763.jpg

 

I produced a test file - just a fancy letter "A" roughly 1cm square.

 

563162838_Toolstest007.png.2b8316bbaedf4e06a226c1b3fcda158b.png

 

I moved it to the SS "Send" page and the cut lines were highlighted.

 

563234779_Toolstest008.png.7e5f83ed61e1f93a71125b13e11dc04c.png

 

Then I ran a cut using the Auto Blade on 10thou plastic. In the next photo the left hand letter is the result - OK. The right hand letter was meant to be done on the Kraft blade.....

 

1686902973_Toolstest009.jpg.1c4bb02f70dd9de189c2c68a6701538c.jpg

 

.... I pointed the design to tool holder 2 then did the cut. The SS response was that there was no valid action for tool 2, and SS knowing best fired it at tool 1. I tried stopping it but was a bit too late and only managed to damage the letter.

 

So - try again - this time with tool 1 removed. SS then just sulked and said it wasn't going to do anything. Now the instructions that came with the tool, the cutter and the on line manual are less than helpful here. So I plodded down the long list of materials and tried each one in turn, generally to be rewarded with a "nope" from SS but no guidance. I eventually came across a material where SS said "OK", and the cutting pattern was changed to this. 

 

743302675_Toolstest010.png.a5b4e114640a19271952b566d9493df1.png

 

Unfortunately I did not keep a log of everything that I tried. Now I have got a notepad and pencil living near the cutter so that I can record any future blundering around.

 

As can be seen SS adds loads of little walkabouts to the cut pattern. The Kraft blade is aligned like a jocky wheel and may be pointing in any old direction when pushed in to the material. So the walkabouts line the blade up for the next desired cut. 

 

I threw a cut at 20 thou plastic. The result.....

 

1552835825_Toolstest011.jpg.1d0d22807aca11dc73b27aa63958255c.jpg

 

.....as expected the blade could not get in to the corners and inner areas of the letter. All the bits from its walkabouts cut out nicely. In fact  one dislodged and became impaled on the knife blade and was carried around until the cycle completed. It used 20 sq cms of plastic to produce 1 sq cm of letter (or tried).

 

Next I decided to use a known good design. What better then one produced by Mike Trice. He had produced a design for a brake van in 4mm scale which looked ideal. I extracted one of the sides from it and put it in SS, loaded a pen and paper in the cutter then "Send" - the idea being to check its size and make sure it would come out OK.

 

1068107939_Toolstest012.jpg.b62dbcdd8a4235901270bc79be5f4789.jpg

 

In the picture the image is distorted because the paper is rather curved, it also fouled the pen in a couple of places.

 

I offered the design to a Kraft Cut which produced an unexpected result - look at the red arrow. 

 

485823163_Toolstest013.png.bbd83248a3f380d606bdf482b54fa622.png

 

It has gained a couple of walkabouts in a random location, but around the van side all looks well. Mike set the plank marks as red lines and the cut through lines as black.

 

I pointed the auto blade at the red lines (to be done first) and the Kraft blade at the black lines and set it off.

 

To start with all was going well, then part way through the deep cut lines it decided to head off to tackle the spurious walkabouts, then set off even further to find some more, got confused, threw a wobbly and terminated. 

 

Still, enough had been cut to assess how things had gone. A rubbed pencil lead in the cut lines to highlight them.

 

1464453733_Toolstest014.jpg.2559e5d872e1dc2627100dcfa406fbbc.jpg

 

I noticed that the cuts made by tool 1 were aligned with those made by tool 2 in the feed ("X") direction but were out by about 0.25mm in the carriage travel ("Y") direction. For example, notice the cutout for the ducket is slightly to the left wrt the planking in the photo.

 

I attempted to correct this. To do this in Inkscape I broke up Mike's design in to its component parts, grouped the deep cut elements together then moved them 0.25mm with respect to the other elements. This worked as I hoped.

 

This was fed back in to SS. The result was this....

 

1761226381_Toolstest015.png.cd2aaf733bddfce52f3ca6d8b3f83083.png

 

...a lot more walkabouts, and worse one of them right in the middle of the van side. My attempts to move this out/ delete it resulted in SS locking up solid. I had to use Program Manager to get rid of it.

