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  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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A lot of your questions apply to cutting styrene with a modelling knife and are not specific to using a Cameo. If you look at a typical modelling knife (or most knives for that matter) the blade is ground to be a taper. Using one of these knives results in a "V" being cut in the styrene. If cut all the way through then the cut edge will be tapered, if the styrene is just scored and "snapped" then the edge is probably straighter. The width of the "V" is down to the blade used or more accurately how it is ground. So to answer the bulk of your questions, what would you do if cutting the parts out by hand? The Cameo is only automating this process.

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On 23/05/2020 at 08:55, aardvark said:

 

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.

 

Hi

 

That’s how I’ve done all mine as I found the blade just doesn’t work properly when turning corners.

 

Cheers

 

Paul

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Hi Mike

If cutting the notches by hand I would use a chisel style knife blade which was flat on one edge, or a razor saw. I also know when I cut with a regular knife I won't get a result that is reproducible 50 times in a row, maybe a 66% hit rate if I'm lucky.

 

When it comes to fold lines, I was trying to find out if anyone had tried folds from Cameo scored or cut styrene and what their experience had been and if certain settings were more successful than others. 

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14 hours ago, PaulCheffus said:

Hi

 

That’s how I’ve done all mine as I found the blade just doesn’t work properly when turning corners.

 

Cheers

 

Paul

 

Thanks Paul. Presuming that you are using the Kraft blade, what sort of thickness do you manage to cut successfully? Do you have any problems getting the blade with undercut/overcut of internal corners? Any clever technique for aligning the blade for the first cut in each set?

 

cheers ...

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9 hours ago, aardvark said:

 

Thanks Paul. Presuming that you are using the Kraft blade, what sort of thickness do you manage to cut successfully? Do you have any problems getting the blade with undercut/overcut of internal corners? Any clever technique for aligning the blade for the first cut in each set?

 

cheers ...

Hi

 

I have the Curio cutter with the standard blade. I’ve managed to cut right through 10 thou but only score anything thicker.


For aligning the blade I set a cut line up in the same direction and ensure it’s done first in a scrap area of the sheet.

 

Cheers

 

Paul

 

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Can I just say thanks for all the posts here. I haven't read them all, but I have read enough to get me over some hurdles.

 

I have a Cameo 4. I have had it for almost a year but I procrastinate and a pandemic happened. I have slight nagging doubt that I should have jumped straight over 2d and gone to 3d.

 

It is now set up and I am moving towards understanding some of the possibilities and limitations. 

 

Broadly, It seems better at straight lines than curves, and it seems better at big rather than small. I can probably live with that but may end up selling on.

 

One of the projects I had was to cut a stencil for my 'company' logo on On30 or cut out small letters. 

 

Software has been interesting. I have worked in Corel Draw since... oh... version 3.0.  Corel shafted me recently, so I am looking to jump ship.  

 

But I can get output from Corel to other formats (except DXF) so I can still play around with existing files. 

 

From Corel I move files to Inkscape, then save to DXF, and finally to Studio.  They do sometimes change size seemingly at random. 

 

I have worked out that if I upgrade Studio I can go straight from Corel to Studio using SVG files. 

 

So my current plan is to create basic shapes in Studio and cut direct. Easy. Anything more complex I will probably build in Corel and try and get it across at the right size.

 

Then the big hurdle will be cutting anything above 10thou plastic. I have some ideas and have noted the Slot 2 information. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by sumo
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Hello JCL

 

Apologies for joining your party rather late.

 

I model the GNR and ECJS in 2mm finescale.

I am very interested in the application of the Silhouette Cameo (or Portrait) to 2mm FS modelling, especially the construction of carriages.

I am considering making a purchase.

 

I have tried scratchbuilding carriages as described in David Jenkinson's Book but found that cutting panel frets in 2mm to be not very successful.

I am currently building the frets from Evergreen microstrip but the smallest microstrip  available is 010 by 020 so the thickness of the whole fret has to be reduced  using a filing board. Again not ideal.

 

I should very much appreaciate your comments on the Cameo's suitability.

 

For instance, how small a rectangle can you cut with the Cameo? A GN toplight is typically of the order of 1mm by 2mm in 2mm FS.

If you were to reduce the size of your example 4mm scale GNR carriage to one half, how successfully would the Cameo cut out the panel fret.

 

Many Thanks

 

Paul

 

 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello Paul

 

It may just be us left.... I am sure an expert will be along in a moment.