 

To prove that my design change was effective I decided to ignore the errant walkabout for now. This time I used el packitocornflakes since my stock of plastic was disappearing fast. Again the planking was fine, but the deep cuts started to dig in where the path of cuts crossed. This resulting in horrible crunching sounds coming out of the cutter and the registration being lost. The mess produced is in the next photo. At least the tool 1 and tool 2 cuts lined up.

 

80286030_Toolstest016.jpg.068b556982d1199c1d9d67938496ab86.jpg

 

Time was running short so I reverted to Mike's original side. The unwanted walkabouts on the far right did not appear this time! I decided to do the deep cuts only, in card, but with the force reduced to 3, and with max depth increases of 0.1mm.

 

1285109957_Toolstest017.png.64fbaeed9178199be534d7182838f9b9.png

 

This produced a fairly clean result except for the internal corners which need nicking with a scalpel. 

 

163366145_Toolstest018.jpg.a2726f66c55dca52ef1e4abc4477d131.jpg

 

I haven't finished my experiments yet. I want to see how small I can cut circles, and how thick I can cut the plastic.

 

I have at least two SS software issues to report if I can put together the evidence. 

 

My intermediate conclusion is that the tool 2 holder has got the power to push the blade deeply in to plastic but that the drive trains for the feed and travel are not totally up to the job.

 

I think that in the long term I will be using this for detail cutting of thin plastic (to 15thou), and cutting simple accurate shapes in 
thick plastic eg coach solebar components. 

 

For Aardvark, here is a link to a useful video that I found. It is a comparison between the Cameo 4/Craft Blade  against a Cricut. It is in Spanish but it is obvious what he is doing. He demonstrates both cutting a circlar disc in 1.4mm balsa. Interesting the Cricut tool has a toothed wheel on the top that allows the cutter to orientate the blade without recourse to walkabouts.

 

The video also illustrates the crunching sound you get when the drive trains are failing to drive the tool through the material. Important to recognize this sound because if you hear it mid cut all subsequent cuts will be misaligned. 

 

  

 

Onward and upward.

 

Ian.

Edited by Ian Major
  • Like 2
  • Informative/Useful 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ian,

very nice experimentation you're doing there. I do not have any of these machines, but a few comments may be useful. The plastic sheet is sort of sticky. It is the type of problems that folk get when first machining aluminium without using any lubrication. When cutting plastic with a knife blade, the displaced material will need to go somewhere, generally forming a raised lip ( a burr) at the edge of the cut. However, on these machines, the depth setting is governed by the depth stop rubbing on the surface of the material, which will cause more friction, and obviously the stepper motors are cogging -missing steps- and  as you say you may as well give up when that happens. Taking a number of  lighter cuts may overcome that. Using a more brittle material may also solve that problem.  The machines are flexing too much for heavy cuts, but I expect they are ideal for cutting paper and some fabrics, It may not help, and you may not want to try it, but perhaps first giving the plastic a light spray of a lubricant (WD40?) may reduce the friction, or try different plastic sheets. 

 

The software, looks to be very buggy too. for cutting any shape with lines at right-angles, you only need two' walkabouts', if the cutting blade can be retracted. Of course, more walkabouts may increase the speed of cutting the job, since it will not be taking time cutting air to return to cut the next parallel line.

 

Do you know the final code that the machine uses, hpgl, g-code, whatever, or do you not have access to that?

 

Best wishes,

 

Ray

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

The Cricut Maker has a gear driven deep cut blade so it aligns itself in the correct direction before it makes the next cut. There are no spurious cuts. This also means it can cut curves without lifting off the material.

 

As Ray says the problem with plastic is it’s hard and does not easily move out of the way to let the blade cut all the way through the thicker sheets. But it does give you a very accurate score line to just snap the parts out.

 

Keep practicing 

 

Alec

 

  • Like 1
  • Friendly/supportive 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have a machine, and therefore know nothing more than I have read in this thread, and a few other places.

 

I think I recall some earlier contributors using the Cameo 3 using multiple cut-lists so, that each list had cuts in a single direction (e.g. left to right), and hence minimised need for walkabouts.  I also recall multiple passes over a single cut-list with increasing "pressure", rather than a single pass, thereby introducing the blade progressively further into the material.

 

I've also read a few articles from Silhouette School, which despite being craft-oriented, do seem to sometimes contain useful information for the like of us.  There's one about turning off the kraft blade walkabouts: https://www.silhouetteschoolblog.com/2020/01/how-to-turn-off-silhouette-kraft-blade.html

 

In another of their articles, they say:

  • Punch tool is to mark which areas of a cut design should be weeded (ie the junk bits).
  • Rotary blade is for cutting fabric without a stabilizer and delicate materials like crepe paper.
  • Kraft Blade is for cutting thicker materials like leather, balsa wood, craft foam, and mat board.

There's also this: https://www.silhouetteschoolblog.com/2016/07/silhouette-cameo-blades.html

 

Obviously, my memory failed me, as the deep cut blade was intended by the manufacturer to be used in the Curio, but can be used in the Cameo 4 (I think).

 

BTW: thanks for the shout-out!!

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

On 11/05/2020 at 07:24, broseley28 said:

Any chance of getting a copy of the file ?

 

In responce to your question, firstly I don't have the file any longer, sorry.

 

Secondly, had you put your question differently and said PLEASE then I would happily have sent it.

 

Maybe you think this is old fashioned but I was always brought up to ask in a polite manner.

 

Perhaps you could try making the stonework yourself and get satisfaction by doing so ?

 

 

Edited by bgman
  • Friendly/supportive 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

More on the experiment front. But first my thanks for the likes and encouragement.

 

Ray, I agree with your comments which chime with my own experience. I don't know what code is used on the machine. The only part I know is the content of the SVL files produced by Inkscape which is in XML a very readable language.

 

Alec, the video that I linked to shows the Cricut blade alignment mechanism working including how at the start of the cut the carriage moves to the extreme right where the blade direction is obviously being set to an initial known direction.

 

Aardvark, the Silhouette deep cut blade that I have was only released a few months ago and is specifically for the Cameo 4. Though, as you say, the original was for the Curio. I am beginning to wonder whether the deep blade is a tool too far for the Cameo architecture.

 

I had a look at the link you supplied about turning off the alignment loops and diddles. I tried the method recommended  and found it doesn't work. An attempt to do it was met with an invalid action type message as here:-

 

1483665530_Toolstest019.png.3006b1b25b2404011afae16686b59e30.png

 

I think the lady giving the advice was using an earlier version of Studio to me. But....by accident it pointed me in the direction of how to actually do it. More on this later.

 

The first issue that I looked at was due to the thicker plastic sheet being less flexible than the sticky cutting mat. For deep cutting I also use sticky tape around the material edges. Even so because the mat is not supported in front of and behind the cutter, as the work moves back and forth the tendency was to peel the plastic off risking  the material slipping. The posed photo shows this. 

 

85393696_Toolstest020.JPG.990e4d426d29df4ea886aaa779eada39.JPG

 

My temporary answer was to put blocks of wood fore and aft to act a supports. Long term I will make a couple of wooden platforms to do this.

 

1999424687_Toolstest021.JPG.a709b8fcc73446bbcc4ed92509b19dcb.JPG

 

The experiments continue.

 

Addressing the "walkabouts". One of these is added to each object to be cut. With this and the size of the loops an excessive amount of waste material and blade wear was the result. These alignment cuts were also impinging on the parts being produced.

 

My test piece was one of the roof formers for my carriage. I had produced this design by taking the carriage end design and simply cutting the lower part off. When cut with the auto blade it was fine, up to a certain depth. Throwing it at the Kraft Blade produced this spaghetti look alike:

 

1171668024_Toolstest022.png.f31ee611d1c65b49c2b5e636d12002b5.png

 

A close up of one end. Part of the gutter is still there complicating things.

 

879540389_Toolstest023loopoverrunzero.png.ef7a9ef33721924fc90731f81d788af8.png

 

Going back to Inkscape I reduced the design to just two objects. 

 

The first was the curve of the roof. This was originally 2 objects meeting in the centre having been produced as one half, replicated, one copy reversed and moved to make a symmetrical curve. I joined this together as a single object.

 

The second object was the straight cut along the bottom. I identified this in the object list and simply deleted any other object that was there (except the roof curve).