 

I attach one of my recent newbie experiments with the Cameo 4. 

 

The small circles are 4mm and I have gone to 3mm. Rectangles are easier.

 

This is 10thou plastikard.

 

Mike

 

 

20201125_211127.jpg

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On 08/11/2020 at 12:25, GN_Paul said:

Hello JCL

 

For instance, how small a rectangle can you cut with the Cameo? 

 

Many Thanks

 

Paul

 

 

 

 

 

I've just done some hinge-location scoring (which were 1.5mm x 1mm) on some coach sides and my Portrait did those without any problem. This is a Ferry CCT side overlay in 10 thou plasticard. I would expect that the Portait would cut though, if needed. 

 

The hinge locations are visible along the 2 outer door seams, 3  along each. 

 

I've also successfully cut some H0 Mk1 sides, again in 10 thou, drafted by a friend and with the top light bars about 0.5mm thick, though they are fragile and probably at the limit of what can be cut without distortion. 

IMG_20201123_221323.jpg

IMG_20201127_103314.jpg

Edited by CloggyDog
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Hi again Paul,

 

I think, even on the 5 thou, the process would be to do a few light cuts rather than one heavier cut. That way the knife would be easier to pivot and the lines might be straighter. I also found that not using rectangles difference. By that I mean that I used lines only, even to draw boxes such as windows or doors. This meant that all the horizonal lines are separate from the vertical lines. Then I used to cut the horizontal lines first, then the vertical lines second. That way, the knife blade only had to pivot once

That said, I no longer have the Silhouette, so the software might or might not allow that now. 

 

I live in Canada, but perhaps if you were able to send someone in the UK some 5 thou plasticard and a file, they might be able to do a test for you before you consider buying.

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Very many thanks to all for taking time to respond to my request for information.

Whereas methods and techniques are usually transferable between 4mm and 7mm, the same is not always true with 2mm.

Often the smallness of size gets  to you: obvious example is the tolerance on a drawing or width of a cut which will be finite and the same regardless of scale and is multiplied by 152 for 2mm to get the full scale equivalent so that the width of a cut would become a noticeable gap on the full size prototype.

 

My next question is choice: do I go for a portrait or cameo? What are the advantages/disadvantages for each machine apart from price?

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On 03/12/2020 at 13:29, GN_Paul said:

My next question is choice: do I go for a portrait or cameo? What are the advantages/disadvantages for each machine apart from price?

 

Question has been asked numerous times. Try searching. I found this as an example posted December 18, 2018:

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Santa Claus has arrived early and brought a portrait 3 all the way from Germany. Reichart is asking £172 and Myfabrics £209 compared to Amazon's £240.

Well that is what about what I paid recently for a solder station (a lot less if you add in the price of solder!) so that I can attempt a brass etched kit of a J6 that has been languishing in the drawer for the last 30 years! I have reservations about the static strength and fatigue life of soft soldered joints (perhaps I should add that my other hobby is 5 inch gauge live steam with a GNR Stirling Single on currently on the bench about 85% complete and hard soldering is a fact of every day life).

I am now sorted on how to spend my time between Xmas and New Year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

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I have a Cameo 4 on order, for a number of jobs, but just a few questions.

 

DXF, as I know the format at a basic level I am wondering would it handle a basic line and arc file for importing in, I can do basic layout on paper then into notepad then pull in. Simple no extra line and arc. Just for the base shape.

 

0

TEST

2

LINE

10

100

11

100

20

100

21

200

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Just a wee tip MJI, you can get the silhouette software here ;

 

https://www.silhouetteamerica.com/software

 

This would let you have a play with it over xmas before the machine arrives. 

 

I know you can do all sorts of importing of files, but I have drawn all the stuff for Kelvinbank with it. Most is simple wagons and buildings so it does all I need. 

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Hmm software is missing ruler, the free basic one is not great

 

Currently trying to produce a bare Swindon DMU window shape as an experiment.

 

Once I have the hang of it going to do glazing and chop some out of very thin clear sheet.

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Done some some test cuts and now ran out of clear plastic sheet.

 

All it does is lightly scratch the surface.

 

4 passes 33 force 0.6 depth, carriage 1 auto blade.

2 passes 33 force 1 depth

 

This is my first go so still learning it.

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Could someone please link to suitable settings.  I will be getting thinner glazing to try.

 

Use a page number would do.

 

My other designs will be card or 10 thou white plasticard.

 

 

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