 

These two objects are on one layer so I deleted any other layer along with its contents. Thrown at SS gave this:

 

2037155223_Toolstest024.png.34e073ee3806a2a9a150fd3c53d85001.png

 

It looked a lot tidier and was a hopeful sign.

 

I also found you can alter the size of the loops. The default radius is 5mm. I set it to 2mm (pointed to by the red arrow). To get this menu, go to "Send" page, just above the "Test" button is a "More" button. Press that.

 

I would guess that Silhouette consider 2mm as the minimum radius the Kraft blade can cut, and if cutting to 3mm  depth the radius would need increasing.  

 

At this time I did not know what the skim force was. It is not documented anywhere. My fiddling with everything gradually clarified what this was about.

 

I was starting to get cocky now. The design had its long axis lying in the direction of the carriage movement, I wanted it to lie in the direction of feed (X). So I rotated it. The result threw me.

 

1196316025_Toolstest025.png.0931476694ea8dd9674e377e8d93caa8.png

 

There were now three alignment cuts for two design cuts! Why? The reason became apparent when I actually did the cut. Now the curved line was the first object in my Inkscape design, and its base point is bottom right in the last photo. The actual cut started (after alignment) at the red arrow, it then went anticlockwise around the design until it got back to the red arrow. 

 

I tried cutting this design in 20thou and 30thou plastic card. Force 2, cut increments 0.1mm. The 20thou cut out OK. The 30thou got to 0.6mm depth when it cogged. The results are in the next photo. Notice both attempts have a extraneous horizontal cut. On the 20thou piece I have marked at with a red arrow. In every example it is the first cut made on each pass, goes left to right, and is the point at which the initial cogging occurs.

 

235731379_toolstest026.JPG.d4c615cde62be41b5c8ad7cc46bb94e7.JPG


I think this cut is behind a lot of my problems. I have no answer for it yet. The same design thrown at the auto blade or pens does not have this extra cut.

 

Out of curiosity and to try to work out Silhouette logic, I did a few rotations of the design to see the effect on the "walkabouts". The result:

 

1750446867_Toolstest027.png.e0187da1c984a3ea9507e141bea9c785.png

 

I was running on Rel 4.3.372ss of Studio Basic. This is a BETA version. The reason I use this is because the general release version (4.3.370) supports the 2mm Kraft Blade but no mention of the 3mm which I have. 

 

Question is there a later version that has a fix for my problem.

 

I decided to install the latest BETA version which is Rel 4.4.223ss. Quite a major change judging by the number.  This did not fix the extraneous cut error but I did get this in the "More" menu:-

 

866666295_Toolstest028.png.ac761975ae7244df3f34dfd2e76870f5.png

 

Notice in the bottom right corner there is now a tick box "Disable Smart Cut" which stops the walkabouts. In referring to these as Smart Cuts I assume Silhouette are attempting some form of ironic humour.

 

Notice also the "Skin Force" has been replaced by "Loop Force" and "Loop Blade Height". This seems a sensible arrangement whereby the alignment cuts can be done at a low force, then the design cuts at full pressure. I don't see the point of the Blade Height variable since the blade height can only be manually set.

 

I am wondering that if the extraneous cut is being done at full pressure without the blade being aligned whether it is screwing things up before the first alignment cut.

 

The latest BETA release also addresses another gripe of mine. When I first tried to use the Kraft Blade I struggled to find a material/tool combination that the software wouldn't reject. You had to try each before the rejection took place. Now warning triangles are displayed against these.

 

240972180_Toolstest029.png.97c8bb30a8cdb2d873b9004643addd19.png

 

So I tried a cut without "Smart Cuts". Still had the extraneous cut plus the blade alignment in the middle of the curve resulted in a noticeable bite mark taken out of the cut piece.

 

Tried the same with the part rotated 90 degrees.


Worse. The extraneous cut went straight through the middle of the part.

 

Tried a design with my own alignment marks. The photo shows this. The red arrows show the start and direction of each object and the number shows the order that they appear in the SVL file.

 

1541682877_Toolstest030.png.7e6aecd60cd0c1d1da98638ac966d4ca.png

 

I set the sort order as "No Sort" ("Send", bottom right corner is a cog wheel button, leads to the advanced menu).

 

164319501_Toolstest031.png.a5fb86f1590adfe41dd17e28e75ea3f4.png

 

Did a cut. It did the curve first, the long straight next, then the two short "alignment" cuts last. No change.

 

My main thrust now is to see how to get rid of the extraneous cut and whether that will improve things. The ideas are:

 

1) Revert Studio to the general release ver 4.3.370ss. Done no change.

2) Try this using my 10 year old lap top.

3) Raise a problem report with Silhouette. With the current virus situation this rather slow - I already have an outstanding report with them.

 

I haven't given up yet but I am beginning to wonder whether for cutting/deep scoring thickish plastic the 3mm Kraft Blade is a bit of a white elephant.

 

Ian.  
 

  • Like 1
  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

A quick update.

 

I have almost worked through my list of actions to try to get rid of the spurious cut. I added one other action. 

 

Action 1) Revert Studio to the general release ver 4.3.370ss. Done. No change.

 

Action 2) Try this using my 10 year old lap top. Done. No change.

 

Action 3) Having eliminated my laptop hardware, I decided before raising a problem report that I should eliminate Inkscape software. I created a simple design (a square) in SS Design then did a cut. I set the speed and force to the lowest level ie 1.

 

The first pass was with the blade set to 0.1mm depth. This revealed that the spurious cut was still there.

 

I decided to see how deep it would go until cogging occurred - this was to a depth of 0.7mm. I did a second run which failed at 0.6mm. This is about the same as couple of dozen previous attempts. 

 

Here is a blown up photo of the first cut. The spurious cut is clearly there right in the middle of the part.

 

For some reason SS has not put an alignment twiddle for the top left corner. There are are a couple of circular indentations where the blade pirouetted. The fail occurred in the top right loop. Also the cuts prior to the fail do not look clean to me.  To be honest the Kraft blade is achieving very little extra depth over the more flexible auto blade.

 

152363835_Toolstest032.JPG.85334710c45b1716dd33073b67dab3ea.JPG
 
Action 4) I will raise a problem report on the spurious cut.

 

I am not going to treat it with any urgency since from here on I now think it is a waste of effort and material.  

 

I will continue to use the auto blade to cut 10thou and 15thou parts and to mark out/score parts on thicker material.

 

Now to get on with finishing off my MACAW waggons and other models.

 

Ian.

  • Like 1
  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the link Aardvark. I had seen it before but you prompted me to have another look.

 

Their experience is the same as mine. The blade is fine in straight lines, but around corners it struggles.  In the video they have the "smart cuts" turned off for this reason. The video shows craft/art cutting rather than the engineering type that railway modelers do. Artist are happy or even prefer the wavy lines produced by a pirouetting blade but engineers tend get a touch of the vapours about such things.

 

I decided to do some straight line tests to see how deep the blade would cut before failure. The design consisted of  a single straight line aligned with the "X" axis. Pressure set to 1, speed set to 1. For each pass I increased the  blade depth by approx 0.1mm. The point of failure was when I reached an indicated 0.8 mm depth. Again the spurious cut was there and again initial fail occurred making this cut. (The red arrow shows the unwanted cut).

 

2139726671_Toolstest039.JPG.7b84e1fca488c9e1f866ff5f292089f8.JPG

 

I seem to able to cut without a fail up to a depth of 5 or 6. I decided to measure the actual blade depth at this setting. It actually appears to be approx 1 mm. At that depth it should cut through 20 and 30 thou plastic sheet, and may even go up to 40 thou. My test line was in 60 thou and holding up to the window light could be seen filtering through the cut so was obviously deeply scored.

 

1042512411_Toolstest040.JPG.e62539d0bc6adac2f2ca599b1ef319f7.JPG

 

So - can I make it go around corners?

 

I have two Kraft blades so I stripped one down. The end cap can be prised off the top with a finger nail revealing this:-

 

1056585940_toolstest041.jpg.8b78b9a8012972eb2986d6a72db80b0c.jpg

 

The three steering wheel like spokes do not rotate with the blade, a small bush in the centre does. I engaged the jaws of a small pair of pliers in the spokes (without gripping), rotated the blade which then unscrewed from the holder. This split it (almost) in to its component parts.

 

638001947_Toolstest042.JPG.d477ec46f4de3ea4febc6431700cc99c.JPG

 

709071160_Toolstest043.JPG.b5b7ebb0aa23bf1e1ab1375b2fe0a538.JPG

 

From which I produced a diagram of the blade. The scales are graduated in mm. The line of rotation is shown dotted.

 

1060568396_Toolstest044.png.dc18b000ab3637213b1c2feb4cc9a6d5.png

 

The blade is basically a 0.5 mm thick scalpel like blade mounted in a nylon block. By comparison, the auto blade is ground from 1 mm steel rod and in fact is twice as thick as the 3 mm blade.

 

The point of the Kraft blade is slightly more than 1 mm behind the line of rotation which is why the blade can take 1 mm size chunks out of the work piece when it is realigning. This effect was demonstrated when the cutter started its cut part way  along the arc of a roof former that I was making.

 

It is unlikely that I can get the blade to cut deeper than 1 mm in to plastic sheet without overloading the drive mechanism. 


My current thoughts are to sacrifice this blade as an experiment. Therefor I will grind the rear edge of the blade to be vertical, test, then grind it a little further to bring the point closer to the centre of rotation. The purpose is to make it more maneuverable and to reduce the size of chunks it takes out when pirouetting. I will make sure the cross sectional area behind the line of rotation is greater than ahead so the jocky wheel effect still happens.

 

With a bit of luck it wont all end up in tears!

 

In the meantime, I have put in a report to Silhouette to request a fix to the extraneous cut problem.

 

Ian.

  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The blade profile is optimised to do most jobs, most likely none of them particularly well. The offset from the centre line will have to be significant, if the friction to rotate the blade is high. So, if you reduce thart distance, I would guess you will need to take very light passes to reduce the friction caused by pressure, but not so light that there is not enough pressure to turn the blade. If you make the rear edge more vertical (the point more acute) then the tip of the blade will be weakened, and will most likely not stay sharp for long. I guess you will need more than one blade to successfully experiment, but seeing as it is not doing what you want at the moment, then you may as well have a go.

The photo is of three spare blades for a hand held swivel (drag) knife. the rule calibrations is in mm. They simply fit loosely in a hand piece, plenty of slack, but the blade is actually 'leaning back, and is quite acute, Because it is most likely stabbed into the sheet when starting the cut, and being controlled by hand, more sensitivity can be applied compared to being machine driven.

 

 

IMG_20200522_233011s.jpg.8cddd0602118b9837cb05053343bb51b.jpg

 

The blades and knife handle were bought from 'the Range' a few years ago, for not much money, but  it may be possible to adapt your blade holder to take them. e.g. pull out your steel blade, and drill plastic to take these blades

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by raymw
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Ian Major said:

So - can I make it go around corners?

 

With my normal caveat, I wonder whether you can avoid going around corners altogether.

 

If cutting a straight line is ... err ... straightforward, then would it be possible to separate a design into layers featuring only parallel lines, i.e. have one set of layers with increasing pressure/depth for cut lines that all run in the same direction, then another set of layers for perpendicular lines.

 

It would be unexpectedly useful if the cutter followed the direction of the drawn vectors (start here, end here).

 

Irrespective, the spurious line is a ... err ... Major concern.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

I've read this thread multiple times (recently in its entirety) and finally have access to a Cameo, I also have a few questions that I've been unable to find the answers to.

 

I plan to work in 10 and 20 thou, and I understand (mostly from Mike Trice's analysis) that the thicker the material the wider the cut but I can't find anywhere that the width of the cut has been quantified. I plan to slot pieces 0.5mm wide together so I'm interested to find out the widths people have got with the 45 and the 60 deg blades so I can modify my cutting plan.

I see that back on page 16 Ron Heggs cut railings as fine as 0.25mm in 5 and 10 thou, I don't expect to have cuts that fine but do you have to go wider as the material gets thicker, or will score lines that fine be repeatable up to the point where you would be snapping? (bearing in mind in my case the thin parts would be waste material)

 

People have mentioned a potential issue with the middle of the Cameo bed, is it possible that concentrating the cutting to either side and using the middle for scored lines would reduce the impact of this?

 

And speaking of scored lines, is it possible to create a fold of no more than 45 deg from a half-thickness scoring?

 

Thanks

Chris H

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...